Can I Be Heard When On Hold

I’m on the phone to a company’s call centre and the operator has put me on hold. Can the operator or the company (or anyone else for that matter) hear me?

Guess it depends, but I’ve heard some companies have a queue-management software, which will gauge how irate the caller sound - if very angry, hte customer is prioritized in line. This software will apparently also monitor the caller while on hold, in case he yells at the muzak :slight_smile:

So – try yelling a bit, and see if you’re suddenly connected to somebody who can actually help you right away :slight_smile:

If they’ve really put you on hold, and you’re hearing hold music or silence with the double-beep noise, then no, they can’t hear you (depending on how their call recording system is setup though, that might still pick up anything you say). If the agent has just muted you, though, they’ll still hear you, although they might not be listening.

Bottom line: There’s no way for you to know. So assume they can hear you.

I was in a role in the past where I audited calls into our customer service call centers. The recordings that we heard included the entire call, including when they were on hold. The agents couldn’t hear them during those times, but we did. Occasionally, when someone was transferred two or three times, you would hear some very colorful language when they were on hold. You would also hear them yelling at their kids, or singing along with the hold music, or making another call on another phone. It was kind of fun.

Oops. I’ve done this. I generally don’t curse, though. What would be the point of cursing at the music?

When I worked a helpdesk job, our “hold” button was just a mute button, so we could still hear them. This is not always the case. In general, if they put on hold music, they can’t hear you.

It’s not the music. It’s the periodic “Your call is very important to us, thank you for waiting.” I’ve occasionally gotten, um, colorful, in expressing my skepticism about how important they thought my call was.

I really hate that, I admit. Just play the music! stop telling me how important my call is.

Theyare cursing at being put on hold for the second or third time, saying how incompetent we are, etc.

I remember an old episode of a TV detective show that incorporated this as a major plot point, some show-off incompetent upstart detective was having incredible luck with his detecting skills in a particular case…it turned out he was faking his detecting, his Mom worked at a call center and had overheard 2 perps discussing the crime while they were on hold.

When I worked in a call centre the “put client on hold” button was on the screen. If I pressed that they’d get put onto some sort of music, and I couldn’t hear them. But most of the time I ended up just pressing mute on the dialler instead because it was easier. Then I could hear them (and call centres use headsets, so you can’t really avoid listening to someone when you’ve muted yourself). It wasn’t a particularly smart thing to do though because when you mute yourself it makes your end of the call dead silent, so usually after a while the customer would worry they’d simply been disconnected and say “…hello?”, at which point you’d have to un-mute yourself and assure them you were still there.

This is just my experience from one call centre, but I suspect as a general rule: if you’re listening to music, they can’t hear you.

Tall and tan and young and lovely
The girl from Ipanema goes walking…

Monk - and it was a wannabe detective of some sort.

How unfair that the squeaky wheel always gets the grease.