Reminding you that your call is very important to us

This probably belongs in the Pit, but thought I’d ask & see if there’s any logical explanation first…
So I get it that big mega corporations are cheap & therefore don’t staff enough such that you are kept on hold for an excessive period of time. (ie > 20 mins with Verizon today) I get that they play non-offensive elevator music so that I know I’m on hold. While listening tosaid non-offensive elevator music in the background, I can go on to some other task until I hear a voice on the the phone.

Why then do they insist on breaking in every 30 sec or minute with, “your call is very important to us & you’ll speak to the next available agent”?
Instead of allowing me to accomplish something else while I’m sitting with my thumb up my ass waiting for them, I am constantly focusing my attention back to their endlessly repeated sentence because I hear a voice & think that I may finally have come to the front of the queue.
C’mon Dopers, is there any reason that they should do this? Do they really think that I’ll forget I was on hold waiting for them if they don’t remind me of that constantly?

It may be to discourage that brand of fool who would hang up, and call again, hoping to get a real consultant this time. Some people do not get the basic principle of a phone queue.

I agree it’s damned distracting.

I also hate the ones that play the same short bit of music over and over. C’mon, go for a little variety. I adore the ones who have a whole library of Mozart and Vivaldi. Waiting while listening is almost pleasant!

THIS! Yes! I totally agree! I hate the constant interruptions and sales pitches when you’re on hold. I prefer silence so I can go about my work or whatever. Every time the recording comes on I break concentration expecting it to be the operator. Especially when you’re on hold for a long time and you’re keeping yourself busy by watching TV or reading.

Maybe the company thinks that if they repeat the message often enough, you’ll start to believe that your call really is important to them.

It’s the insulting insane contradiction that has me ready to scream at the poor human being who finally does answer my call. For 20 minutes, you’ve been repeatedly telling me “A” as part of the process of very effectively demonstrating “not-A”.

I was on hold a long time some company once, can’t remember who it was, but it was clear they had some algorithm to their reminders. At first you got one every 20-30 sec and the interval gradually increased so that by the end of your 20min wait you might only hear a reminder every 2-3 min. I liked it.

This is what I want hear: “All associates are busy, we will call you back when a rep is available. Please be near your phone. You may hang up now… The wait time is 10 min.”

Some services offer: “Press # if you’d prefer to wait without music.”

NJ Unemployment has this…but only if you call w/in the first ½ hour or so of when they open in the morning. They tell you an estimated callback time, which can be as little as 10 minutes.
When I asked why you didn’t get that message later in the day, I was told that after the queue fills up & you just have to wait on the phone the 1½-2 hours (yes, hours) until someone can speak with you. Ummm, seems to me when your wait is hours is when you’d want this service. :smack:

That’s what gets me, the blatant hypocrisy of the message. My call is so important that I’m put on hold indefinitely by a machine and force-fed elevator music. :smack:

When you call “customer” service at Social Security, they have an option like this. It’s not automatic; you get a prompt, and you press some number to opt in. The few times I’ve done that, they . . .

REALY DID call back! And within roughly the promised time frame too!Well, how about THAT?

I hate that stuff. Yeah, it is so important we can’t give a shit if we waste 30 minutes of your time because we are cheap bastards.

On the other hand I got placed in a queue at some mob that had the option of leaving my name and number and they would call back and I would not lose my place in the queue, Must be a hell of a queue- that was three weeks ago and they still haven’t rung.

The best and most honest one I have ever heard was the British High Commission in Australia. I rang them with a question about getting my new UK passport. When I was first stuck in a queue I was offered a choice of waiting for the next available operator, in about 20 minutes, or transferring to a premium service that charged X cents per minute and would be answered immediately.

As it happened I was in no hurry so I simply waited but I loved the idea that, if I had not wanted to wait, for a few bucks I could jump the queue. I have never heard of anyone else offering that option and I’m sure that in plenty of circumstances it would be popular.

As to the OP it gives me the shits too. I find a radio station is the least objectionable background noise. I recall once getting caught up in some discussion and being pissed off when the operator was now suddenly available.

Novell used to have a “hold jockey”, basically a DJ who would play music, and every so often give a traffic report: “We have three people holding in the Netware queue, and two in the GroupWise queue…” This gave you at least a sense of how long you were going to be waiting.

I toured the Novell headquarters once, and the hold jockey studio was a highlight. They no longer do this anymore, probably due to cost. Pity.

What I hate about it is the volume difference. If I’m making a call from work, I want to set the phone to quietly play the background music so I can leave it on speaker. What I am often faced with is music so quiet that I have to turn up the volume to hear it at all (and to feel any assurance that I’ll hear a pick-up), interspersed with the usual idiotic announcements and sales fluff (repeated ad nauseam) played so loud that I do not dare leave the volume up that high:

“Thank you for calling the Highly Embarrassing Agency! Your [del]public humiliation[/del] call is very important to us! Please [del]keep pressing that sweaty handset to your ear so that no one knows you’re calling us[/del] remain on the line!” Even legitimate business calls shouldn’t be broadcast throughout the building, much less my private business.

But, if they do that, they can’t make you hold long enough that you just give up. Seriously–that is part of the reason.

To this day I can’t listen to Symphonia Concertante.

Tried a different phone number for them, this time the message I heard was, “We’re working to connect you to the next available agent in less than 60 seconds”. I thought this meant that I was coming up to the end of the queue.
About the fifth or sixth time I heard it I realized it was similar to “I want a Ferrari, Lambo, & Bentley in the garages of my mansion” - Yeah, it’s what I want but I don’t expect that to happen either. :smack:

Why can’t they just say your expected hold time is ___ mins & then play music for that amount of time. Geez, you’d think a technology provider would have some technology of their own.