We’re sorry. Your call is very important to us. Please remain on the line, and the next available customer service representative will be with you shortly.
Sound familiar? Well, it should, as many telephone systems have similar recordings that usually repeat every 30 seconds while you wait on hold for 3 minutes… or 30 minutes… it really depends on who you are, and reason you are “on hold”.
If I am ordering a pizza, for instance, and I get put on hold for more than 5 minutes, I know they are busy, and I will often just hang up and dial another establishment. But if I am trying to reach my credit card company or cable provider, I usually have a reason that I need to call them in particular, not someone else. Oftentimes, it does not matter when I call, I will be put on hold.
In the old days, you would be put on hold and hear nothing. Silence. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? But I guess some people did not know if they were still on hold after hearing silence for a few minutes, so someone invented “music on hold”. The music source could be a service like Muzak but usually, it was just a short loop recording of classical music that would repeat.
Then one day, someone (let’s call him or her The Devil) got the bright idea to add the “We’re sorry. Your call is very important to us…” and made it REPEAT OVER AND OVER. Does this really help anyone? Seriously, I swear, it was The Devil, Bobby Boucher, The Devil!
The last time I was put on hold, it was even worse: in between the verbal lashings of digitally remastered sarcasm mentioned above, they had inter-weaved advertisements for their services! It was at that moment that I realized we need a revolution. If We, The People, have to be put on hold, we demand respect; I personally think we should be educated and/or entertained while on hold. Here is what I think should happen:
You have been put on hold and you are listening to an automated telephone system. I will try to make it as painless as possible by speaking to you in a polite, personal tone.
First, push 1 to mute me at anytime; push 1 to un-mute me.
You will be on hold for approximately 10 minutes. That is a estimate, and I will try to keep you updated if that amount of time changes significantly. You can press 2 at any time to find out the estimated time you will still be on hold.
Now for some entertainment, if you are in the mood for it…
Press 3 for local news, sports, traffic, and weather forecasts
Press 4 to listen to light classical music
Press 5 for jazz, funk, and r&b music
Press 6 for rock or indie music
Press 7 for rap and hip hop music
Press 8 for country music
Press 9 to hear these options again
Otherwise, I will leave you to wait in silence, ok? Just speak up if you need something. Sorry about putting you on hold. I know its really rude, but we do it to keep our internal expenses to a minimum, which in the end, should mean cheaper prices for you. Thanks for waiting.