I’m typing this as my phone, on speaker mode, launches, once more, into the interminable series of, what I can only describe as, musac. So far this has only been on repeat for an hour today. Last week, on just one day, I listened to it for a continuous six hours…

The most irritating thing is that if I’d known where I was in the queue then when it got dangerously close to the time I had to go and do something else, and therefore end the call, I could have made a calculated decision. Still 1000th in line, fair enough, never going to get to the front in time. But what if I’d been 2nd in line… how infuriating would that have been.

Actually that was not the most irritating thing. The most irritating thing had been the day before when I’d queued (only three hours that time) then (hallelujah) someone had answered and I’d spent a decent length of time changing a mandate for a client. The customer service representative, I’ll call him Matthew, was helpful and knew what he was doing (unlike the bloke the day before who’d cut the call as soon as I’d got through security… suspicious? Yes, I think so) but Matthew even stayed on the line when he emailed me the new mandate forms to check they arrived safely.

I actually felt like I’d achieved something.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

 

Unfortunately, Matthew had spotted that my clients, a charity, had the wrong sort of accounts set up and before the mandate could be activated I needed to have them changed over into charity accounts. Just give them a call, he said…

That’s where the six hours came in…

I was on such a high with actually having managed to sort out the mandate I decided to tackle the account issue that very same day. What a mistake.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

 

I did get through to someone. Unfortunately, that someone told me I couldn’t just ‘transfer the accounts over into charity accounts’ I had to set up new accounts instead, and he couldn’t do that, I needed to speak to a different department.

And it was at that point I realised all the good work I’d done with Matthew had been a complete waste of time, because the mandate, he’d so efficiently sent over, would now have all the wrong account numbers in it… I think it might have been at this point I had a little sob…

 

This guy, un-phased by me clearly having some kind of breakdown on the other end of the line (he must be used to it) said he’d put me through to the right department but actually all that happened was I re-joined the queue… and the musac started all over again…

Yes, that was definitely the most irritating thing. All that time wasted in achieving precisely nothing.

Is it any wonder everyone’s mental health is suffering when they’re faced with this kind of crap?

And yes, I know things are really tough right now and that because of Covid-19 the numbers of those manning the customer service desks are right down, believe me I’m all about forbearance, but I’ll say two things to any entity that has one of these queuing systems:

  1. Have a numbering system so we know where we are in that damned queue, and can make decisions accordingly.
  2. And play some decent music! I can’t believe it is beyond the system’s capabilities not to be able to load up an hour long playlist of upbeat tunes? At least we could have a dance while we wait…

And on that note, I’d definitely include this one…

 

How about you, have you had any need to call some big company recently? I do hope not, for your sake! And what songs you would want in that playlist?

 

Image by No-longer-here from Pixabay

10 Responses to Hanging on the telephone… a bit of a rant… plus an excuse for an obvious bit of Blondie! #MondayBlogs
  1. What a great idea about dance music while you wait. Get my 10 thousand (plus plus) steps in and be feeling great if someone answered the phone. At the very least have achieved the steps.

    • I hadn’t actually thought about getting the steps in Emma, I was more about being able to carry on working without my head exploding! But yours is a great idea, and much more fun!! 😀

  2. Our landline stopped working suspiciously after our neighbour had some work done on their line. There was no online method to get them to check our line. We tried to telephone our supplier but unless we were over 70 or high risk sheltering the automated reply told us they couldn’t help. Same answer on multiple numbers that we tried. Weeks later and more ‘queuing’ we finely found a route to a human who got the line tested and sent an engineer the next day, which made me question if they didn’t have a lot of work on. Maybe because no one could register their fault?

    • How infuriating!! And well done for persevering. I think you’re right, no one could get through.

      On the day I wrote this I was hanging on for 4 hours until someone eventually picked up. Despite being told previously they could help me, they couldn’t, and I have to go into a bank branch. The first appointment, which I took, is in January…

  3. Irritation number 1: Phoning up to report my broadband is down to be told to check the website for information. (We don’t have a mobile signal where we live so if our landline BB isn’t working, that’s it!)
    Irritation number 2: Being given a list of options to press, none of which fit why I’m phoning and there’s no option for “and for anything else”. Which means when you DO get through, like you Georgia, you have to start again because you’ve had to plump for one and it’s the wrong one!
    Emma’s right though – the only plus side is the opportunity to get in that daily step count!

    • I sympathise on both counts, Wendy. I wonder who it is who actually designs these things sometimes. It’s certainly not someone who cares for the customer, although, certainly with banking, that particular ship sailed long ago.

  4. I can feel your frustration, Georgia. These phone systems are a menace at the best of times but I think a lot of companies are using Covid as an excuse for increased inefficiency. Surely, after seven months they would have been able to devise a system for staff taking calls from home or, if that isn’t possible, responding with an efficient online chat system.


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