“Your call is valued”- most annoying call waiting feature revealed

A new Which? survey reveals the most frustrating features of waiting for your call to be answered.

A study of 2,260 Which? members showed that around half (47%) found being told that your call is valued was the most annoying feature while waiting for your call to be answered. This was followed by being directed to the company’s website (28%) and apologies for all operators being busy (11%).

When it comes to the most annoying sounds, an engaged tone (29%) tops the list followed by rock music (22%) and background music with no specific tune (21%). Around half (48%) said that classical music was the most soothing while waiting.

Waiting for your call to be answered is frustrating, but there are things that can be done. When asked about the most useful features to hear, a third (33%) cited being told how long you have to wait, followed by where you are in the queue (32%), and the offer of being called back if you leave your number (30%).

As part of our latest research, we also found around nine in ten (93%) felt that the maximum time they’re prepared to wait should be no longer than five minutes.

Some companies are leading the way in improving customer experience with consumers telling us that Aviva allows you to choose your hold music, Screwfix tells you your place in the queue and Amazon calls you for free after requesting via their website.

Conversely, HMRC were singled out for criticism by some Which? members for not giving information on your place in the queue and being encouraged to visit their website.

Richard Headland, Editor of Which? magazine, said:

“Waiting on hold is a waste of time, but some organisations make the experience needlessly annoying through objectionable messages and music. If these drive you round the bend, vote with your feet and take your custom elsewhere. The best companies know the value of answering your call quickly.”

Notes to eds

  1. Survey – 2,260 Which? members were surveyed between 14th and 29th July 2016 on their experience of call waiting times.


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