Your estimated hold time is…

Today I was happily going through my morning email and RSS feeds. Then, it happened. My Internet stopped working. The pages didn’t load and the little animation in Google Reader just keep going. I checked my modem and I only had two lights (I need three).

My Internet situation is weird. My previous ISP was owned by the builder of my community. Comcast recently bought that ISP and is in the process of moving everything over. I’m told I will be using Comcast within about two weeks.

My old ISP refuses to answer their phone when customers have a problem and claims they only work 9-5 on Monday through Friday. They also don’t return voicemails. This is an example of bad customer service. It’s far from acceptable and not even close to great.

So, I decided I would give it a shot and call Comcast. I called Comcast and was pleasantly surprised by the easy menus. Push 1 for technical service, push 2 for Internet service. However, Comcast messed up on the next part. The prompt keep babbling about how my call was important and then it did what was just weird:

Your estimated hold time is: Thank you for calling Comcast! Your call is important to us. [more babbling]

It didn’t actually give me the estimated hold time (which I really wanted to know), much less an option to leave a message and get called back or any of the other nice standards one might expect. I was disappointed that their system did not work and even more disappointed when I continued to wait on hold for 10 minutes and no one picked up.

Comcast decided to have soft jazz as hold music. It wasn’t that bad, but every minute or so, the music would be interrupted by an annoying person telling me that my call was important and that the customer service representatives were busy assisting other customers.

I had a similar experience at GoDaddy the other day.

They didn’t give me an estimated hold time, but they did give an option to hold with or without music. I chose with and the music certainly wasn’t soft jazz. It was more like pop or rock music – which is fine, but it’s tough to tell if all customers will like it. Read this post I wrote a while back about hold music and the expected etiquette that you should consider while making customers wait on hold.

However, GoDaddy did something far more annoying than “your call is important to us.” They interrupted the music every minute or so with a sales pitch. They were trying to sell me while I was on hold to get to technical support! GoDaddy is a relentless marketing company, but I didn’t appreciate getting the sales pitch while I was on the phone as well.

These IVR/PBX systems are really annoying. I would much prefer an operator and some classical music or soft jazz. It isn’t complicated and works best for everyone. What are your “on hold” experiences like?

2 Responses to “Your estimated hold time is…”

  1. guy said:

    Nov 19, 08 at 2:20 pm

    I like comcast’s hold music. 🙂

  2. Jason said:

    Sep 11, 09 at 7:12 pm

    I’m on hold with Comcast right now. It’s the same 30 second sample of bad jazz over and over, between playing each is a woman’s voice with a sales pitch for the various services. Hold time is supposed to be about 10 minutes, we’re at 13:00 and counting so far…

    I like how if you choose the “cancel or downgrade” option there’s a long wait time, but when I jumped on my cell and tried the “add service” option I got someone on the phone in two minutes flat.