Can there be anything more irritating than being left waiting on hold when calling a customer service line? Yes. Being left on hold while listening to Justin Bieber on repeat. For 30 minutes.
This was the fresh hell that awaited me last week when I called my broadband provider, and one that has prompted me to ask – do we really need hold music?
It was at around minute 20 of Justin Bieber’s ‘Boyfriend’, that the cynic in me wondered whether the company was deliberately picking awful music in the hope that its customers would give up on the call (so as to retain their sanity). It certainly crossed my mind, but it had become a battle of wills, and I was determined to win this one-sided audio tug of war with Bieber.
I did win in the end, but frankly I came away an empty, soulless husk of a man. Albeit a soulless husk of a man that knew every single word to Justin Bieber’s ‘Boyfriend’.
Don’t get me wrong. I do appreciate that Justin Bieber has his fans but, as they are mostly children, I can’t see many of them calling their broadband supplier as the main account holder to resolve a fault with their router.
Is it time to put a hold on hold music?
Advancements, I’m told, are being made in the world of hold music. Some companies let you select which song or genre of music you would prefer to listen via the keypad. So it could be option ‘one’ for Justin Bieber, or option ‘two’ for the sound of, say, a metal chair being pushed across the world’s biggest dining hall.
Given these two options, my number ‘two’ button would be worn to a nub.
I’ve been told that some people actually enjoy hold music, if you can believe such a thing. Which? Convo’s very own Patrick Steen, has told me that he enjoys calling a company simply because its hold music is the ‘Mahna Mahna’ song from The Muppets. It’s no small coincidence that since he told me this I have stopped acknowledging him in the corridor.
So what’s the solution? Personally, nothing would make me happier than no more hold music, ever. Or at least give me the option to not hear it. Are the companies genuinely fearful that if they don’t pipe out some pop, I might forget what I’m doing and wander off mid-call?
Do you think hold music is a necessary evil that needs to be done away with? And what are your own stories of horrific hold music? Can you beat my Bieber hell?
Hold music or no hold music? That is the question:
No hold music - please save my ears (46%, 161 Votes)
It depends on the music (anything but Justin Bieber) (46%, 161 Votes)
Hold music - I like a tune on customer service lines (7%, 25 Votes)
Total Voters: 355