Tired of waiting on hold? Join the revolution! #HoldNoMore

Phone box australian outback 2

This branded content is written by me and sponsored by HoldNoMore.org.

One of the more vexing things about travelling is when something happens that requires me to make a phone call. Ok, so being caught up in a mafia gunfight would also probably be a bit of a bother, but we’ll stick with the phone call for this post.

Usually, this happens because a bank transaction has been turned down by a helpfully protective automated security system, which thinks my desire to buy a beer thousands of miles from the last place I bought a beer is A Bad Thing. Bless it’s little robot socks.

After I’ve scrabbled around for local change (or found a friend with pockets full of local currency), had said beer, and pondered as to the inevitable robot uprising, I then at some point have to Make A Phone Call to unlock future beer purchases.

Obviously as I’m overseas, this is usually achieved via the magic of Skype, or Google Hangouts, or whichever internet technology offers me the cheapest calling experience from wherever I am.

The process requires me to first synchronise my time with the customer service hours of whomever I’m calling. Hint: always pick services with 24 hour customer services to avoid being that person on hold at 3am.

I then have to track down the international phone number for the outfit I’m calling. Sometimes this is helpfully printed on the bank card. Other times it’s hidden very far away in the depths of a customer service website.

Finally, I get to place my call across the gulf of thousands of miles through globe spanning wires, at which point I am greeted by an excited robot voice, thanking me for my custom.

Then I’m put on hold.

If I’m lucky (I use the word loosely), there will be some decent hold music that will tinnily warble away at me as the minutes pass on by. If I’m unlucky, I’ll get to listen to something that sounds like someone found a MIDI sequencer from 1984, and has looped four bars of it for eternity, interspersed with messages telling me that “Your custom is important to us”.

This will go on for some time.

After all this, I will finally get through to an actual person. Who will invariably be barely able to understand me due to the poor quality of my internet connection, and likely hang up. If I’m more lucky, they’ll be able to understand me, but then we’ll get disconnected anyway.

If I’m really really lucky, I’ll be able to actually talk to them and resolve the problem.

That usually happens on around the fourth try, by which point I’m thinking that our ancestors decision to give up pebbles as a form of payment and telegrams as a means of communication was A Bad Idea.

Anyway, it turns out that my frustration with being on hold is not something I am alone in! Let’s have a look at some fascinating facts.

  • 53% of Americans say they spend 10 to 20 Minutes on hold every week, which adds up to
    13 hours annually
  • 86% of consumers report being put on hold every time they call a business
  • American consumers have wasted over 60 million precious hours waiting on hold
  • 270 billion customer service calls are handled annually, with roughly 50 percent unresolved

You may be wondering, well, this is all jolly sad and annoying, but what can *I*, a mere person at the mercy of the call centre system, actually *do* about it?

53d6d1ba-20fb-11e5-b40f-22000af93a2dWell, I have good news! The time has come to make your voice heard! Enter the #HoldNoMore campaign, with the goal of stamping out having to hold at all, and move us instead towards a non-voice based messaging system utopia. All of the text, none of the music!

A wondrous vision!

Imagine being able to drink *all* the beer, and then converse happily via text with someone who will respond to you at some point and not judge your slurring OR hang up on you because your internet connection / beer intake renders you indecipherable!

I know, it’s a world changing vision.

All you have to do to make this utopian vision a reality is head on over to the HoldNoMore campaign website, and vote for whichever company raises your ire the most with their hold tactics.

Then a giant truck covered in speakers will rock up and play said companies hold music right at them! This seems entirely fair as a starting point – an opening salvo in the war on hold music. Presumably, after listening to said hold music for a period of time, the message might be received that an alternative solution, not involving holding at all, could be found.

Since those nice people at AT&T were so good as to invent the concept of being on hold, it seemed only fair for them to take the brunt of the first #HoldNoMore speaker truck excursion, happily rendered for your viewing pleasure in the video below.

After initial voting on which brand should "face the music" , the hold no more group took action and blasted their LA building

If you want to get even more involved, you can do so by taking to social media, and posting a picture of yourself on hold. With your “hold face”. Hashtag, you guessed it: #holdface. Go get em… and share your best in the comments below! Until the next time… please wait… your attention is important to us.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of HoldNoMore.org. The opinions and text are all mine.

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