The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Waiting for the one live voice

By Lindsey Bever/editor-in-chief

   In a society swarming with fast food res-taurants, pay-at-the-pump gas stations and DSL Internet, we can’t tolerate time-consuming activities, finding “Phone frustration” as annoying as telemarketers.
   We have all felt we were living in a Citibank credit card commercial—spending countless moments holding for a live customer service representative. Although we have never caught the kitchen on fire while on hold, we can empathize with the ads’ characters.
   Inside Edition braved the droning elevator music of the Department of Motor Vehicles consumer information lines. Their studies confirmed what we have known for years—yelling at automated phone systems is maddening.
   The Inside Edition researchers called the DMV in each state—four calls at various times on different business days to measure the time the average customer waits for a live operator.
   The DMV in Virginia left researchers on hold for 20 minutes and five seconds, and Connecticut was worse with a holding period of 24 minutes and 40 seconds. The residents of Connecticut and Virginia have my endless admiration and sympathy. But it appears New Hampshire and South Dakota lucked out with an average wait of only 11 seconds. For my fellow Texans, the average DMV holding time totaled five minutes and 51 seconds.
   Unfortunately, our telephone frustrations extend far beyond the state DMV. Inside Edition reported IKEA as the greatest nuisance, leaving their customers on hold for 17 minutes and 48 seconds.
   In light of Inside Edition’s frustrating research, I conducted my own to ascertain the waiting period of frequently called companies after hours, seeing as most Americans work during the day.
   SBC/AT&T put me on hold for 11 minutes and 50 seconds. Atmos Energy’s automated phone system instructed me to leave my name and necessary information and a live representative would call me back in approximately 27-48 minutes. And 48 minutes later I was still waiting. However, 61 minutes later, a real person returned my call.
   Surprisingly, TXU Energy impressed me with an immediate answer from a live representative.
   One interesting finding: If you choose the Spanish option, you’ll get through more quickly.

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