Mankind will die while on hold to customer services, survey says

19 November 2008

For how many minutes of our fleeting lives do we speak slowly into a telephone, as if ordering a main course in a foreign restaurant? How many seconds do we weep tears of frustration? For how long do we bang our head relentlessly off the desktop in the hope it will cause some seismic shift in the fundamental workings of the universe?

If you really want to know, then collectively it's about 5.8 billion hours a year. Yes, that's how much time UK consumers spend dealing with customer service staff. Put another away, every week we kiss goodbye to 136 minutes of our precious existence that we'll never see again. If only goods and services actually worked properly, then maybe we could put that time to more productive use, like avoiding mass recession.

Interestingly, the  DHL Express survey of more than 1200 British adults shows over one in four of us consider customer services before making a purchasing decision; if we're going to commit our scant income to a particular item or service, we need to feel reassured that somebody will help if it all goes tits up. Women are more concerned about customer service compared to men, which is obvious because all men are heartless bastards, at least according to a recent survey conducted by me of one ex-girlfriend.

What conclusions do you take from the survey? That UK business is geared towards providing the best possible service for consumers? Or that everything is broken and never works the way it says it will on the box?

TOPICS:   How To Guides

1 comment

  • Shawn D.
    Paul, Sorry to hear that this is as bad in the U.K. as it is in the states. Is there as much outsourcing of customer service and tech support? I think our time spent dealing with customer service has increased due to this phenomenon. Much of the customer service (and tech support) in the U.S. has been outsourced to India and, although we speak the same language it is often hard to communicate. This increases the time for each call and therefore the wait time. It's the old "two countries seperated by a common language scenario.

What do you think?

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