Everyone’s got a horror story about being put on hold — the time you were able to get a load of laundry washed and dried or beat an entire video game in the time it took to speak with a living, breathing human. Sometimes we just give up out of frustration. But one businessman put on hold with Qantas Airlines decided to ride it out for as long as “as soon as possible” would take. That turned out to be more than 15 hours.
The Telegraph says the Australian man simply wanted to confirm his flight to New York, and claims he was on the phone longer than it would’ve taken him to just fly to New York. He was on the line for 15 hours, 40 minutes and one second, he says, before he finally threw in the towel. You’re a more determined man than I, sir.
He was placed in a queue and told he’d be attended to “as soon as possible.”
“I wanted to find out what exactly they meant would be as soon as possible,” he said. “When it got to over two or three hours that was the point where it was like: ‘OK let’s ride this out’”.
So what did he do all that time? Surfed the web, took a nap and caught up on some reading.
“I also managed to read Bazerman & Moore’s seventh edition of Judgment in Managerial Decision Making — more than 200 pages of advanced master’s level reading,” he said.
Eventually he burned out, saying, “I hung up in the end simply because I had had enough.”
And the decidedly undelicious icing on this cake of CSR woe? When he called back, successfully, he was told he hadn’t, in fact, been booked on his flight because of a code error in reservations.
Qantas says it’s investigating, but that it had yet to find a record of the man’s marathon wait.
“In fact, our average contact centre wait time during that period was under a minute and the longest wait time was 17 minutes,” a spokesman said. The man also says his call will be reimbursed if he can prove his wait with his phone records, and he’s back on his flight.
Feel free to share your worst “I’m on hold forever and ever oh my god will this ever end my life feels meaningless” horror stories. Although we hope no one has ever decided to hang on for 15 hours just for the fun of it.
‘Welcome to Qantas, please hold’ – for 15 hours [The Telegraph]