Don’t take it personally if you can’t reach Bank of America to renegotiate your mortgage payments. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) tried calling the bank on behalf of two constituents, only to be “repeatedly put on hold for long stretches, disconnected, transferred to extensions that did not work, and ultimately switched to a recording which directed her to the bank’s website.”
Last Friday we posted that a customer in D.C. was on hold with RCN’s tech support for over 7 hours. (And no, she didn’t sit next to the phone that entire time—she periodically checked in to see whether she’d been disconnected, but always heard the same hold music and message.) We received several comments—one from the Senior Director of Operations at RCN—saying that her call had likely been dropped from the system. But Meredith says someone finally did answer her call. Here’s her story and the RCN Director’s version.
Meredith has been on hold with RCN’s tech support line for over seven hours now. She’s put down the phone and keeps doing other things, but whenever she goes back to see if they’ve finally disconnected her, she hears their “please hold” message and music. Apparently RCN doesn’t think you need tech support over the weekend.
Mike and his wife are backpacking their way around the world, and like a smart consumer, before they left he looked around for a credit card without a currency conversion charge. Capital One is fee free, which in theory makes it ideal for travel. In reality, there are hidden costs, and they’re called human stupidity and random interpretation of the rules. As a consequence, he’s “pre-paid” $6,000 onto a Capital One card that has been red-flagged and frozen, and Capital One refuses to budge—even though they acknowledge there are notes on the account that indicated he would do this before he did it, and even though they’re the ones who told him to pre-pay.
Andrew is trying to cancel Vonage, but the hold message is driving him insane. After the 6th minute on hold, the smooth jazz went away and now Andrew is being forced to listen to the same chanting “call volume” message over and over again. He’s awash in a sea of his own rage—which will no doubt be directed at whatever CSR finally picks up.
Forget muzak, Seattle-based Mad Pizza decided to spice up their hold music by playing N.W.A’s “Fuck Tha Police.” Clint Brownlee over at Seattlest made the discovery on Sunday night while trying to order a pizza.
When the Mad Pizza dude picked up the line again we were conflicted–should we ask if he knew (or cared) what people on hold were hearing? Should we pretend to be offended and hang up? We stammered and, lacking the adventurous nature of our 15-year old self, just ordered a pizza.
We would gladly listen to N.W.A rather than the bland mix of soft jazz or lite rock most companies use to avoid offending anyone’s delicate sensibilities. Do you care what you listen to while on hold? Tell us in the comments. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER