Retailers Took More Than 3 Minutes To Answer Customer Service Calls On Cyber Monday

While not as many people went shopping over the weekend as they did during last year’s holiday, retailers still sold billions of dollars worth of stuff in just a few days, and some of that stuff was damaged or otherwise required calls to customer service. But not every seller was terribly eager or prepared to deal with the onslaught of phone calls.

The folks at StellaService checked out customer service wait times at 40 of the nation’s biggest retailers over the weekend and found that wait times ranged from as little as a few seconds to… well, GameStop.

The rugged but handsome customer service reps at L.L. Bean won the weekend with the shortest wait times on each day. Cyber Monday was the Bean’s best day, as callers only waited 6 seconds to reach a human. Black Friday was the slowest response from the Maine-based retailer, though 10 seconds is still impressive. In fact, L.L. Bean’s holiday weekend numbers were all better than its monthly average wait time of 35 seconds.

It was a significant drop-off after the #1 spot, according to the StellaService numbers. On Cyber Monday, the second-best retailer was Lululemon, which averaged 27 seconds before answering. J.Crew had the #2 stats from Saturday and Sunday at 25 seconds.

Black Friday was the day with the average shortest wait time, at 29 seconds for the 10 fastest retailers — in order: L.L. Bean, Under Armour, J.Crew, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Lululemon, Lands End, Nordstrom, Crate & Barrel, Amazon. The average of all retailers was 132 seconds, with the worst-performing companies averaging more than seven minutes (447 seconds).

Cyber Monday was the day with the longest response time, with the top performers averaging 41 seconds, the slowest retailers clocking in at nearly 11 minutes, and the entire group of 40 sellers averaging 186 seconds before reaching a human.

Only four retailers — L.L.Bean, J.Crew, Saks, and Amazon — made the top 10 in all three weekend segments, while Lululemon, Lands End, Crate & Barrel, Under Armour, Sephora, Estee Lauder, and Neiman Marcus managed to appear in two of three top 10 lists.

While StellaService doesn’t name the worst-performing companies, it does call out a number of businesses with problematic weekends.

For example, when Best Buy’s website crashed on Black Friday, the retailer’s average wait time on the phone jumped to 7.5 minutes. One StellaService caller waited more than 17 minutes.

Apple, which didn’t make any of the top 10 lists, had wait times similar to those around the launch of the iPhone 6, with one caller on hold for more than 15 minutes.

Callers to Newegg’s customer service line weren’t always able to get through, according to StellaService, which says that only about 55% of its attempts to reach someone were successful, compared to a 90% success rate in 2013.

These are all much better than GameStop, which was the only retailer in the survey to not answer any phone calls on either Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

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