On-Hold Music

Posted By Debbie on November 8, 2010

Part of the user experience is customer support, and part of that is your hold music. Last week, I was on hold for Quickbooks for about a half hour. That’s a lot of time to listen to hold music and have a certain experience.

This was the most depressing music I’ve ever heard. Minor-keyed, slow-moving symphonic movements. Depressing bass clarinets. Old standards done in electric pianos. Horrible. I would hang up if Quickbooks worked as promised, and I didn’t need to use it right now.

In the 1990s, I used a long distance phone company called Working Assets. Their whole angle was that a percentage of your monthly bill was given to green charities. That sounded good to me at a liberal, liberal arts college. Whenever I used to call them for support or issues, the ONLY song their on-hold played was Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35.” You’d know that song as the musical vehicle that reminds you over and over that everybody must get stoned.

But back to Quickbooks. Why am I on hold for 25 minutes on the last mailing day for when quarterly payroll has to be mailed (I’m writing this on 30 October 2010)? Didn’t anybody think there may be more action today, and put more staff on? It’s an instant gratification world, and I don’t know why I’m on hold for a half hour.

My estimated hold time of 25 minutes was 35 minutes, and then the agent told me that the payroll department is off for the weekend. Again, today is the last day to mail in quarterly payroll reports and be on time. You’d think someone might being in some payroll support guys today.