Here are a few handy translations for the things companies tell you while you’re on hold with them.
“Owing to a larger-than-normal call volume…”
Oh, my word, there are so many people calling us just before the Christmas shipping deadline! We couldn’t possibly have anticipated this, just as we couldn’t have anticipated it when it happened exactly the same way at exactly the same time for the past seven years.
“For answers to many commonly-asked questions, visit our website at…”
We’d so much rather pay for a few hits on our server than for a human being to talk to you.
“Please listen carefully, as our options have changed.”
Too many people had figured out they could get through to someone by pressing zero.
“Please remain on the line to maintain your priority sequence.”
Some psychology major figured out that “maintain your priority sequence” sounds subjectively faster than “keep your place in line.” (At least, it did five years ago. When you first started holding on this call.)
(music music music)
We hate you and want you to suffer while you wait.
(music music music) “Please continue to hold.”
Not only do we hate you and want you to suffer, we also think you don’t know how “hold” works.
(an audio ad for the company)
We’ve somehow decided that a customer who’s feeling frustrated and resentful after half an hour on hold will be receptive to a sales pitch. Hey, you never know!
“Your call is important to us.”
Just keep telling yourself that.
But every once in a while, there’s also a…
“If you would like to leave a call-back number where we can reach you…”
…which translates to, “We get it. Your time matters to you. So we invested a little capital in a call-back system that will free up a phone line at our end, and stop wasting time on yours.” Hold that company tight and never let them go.