Here at STELLAService, we try not to name names when complaining, but I’m sure you can think of a company whose customer service call hold times are consistently so long that you have to block out a time for it in your schedule.
What if I told you that you’ll never have to wait on hold again? Meet LucyPhone, a free service dedicated to preventing the many headaches, neck cramps, and frustration caused by long hold times. Featured most recently in a New York Times article and also on Lifehacker and The Consumerist blogs, LucyPhone does the holding for you. Log on to LucyPhone.com and create your free account. Back on the homepage, you can search for the company within their existing directory of used numbers, or enter the number you wish to call. You then enter your own phone number, and click start. Within seconds, LucyPhone calls you, and reminds you how things work, then connects you to the number you entered online. Things start off as they normally would, until you get put on hold to wait for the “next available customer service representative.”
How many times have you wanted to hang up at this point? After ten minutes? Twenty? An hour? Now you can. When put on hold while using LucyPhone, you simply press ”**” and your phone will be disconnected, while Lucy stays on the line. Feel free to do other things, without having to hear annoying hold music or needing to keep your head pressed to the phone waiting for an answer. When a live agent is on the line, Lucy calls you back immediately and connects you both. If you get put on hold again, just press “**” again!
While LucyPhone’s success does require some cooperation from representatives (albeit this is minimal – when they pick up your call they hear a recording telling them to press “1″ in order to be connected with the awaiting customer), LucyPhone is mutually beneficial for the customer service representatives.
“We’ve cooled their jets a little,” co-founder Tom Oristian said of LucyPhone customers. “These agents are delighted to have customers ready to talk about the problem at hand instead of ranting about how long they’ve been on hold.”
Now, if only there was a solution for waiting in long store check-out lines…
DISCLAIMER: While LucyPhone helps to make things less annoying and more convenient, a long wait for a response is annoying and inconvenient regardless of how the time “on hold” is spent. This invention does not mean –and this post is not trying to suggest- that long call hold times are now okay. Sorry!