Wednesday, December 21, 2005

How long will I be on hold at Hershey's

PITTSBURGH. 8 minutes ago, I called Hershey's to check the status of a gift order. The phone was answered immediately. A pleasant woman came on the phone. Once she determined that I was not calling to buy anything, I was bounced over to customer service. I'm still holding, listening to staticy music. Included in the music is an occasional apology from a slick and sympathetic sounding mail and female voice in alternation. Occasionally the music is interrupted by a recorded apology from a woman asking me to continue to hold. I'll write this post in real-time for the duration.

I've just crossed the 13 minute threshold...If you were really sorry about me having to hold, you would have helped me when you originally answered the phone. I've just crossed the 15 minute barrier...The female interruption seems to come every 40 seconds. While she makes no promises the people in the music promise to be back in a moment.

Nineteen minutes on hold! And a person comes on the line...a real live person. She is very helpful, and since my order has been delayed past the requested date (a birthday present for my sister), she is able to offer me a full refund! What a surprise. She even has a reason -- delays in the warehouse caused by weather related shutdowns.

At least for my investment in time, I got some genuine resolution and customer service, but it burns me up to think that I got bounced into phone jail as soon as they determined that I was not calling credit card in hand.

Total call time 24 minutes and 38 seconds.

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