Staying on hold: why background music is better than chatter

US Mail lost my package. Trying to call them, I am waiting on hold for 25 minutes and counting. But that’s not the most annoying part. The most annoying part is that they use constant chatter about their excellent services instead of background music. A male and a female announcer alternate talking about how priority mail is different from express mail, etc.

If it were background music I could continue working, pretty much ignoring it. When a real person picks up, the rhythm will change, and I will know that I need to talk to them. Replacing background music with chatter, especially when it’s several people taking turns talking, completely kills this option. I need to constantly pay attention, so I can distinguish a customer service representative from the carousel of alternating announcers. Bad, bad user experience decision. Not to mention that 25 minute waiting time is inhumane.

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