A letter writer is frustrated with how long she has to wait on hold for customer service.

Held hostage on the phone

BC Hydro, Telus, Shaw, etc. are the companies that I find are the worst for making their customers wait so long on hold.

I typed this email after just hanging up the phone with Shaw, where I just wasted one hour and 23 minutes of my life that I won’t get back, and I am quite angry.

After waiting on hold for all that time, I reluctantly hung up the phone and I still had not spoken to anyone.

Various voices kept telling me how “important” I was and to just keep holding, as well as letting me know that they had different things to offer me. Companies like this have you at a disadvantage while you are on hold and they take the opportunity to try and sell you upgrades.

BC Hydro, Telus, Shaw, etc. are the companies that I find are the worst for making their customers wait so long on hold. These big companies keep raising their prices, but they can never seem to find any extra money to hire more staff to man the phones, so that their “important” customers won’t have to wait so long on hold.

It doesn’t seem to matter the day or time you call, you almost always have to wait on hold for at least 40 minutes or longer. Sometimes I think that when they realize you have been on hold for a long time, they don’t want to press that button and speak to you because they somehow know that you will most likely be irate for having waited so long.

This goes hand-in-hand with my decision – do I hang up after I have waited for an hour or so, or do I keep hanging on because I could be next? I chose to hang up and immediately realized that I still had an unanswered question, and I will eventually have to call back again.

And if anyone is wondering, I have sent emails to these companies and I find the average time it takes to get a response is usually a week.

I just can’t figure out that in today’s world of everything going faster, this is the one thing that has remained the same since the telephone was invented.


S. Jane Stevens


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