Being put on hold is the worst. The endless, looped muzak is bad enough to drive even mild mannered listeners insane. And the lengths that companies are willing to go to get me to just forget about my complaint and hang up really put a dent in the days’ productivity. Thank goodness then, that the app gods have finally devised a way to get around the purgatory of being put on hold.
Currently, there are a couple of apps on the market designed to help circumnavigate the endless automated hold times most of us encounter when trying to change or plan, complain about a service or talk to a human being for once.
The first of those is Lucy Phone. Lucy Phone takes the frustration out of service calls by putting up with the hold music for you. Just dial the number through the app and proceed with your call as usual.
If you have to be put on hold for any reason, just press “**” the muzak will stop and Lucy Phone will start monitoring the call. On screen you’ll see the amount of time that has elapsed while you’re on hold. Just take a glance at the screen periodically and continue on living your life in the meantime.
Once a service representative is available, Lucy Phone will notify you. You can either pick up and talk with the representative, hang up on them for making you wait so long, or turn the tables and keep them on hold via Lucy Phone until they hang up or you’ve decided that they’ve suffered enough.
It won’t cut down on hold time, but it will put control back into your hands. And you’d be surprised about how quickly that takes the frustration out of the hold experience. The Lucy Phone app is available for Apple and Android Phones.
The second hold-thwarting app is Fast Customer. Fast Customer allows you to skip the hold process altogether. It is essentially a call back service. Through the app, you tell Fast Customer who to call. Just input the number and the department you’d like to be put into contact with.
Fast Customer claims to have over 3,000 companies on file in their extended database. And each of these companies has all the pertinent information like available departments for common queries — it’s basically a digital form of the key prompt menu you’d have to go through if you called personally.
Once you’ve input all of the relevant information, give them your call back number. Fast Customer will contact the company, wait on hold if necessary and then call you when the customer service representative is ready to talk to you.
It’s really the best way to prevent being put on hold. Lucy Phone offers a version of this service as well, but I’ve tried both and I found it much easier to navigate this service via Fast Customer. Plus Fast Customer is available on a wider variety of platforms including Apple, Android and Kindle Fire.
Although on both services, there’s nothing from preventing the customer service representative from hanging up just before you’re able to answer the phone. Luckily, you can just call back while avoiding hold times.