Royal Bank of Canada and Worst Use of “On Hold”

Last night, I got a call from RBC, where they wanted to tell me about some exciting new service or something. It started with a recorded message, the end of which asks me to wait for the next representative. It was immediately followed by a message thanking me for waiting.

Hold on. You called me. And then you immediately put me on hold? This is perhaps the dumbest thing I have every heard of. Okay, if I’m calling you, then I can understanding waiting for someone. You can’t predict how many people will call. But when you call me, you had better be prepared, immediately, to talk to me.

I gave them 10 seconds, prepared to make the poor sod who had the misfortune of being assigned to me aware of just how stupid this was. After 10 seconds, I was done. Why not wait longer, and really let them know? Well, they had the called during the final 10 minutes of the 3rd period of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Rangers and the Devils. The game was tied (as was the series), and the Devils were showing some spark on their forecheck. I was tempted to ignore the call, but if I did, they would just keep trying. Better to answer and cut them off with “no thanks” than put up with them calling day after day. And before anyone says anything: while I am on the Canadian Do Not Call list, RBC is legally allowed to call me because they are a business I deal with regularly.

So here is a customer service tip: don’t go out of your way to contact a customer, and then immediately ignore them. This is not an effective way to engender good feelings toward your company. The only way to describe this kind of tactic: stupid, moronic, idiotic, dumb.

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