Help, I’m a Hold Hostage

September 26, 2007 at 2:15 am (Uncategorized)

Today’s post was going to be about cab hailing etiquette, but having just spent another twenty minutes holding for the privilege of speaking to another human being, I’ve changed my mind. I feel like ranting, and ranting good.

What is it, tell me someone, please, that makes the experience of sitting on hold so enraging? I even had David Bowie to listen to this time – much better than the usual punishing soundtrack of wind instruments and harps – but still I fumed. I think part of it was the fact that I was holding for a Virgin Mobile customer service representative, so it was the unfunny irony of wanting to speak to someone on the phone about my phone, and feeling that they were in fact hell bent on refusing this customer any service at all. As far as withholding goes, I can confirm they’re doing a fine job.

I’d move my phone account to Telstra, but for the fact that every single month without fail, I have to sit on the phone holding, holding, still holding, waiting to talk to someone about why they keep sending me an inflated internet account. Llew and I have had to start taking it in turns, because every four weeks, we receive a bill that ignores our contract, and every time it happens, we have to call and… hold. Then once we finally get through, we have to patiently (who am I kidding? Really impatiently) repeat ourselves. After an hour or so on the phone (“We’re just going to transfer you to Telstra mobiles”; “No, stop, wait, they’re going to send us back to you, this is our internet account”; “I can’t help you, this is a Telstra mobile query”; “[muttered expletives] I’m telling you, it’s not, and they’ll transfer me back to you”; “Please hold”), they inevitably credit our account to the tune of about $150, and it’s over for another month. But no one does anything to stop it happening next time. No amount of crying, begging, or screaming has any effect. And so it’s always down to us, month after month, to tell them their business. It’s exhausting. It’s time-consuming. It’s expensive.

And do you know what really, really drives me up the wall so high that my skirt falls over my head? I’m a hostage, an absolutely captive audience. They have me over a barrel from which vantage point they can just keep pounding my sorry arse. If I want to be connected – to the internet, to the mobile network, to – let’s face it – the outside world – then I have to just drop my drawers and take it. Man, it makes me B-U-R-N (even without the suddenly rather unfortunate metaphor).

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