Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Hanging On The Telephone

I am pleased to see that our "respected" councils take care not to be too wasteful with our council tax.

Ermmm..actually they don't!

According to a recent Freedom of Information request made to 120 town halls, councils are spending hundreds of thousands of our hard earned council taxes on royalty payments for the right to play pop tunes as "hold music" for those waiting to get through to the council on the phone.

The Mail recently reported that 12 councils, that use pop music, spent £300,000 over the past three years. Doncaster Council admitted spending about £1,000 a year on hold music.

Mayor Ros Jones said:
"We have only just started using more varied and up-to-date music for customers to listen to when on hold or waiting for a response on the phone. 'This has been done to respond to feedback from customers. We regularly use feedback to improve the experience of our customers while ensuring a value-for-money approach."
Why not simply tell the "customers" where they are in the queue?

That's surely royalty free is it not?

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  1. The last time I had the misfortune of having to call the JobCentre, I had the 'pleasure' of listening to Vivaldi's Primavera, albeit a very scratchy and rough version. But I think they're doing right; you do not have to fork out for modern rubbish when there's plenty of free-to-use music made specially for this kind of thing on top of all the lovely classics now well out of copyright. How about a rendition of Holst's 'Mars: The Bringer of War'?

  2. Lord of Atlantis12:16 PM

    "Why not simply tell the "customers" where they are in the queue?"

    Or, better still, employ enough people to answer the phone, even if it means cutting executive's perks, so that there is no need for callers to have to listen to inane music and an irritating voice at frequent intervals, stating that "your call is very important to us" and "you are in a queue, and your call will be answered as quickly as possible." No it's not! If my call was important to you, you would not keep me on hold for 20, 30 or more minutes!

    1. Very well said my Lord!

      My local council have "an award winning system" now. Basically, when you call the local council, you get through to their own call centre and they then put you through to the person you need to talk to but, they do actually have some authority to make some decisions themselves on minor problems etc.
      If they're busy and all the "operators are busy helping other customers(sic)" then they offer you the choice to have a call back or to hold; they will tell you where you are in the queue and how long they expect it to be before they will answer your call; on the whole, the system works well.

      They have, to some degree, created extra phone calls for themselves by adopting crazy bin and rip off tax policies but hey ho, that's what local nanny does!

      Sometimes I feel that the call centre is a big data gathering exercise because they always try to get data/info from you if you chose to speak to someone else or request a call back; I believe their computer system also logs your phone number when you call them.

      When I call Virgin media, I hate their modern drum and bass music; it is set very loud and really gets on my nerves. I also hate the way their system is set up to make me think their computer is a human and my best buddy too; I find it both patronising and annoying.

      My all time pet hate for telephone holding music is bloody greensleeves!

      I agree with you that, if my call was important to them, they would answer it and not keep me holding on listening to their crap music whilst I pay for the priviledge.

    2. Toy Trumpet10:31 AM

      Music always sounds terrible over a telephone. The frequency range of a telephone is optimised for voice.

      You are all making the assumption that having the phone answered and then having some machine keep you in a queue is the correct thing to do.

      Whether it plays music, or beeps, or tells you where you are in the queue... Why answer the phone if there is no one available to talk to? Now I am PAYING to listen to your crap.

      How about just letting the phone ring??? If you can't answer it, let it ring! I don't pay if you don't pick up!

      This is how it used to work when I learned to use a phone in the 1970s. You didn't pay for "Engaged" and you didn't pay for "No Answer".

      Now people are habituated to paying to wait for people to answer!