Phoning Call Centres? Get through their menus quickly

A Nation Of “Stall Centres” - Introducing The UK’s First ‘Phone Rage Index’

Do you deal with Call Centres or "Stall Centres" - do the companies and organisations you deal with actually want to talk to their customers, or use their phone menus to keep their customers waiting, earning money from them or hoping they give up?

As customers, we're often on the receiving end of 'stall centres' that seem determined to keep us on the phone for as long as possible.  Even larger companies with understandably complex departments have no reason to send customers through a maze of choices, only for many of them to end up confused and in the wrong place.  It's self-service with limited guidance and no guarantee of a result.  That wastes time and money.

From analysis of hundreds of phone menus listed and feedback from the thousands of visitors to Please Press1, I am now publishing the UK's first 'Phone Rage Index' - the companies with the worst phone menus.  As well as user feedback, the index considers the number of options,  levels of menu, length of introductions, average number of options per level and the longest time it takes to reach the service.

This analysis goes deeper than the Star Ratings which consider total options and levels per service.  For example, although Ticketmaster actually have a 3 Star menu, one of their options (1,1 - Hear Ticketmasters privacy and purchase policy) lasts at least 15 minutes !!  I assume they are doing this to meet some regulation of other and cover themselves but who is realistically going to listen to it ?  But it is there and "Time to reach the service" is an important factor in the analysis.

With over 38,000 hits in the last month, and over 400 menu options across just 6 services, HMRC takes the crown, currently ranked 'most frustrating' of the companies and organisations now registered on the website.

Here are the Top 10 Worst, more details coming soon - who do you think is the worst ? 


Worst Ranked Companies & Organisations

Rank    Service

#1        HMRC

#2        Ford Motor Company

#3        Lloyds TSB

#4        Halifax

#5        Co-operative Insurance Society

#6        Transport for London (TFL)

#7        Direct Line Insurance

#8        Churchill Insurance Company

#9        Ticketmaster

#10      Student Loans Company

The analysis is based on services listed on Please Press 1 which have phone menus not requiring voice/speech or account/information input from the start. I am aware that some major culprits (e.g BT) may have escaped this time around if they require such inputs - but watch this space....


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