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The perils of on hold and piped music

We all know the dread of hanging on the phone to a supplier, whilst loop after loop of incessant hold music assaults our eardrums. When you are on the end of a telephone receiver, there really is no escape. But how do you feel about music played to you whilst you shop? Do you enjoy the easy listening muzack flowing from the department store speakers as you browse the clothing rails? Or are you irritated by the strains of the latest pop hit bursting out whilst you whizz round doing the weekly shop?

A number of research polls have been conducted over the last 20 years, and the results show that piped music is disliked by the majority. In 1997, 17% of the Sunday Times readership ranked it as the 'single thing they most detested about modern life'. In recent years, results appear to have followed suit. A 2011 poll by Inmedia revealed that 50% of consumers would walk out of a shop if piped music was playing. A recent article by Which? has received over 500 comments on the subject, with many expressing similar sentiments.

Despite this, the number of retail spaces that use background music is ever growing. Just this week, the leaders of the campaign against piped music, Pipedown, report that supermarket chain Lidl are now trialling the music in a select number of stores, despite having thrived for years without it. They claim that the cost of providing this music will eventually have an increase on the stores prices (albeit a small one).

So with this in mind, how do you feel? Are you irked by the prospect of indirectly paying for something that adds to the stress of shopping? Does the cost of your call to customer services seem pretty steep given that you spend most of the time on hold listening to the same piece of musack over and over again? Or are you one of the minority that enjoys having something to listen to and pass the time?

I'd love to know what you think.



 Infographic Credit: Pipedown

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