Top brands including Ford, Lloyds TSB, Halifax and Churchill Insurance have been named and shamed in the UK’s first “phone rage index”, which charts the top ten most frustrating companies to get through to on the telephone.
The index has been devised by consumer website PleasePress1.com, launched earlier this year by Nigel Clarke, who devoted seven years to researching, calling and cataloguing the intricate phone menus of many UK companies.
Common gripes include dozens of menu options and tedious (often unavoidable) introductions. With 38,253 page visits in the past month, and over 400 menu options across just 6 services, top of the pile is HMRC, with, in descending order, Ford, Lloyds TSB, Halifax, Co-op Insurance, Transport for London, Direct Line, Chruchill, Ticketmaster and the Student Loans Company.
Since launching the website in May, Clarke has received hundreds of suggestions from consumers who wish to see the service expanded. There have even been requests from as far as Canada and South America for a similar service to be rolled out there.
Clarke said: “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.”
He added: “In the last month, I’ve had contact with some huge names, including a very constructive meeting with Lloyds TSB. I’m adding more phone menus every day and maintaining the current ones should they change. Companies can add their phone menus for free and offer this additional service to their customers. The public support has been overwhelming.”
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