· Nearly six out of 10 customers always look for alternative numbers
· Average longest call centre wait on hold is 28 minutes
Nearly six out of 10 customers always look for alternatives to premium rate phone numbers for call centres, a survey of ours tells us!
Research found premium rate numbers are the biggest hang-up for customers phoning call centres ahead of being put on hold or passed from department to department. Around 33% say they object to premium rate numbers ahead of 24% who hate being put on hold the most and 10% who dislike being passed from department to department.
Since June airlines, train companies and some retailers have been banned from using premium rate numbers and the Financial Conduct Authority is currently investigating their use by financial firms.
The Viewsbank research shows customers are fighting back against the costs of calling the numbers including 0845, 0844, 0843, 0870 and 0871 which can be as much as 15p a minute from a landline or 41p a minute from a mobile.
Around 58% of those surveyed say they always look for alternatives before dialling premium rate numbers while 31% say they sometimes do.
It is easy to see why – the average longest wait customers have endured on hold to call centres is 28.7 minutes. Around 30% of customers say their record on hold wait is more than 31 minutes.
David Black of Viewsbank said: “Dealing with call centres can be frustrating but it is clear that the cost of phoning is the biggest cause of anger. When people are trying to sort out a problem the fact they are paying more than usual adds to the annoyance.
“Customers however have woken up to the fact that using a premium rate number will cost them substantially more than usual and are looking for alternatives when they can.
“Companies will of course argue that they offer a range of ways of getting in contact but many do prefer making phone calls and speaking to an individual.”
Premium rate calling charges
Being put on hold
Call centre not in the UK
Being passed from department to department
Having to press numbers to get through
Being cut off
Companies advertising they only use UK call centres benefit – 90% of those questioned say they would be more likely to call UK-based call centres.
The research found just 14% of people do not receive cold calls and that 49% say they still get them despite being registered with the Telephone Preference Centre.
What are your thoughts on it all?