Phone queues make our blood boil
Most people have lost patience and hung up when faced with a long wait on the phone to speak to a call centre, according to a new study on the "tipping point" of queues.
A survey of over 2,000 adults showed that people lost their patience after six minutes hanging on the phone or at a supermarket checkout, 11 minutes waiting for public transport and 13 minutes waiting to be served in a restaurant.
The study, by SIM-only mobile network giffgaff, also revealed that two thirds of people have had their opinion of a company permanently damaged after poor customer service.
Half said they had advised family and friends against using a firm or service with which they have had a bad experience, and one in four had terminated a contract after being kept waiting for too long.
Almost a third of those feeling annoyed by long queues or waiting times admitted they felt stressed.
Robbie Hearn of giffgaff said: "Six minutes waiting in a call centre queue is enough to make anyone's blood boil, especially if you don't get the right answer when you do eventually get through."
Stress expert Dr Roger Henderson commented: "We live in an age where for many people, time is the most valuable commodity of all. The research has found an increasing unwillingness to wait in queues, a phenomenon I call 'speed greed' that reflects our growing demand for instant gratification and access to information and service.
"Although it is part of human nature to rarely be satisfied with what we have in life, our expectations are now such that if we do not get the service we expect very quickly, our stress levels increase quickly and significantly."