We are currently experiencing an exceptionally high volume of calls

Ex – cep – tion – al
forming an exception or a rare instance; unusual; extraordinary.
dictionary.com

We moved house recently. Moving house is always strewn with a mixture of good and bad experiences and emotions. We had an exceptionally good removal company (details below), we had some exceptionally good call centre change of address experiences, but oh boy did we get frustrated by most of the call centres we rang.

All but two of the call centres we had to contact were experiencing “an exceptionally high volume of calls”. Now I’m not some customer experience extremist who expects companies to always have a representative ready at my beck and call (I’m an economy rather than executive kind of guy), but I get the feeling that these companies aren’t exactly being honest with me. Are these really rare, unusual occurences, or is this business as usual for call centres? If it is business as usual, isn’t their duty to be a bit more honest with us?

In addition none of the companies had any mechanism to give me any indication of my position in the queue, or how long I should expect to wait (I appreciate this can be inexact science, but something is better than nothing).

The biggest offenders have been Virgin Mobile (again!). My wife sat on hold for over 45 minutes only to be told that the department she needed to talk to wasn’t open for another 15 minutes (if only they’d had an unusually higher number of calls eh!). They wouldn’t even get the correct department to call her back when they were open (but the shocking customer experience offered by Virgin Mobile is worthy of an entire posting of its own).

Have I been exceptionally unlucky in experiencing exceptionally high volumes of calls (am I just a zeitgeist-y kind of guy) or is this just the norm? Personally I don’t think it is acceptable to be so dishonest to your customers. I’ll be talking with my feet.

For the record both Foxtel and the RTA had exceptionally short queues.

If you are in Sydney and want a great removal company, Happy Removals don’t have a website, but you should call Tom Peng on (02) 9649 9605. I have absolutely no connection to them other than having been a very satisfied customer.

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