Evil Call Centre Patent

12 AM July 8, 2005

I have an idea. If I worked for – say – a large, US-based manufacturer of enterprise telephony equipment, then I’d definitely take it to my manager and attempt to get a patent on it. However, since I work for a small consulting company that doesn’t have money to spend on IP lawyers, it’s probably better that I publish.

Bah. It’s probably already patented anyway.

OK. Here it is…

In call centers, an important statistic is the length of time customers are kept waiting in queue before somebody answers. One tactic already used by some call centers is to monitor the projected waiting time, and, if it exceeds a certain threshold, reject all incoming calls until the call length falls below another threshold. Rather than reject calls, I propose that newer callers be given Whitney Houston or Celine Dion for hold music.

The main advantage of this system is that callers desperate to speak to the call center will still be able to get through, while less persistent customers are encouraged to drop off.

By alang | # | Comments (4)
(Posted to Stuff, Rants and Tall Tales)


At 03:36, 08 Jul 2005 Chris wrote:

I cite Enya and Kenny G as prior art.

I'd write more, but I have to go leave a cake out in the rain.

At 04:38, 08 Jul 2005 Alan Green wrote:

And let's not forget the Gregorian Chants.

At 07:13, 08 Jul 2005 Alastair wrote:

No need for this. The quality degradation of VoIP that is inevitable when too many callers try to crowd into too little bandwidth is enough to turn Mozart into Britney Spears and send the callers away in droves. Both the new ones and the existing ones, as an added benefit.

I recently waited in the queue to talk to an Apple Australia representative and it was aural torture worthy of Gitmo.

At 07:50, 08 Jul 2005 AndrewR wrote:

Why not just have the on-hold message tell you your position in the queue. It would be self-correcting: when the number gets too high people will hang up rather than wait.

Or we could combine the two approaches:

"Your call is important to us. You are currently at position 3174 in the queue....If you like pina-coladas, getting caught in the rain...."


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