Stop Trying To Sell Me Your Crap When I’m On Hold, Dammit

Last night after dinner we were hanging out having some lazy family time when crisis hit.

Our internet and cable went out.

I know, right!  I mean, I can live without the TV.  But internet?  Gah!

It was like being plunged into intense detox with no warning.  The situation was dire.

(I know…total first world problem, but it’s my blog and I’ll whine if I want to).

So I made the terrible mistake of calling the cable company.

As I sat on hold and waited, and waited, and waited some more, I noticed a pattern to the on-hold messages (because I’m a total loser and live for finding a pattern to life).

So, like any good geek, I pulled up Excel and started charting the messages and how often I was hearing them.

“Thank you for continuing to hold.  We think you’re super duper awesome (or just really stupid) for sitting on hold forever while we’re all gossiping around the water cooler.  We’ll be back soon.  Mmmmkai?  Bai!”

“Did you know our uber amazing company is doing a food bank drive, to, like, try and pretend we actually care about the community instead of just money?  You should use your money to buy food, donate it to the food bank, and then we’ll take credit for it.  Mmmmkai?  Bai!”

“Thank you for continuing to hold.  We still think you’re super duper awesome and eventually we’ll decide to actually answer the phone.  Mmmmkai?  Bai!”

“Did you know we have this OMGBBQ website!!  AND?  You can look at your bill online. I know!  Like no other company in the world lets you give us your money right through our website, except us.  You should totally go do that right now and stop calling us.  Mmmmmkai?  Bai!”

“Oh, you’re still holding? Yeah…well… uh… so are lots of other people, so just keep waiting until the one person we have answering phones for an area of 3million people decides to get to you.  Mmmmkai?  Bai!”

“Do you want to save money?  Well just buy MORE of our products, that cost about $40, and we’ll give you  like a whole $2 a month in savings.  And if you save that $2, in a couple of months you’ll have enough for a whole Starbuck’s latte!  Mmmmkai?  Bai!”

“Just checking to make sure you’re still silly enough to be listening to these messages.  Please continue holding for the next available….bwahahahaha… yeah, right.  Like anyone’s actually going to answer your call.  Mmmmkai?  Bai!”

“OMG!  You should totally get internet from our company.  We totally have stuff that no other internet providers have.  Like internet support.  I know!  OMGBBQ!  So like, use the internet you don’t have to go to our website and sign up.  Mmmmkai?  Bai!”

“Thanks for still holding you silly git.  Let me give it to you straight.  Dude… you should really just hang up.  Cause we’re like busy with important stuff.  Like picking our toes.  Mmmmmkai?  Bai!”

And the messages repeated in this order for the hour I was on hold.

OK, so I *might* have paraphrased the messages a tiny bit, but the gist was the same, and those are the actual timing of the messages.

So, lets break that down.

  • That was a message every minute or less.
  • One message was about donating to the food bank.
  • Half were ‘gee thanks for sticking around on hold forever and ever amen’.
  • The rest?  Were trying to sell me shit and telling me to visit their website.  Which? I could get to because I was calling because MY FUCKING INTERNET WAS DOWN.


Not once, in any of the messages, was a “Oh hey… service is out in the following areas, so if that’s where you’re calling from, yeah we know.”

And that?  Is stupid.  I don’t want to sit on hold so you can try and sell me more of your product that isn’t working for me in the first place.

Turns out internet and cable was out for my entire town.  And?  It took them 14 hours to fix it.  Yeah, I got up this morning and it was still down.  SUPER!

So, to sumarize, Shaw Communications sucks big hairy donkey balls.

Suggestions for satellite TV?  Is it worth it to switch?

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15 Responses to Stop Trying To Sell Me Your Crap When I’m On Hold, Dammit

  • ah hahahahaha!!! those recaps are priceless.

    you’re so funny when you’re enraged.

    Jenn Reply:

    @nic @mybottlesup,
    You should see me when I’m truly irritated about something. Oh wait… never mind… you already have. lol

  • cindy w says:

    We had satellite when we lived out in the boonies and had no other choice, and I have sworn that I will NEVER EVER have satellite again. Yes, cable companies suck, especially in the customer service department. But we would lose our TV and Internet every time it snowed… or rained… or if there was just a really thick cloud cover… Which meant pretty much all winter long in the Seattle area.

    (Oh, also? Climbing up a ladder when I was 9 months pregnant to try to knock the snow off the satellite dish with a broom, in hopes of restoring access? Because my husband was out of town and I was desperate? NOT an experience I care to repeat. Ever.)

    Jenn Reply:

    @cindy w,
    OMG. I think you just totally scared me out of getting satellite. I have a total fear of ladders. Refuse to use them. I’d make Bil come home from work to clean it off for me, and that might not go over so well.

  • Amy Phillips says:

    I don’t how small a town you live in, but usually there is only one game in town. I love DirectTV. But for internet I had the choice between Comcast and…..Comcast. Yep, that’s it. FiOS hasn’t reached my area yet. There’s always the option to steal in the interwebz. I hear Dr. Evil has a stockpile in his underground lair.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Amy Phillips,
    Yeah, that’s exactly our problem.
    The choices are very very limited. Or very very expensive.
    And it’s cheaper to go use the internet at Starbucks when ours goes down.
    We need some magical internet fairies, dammit.

  • punkinmama says:

    I HATE it when companies play messages while I’m on hold. If my TV’s not down, I’m trying to watch AND listen to a show… I don’t want to be interrupted every 37 seconds with some inane message.

    Love your recap though!

    Jenn Reply:


    I know! I might have been sitting there screaming “Just let me listen to the freakin music already!!!” at one point on the call. lol

    punkinmama Reply:


    Oh yes, I have been known to scream into the phone. I always hope they can hear me. This is even moreso on those stupid automated systems where they can’t understand a dang word you say, but keep wanting you to try again. Somehow, they haven’t figured out that, “You are an idiot and I hate your company” translates into “Transfer me to a live human being right now!”

    Jenn Reply:

    *Falls over laughing.*
    Seriously. You are freakin’ hilarious.

  • Ashlee says:

    If you lived in my area I’d send my Pioneer man your way to set you up with wireless internet that we never have problems with. I’d even give ya my home number in case ya ever did….only cuz I love ya! Sorry you’re having problems with you’re internet. :(

    Jenn Reply:

    This just totally gives me another reason to want to move next door to you :)

  • Lisa says:

    Love. The. Recaps. :}

    Our cable company has pretty much the same message, therefore, I make my husband call when necessary, in order to protect myself from the insanity and inevitable screaming that will ensue if I were to be subject to their ridiculous hold messages.

  • becky says:

    Everyone I know with satellite complains about how their service goes out in bad wind or bad storms. Which is like often enough down here to where I’d never get satellite. Just something to think about.

    Then again, our cable rarely goes out. Maybe twice in 7 years?

  • MommyGeek says:

    I used to have dish TV — the TV was great, but the internet was soooooooooo slowwwwwwwww. I couldn’t hack it.

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