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By Steve
Some supermarkets have it: Folks who only buy three items or less can line up at an express counter so they can get out quickly and don't have to wait behind someone who is doing the monthly shopping for his family of six people.

The same principle should be used on the phone when you call the computer helpline or your social security company and they ask you to "please hold the line" for half an hour or more. I would like to see an option for "express calls": you would get to talk to a live person much quicker, but the phone call whould be limited to one minute (after that, you would be automatically disconnected). This would be enough time to ask very simple questions, for anything more complicated you would have to go the long way.
Last edited by Steve on Tue Dec 24, 2002 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By AaronAgassi
You'd need a prescreening operator to sort inquiries into different holding patterns.
By Shumway
I do phone in tech support, and this would be a wonderful addition to our services. We get tons of people calling complaining that they waited for more time than they spent on the phone. We'd probably have to have a five minute limit. As someone who usually gets passed the really difficult calls that last hours, I would truly love to have a chance at a series of guaranteed five minute calls regardless of whether you get them the right answer.
I may talk to my boss tomorrow. I'll let you know how they respond!
By duh
what I would do with such a service is to tape some of that music that they play when you are on hold and then call that one minute service and play their music back to them .... give them a treat maybe make 2 or 3 calls an hour!!!
In theory a good idea, but in reality it wouldn't solve anything and would most likely make matters worse.

What happens when many of the questions need 2 minutes to answer? or 3 minutes? or 5 minutes?

Call times varie greatly depending on the caller AND knowledge of the tech support. And at who's discretion is something simple? Many callers may not even know if it's simple, hence the reason they're calling for help. Even if they do know it's simple, which could be the case or they are actually know their stuff but need a little assistance, tech support might not be so bright or is just slugging along - which is so common it's pathetic.

I'd be pretty pissed to get disconnected when tech support is slow or uneducated.

And I'd be pissed to wait in a long line, while other long... excessive.... calls are being taken before me and I'm aware of it.

I find "call-back" systems much more effective. They inform techs of your problem while you go about your business until it's your turn.
By josefinareutter
I've always thought Banks should do that. I don't know how it is in USA (I'm from Chile), but here, companies send (I don't know how you call them) "errand men" with ALL the company's checks or there you go, running to the bank at lunch time, and there's only 3 people before you in the line, but....each one stays for like half an hour doing his really annoying, specially when you are only going to do 1 minimum would be a lot easier to have a special line "max. 2 checks or bills"...
well, in a bank I saw recently that there was a "corporate line", special for those incredibly exasperating "errand men" (I know it's their job, but you can't help hating them for a couple of minutes), but I think my idea would be more efficient.

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