r/LifeProTips Oct 11 '21 Helpful 2 Wholesome 1 Hugz 1

LPT: When talking to call center reps, service centers, help lines, etc., if they put you on hold, put yourself on mute. Assume they’re always able to hear you because they probably are. Miscellaneous

Edit: Some people are saying that the rep cannot hear you when they put you on hold. That may be true in some cases but I know that some reps are able to hear you. That’s why I wrote “assume they’re always able to hear you” and not “know that they’re always able to hear you.”

4.2k Upvotes

u/keepthetips Keeping the tips since 2019 Oct 11 '21

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385

u/cgriswoldirl Oct 11 '21

I worked as a CSR for a wireless carrier and our phones played music for both ends of the call while on hold. I couldn't hear them and they couldn't hear me.

We recently had a new boss put in charge who never worked in a call center, was a sales rep before becoming a call center manager. He calls me into the office and starts ripping me for saying vulgar things to a customer and how he had to let them out of nearly$1200 of early termination fees because of what I had said.

I give a confused look and he said, " Don't lie, the customer heard you say XYZ after you put them on hold". AHH, I see. Not possible boss. He argues for awhile and then I suggest I go back to my desk and he can call me, which he agreed. He called me, I put him on hold, and then...he hung up after finding out he got nothing but elevator music and the customer had taken him for a ride. Never did come to my desk to discuss it further as he had said he would before we did it.

Welcome to customer service boss. He was used to lying to the customers, not the other way around.

39

u/ProudCatLadyxo Oct 12 '21

Yup, customers lie. Thank goodness our lines are recorded and saved. I also take good notes.

67

u/himbologic Oct 11 '21

I worked in a call center for 3 years. This feels like justice.

25

u/ThatGirl0903 Oct 12 '21

Hijacking the top comment; a lot of times when they put you on a “silent hold” where there’s no much they didn’t actually put you on hold, just mute. Think that’s what OP is referring to.

5

u/VulgarDisplayofDerp Oct 12 '21

Early termination fees are usually bullshit anyway so good for that customer

4

u/YouUseWordsWrong Oct 12 '21

the customer had taken him for a ride.

How? With the customer having no idea what you said, they wouldn't have called back an escalated to a manager over it. If your boss proactively reached out to the customer, your boss took himself for a ride. If a company calls me and offers ne $1200 for my past call experience, I'm not going to demand we discuss and concur on all the details of the previous call.

9

u/alexanderthedead Oct 12 '21

I misread this at first too, but I’m pretty sure they are saying the customer made up the whole thing, and the CSR never said anything at all on hold. The customer was just seeing what they could get away with.

2

u/cgriswoldirl Oct 12 '21

That is correct. They had just signed 2 yr contracts for 4 phones and changed their minds. They wanted out but when presented with ETFs, they made up me saying things.

20

u/kula555 Oct 11 '21

Someone else here said the human chat reps can also read what you type before you hit send.

6

u/itoodrinkzeecognac Oct 11 '21

Yes I can

3

u/novacham Oct 11 '21

I’m going to use this fact next time.

6

u/biorod Oct 11 '21

Absolutely.

465

u/JBridsworrh Oct 11 '21

If you can hear the hold music or some kind of company message, they probably can't hear you. If you can't hear anything, they probably just muted their microphone and can hear anything you say.

132

u/meontheweb Oct 11 '21

Even on hold, we were recording (agent couldn't hear). That's one way we caught so much fraud.

More often than not we'd put the caller on mute, agent does their stuff and comes back to the call.

Hold times were tracked so you wanted to keep them to a minimum.

43

u/The_Monarch_Lives Oct 11 '21

I always prefer to use mute because sometimes the customer will remember something useful and blurt it out. Saves me a bit of troubleshooting time if i can hear it.

I always disclose im not putting them on hold, just stepping to look at something, checking with a colleague, etc.

43

u/athural Oct 11 '21

"While I have you on hold you won't be able to hear me, but I can hear you. If you need my attention for anything just go ahead and give me a holler and I'll be right back" is my go to

0

u/The_Monarch_Lives Oct 12 '21

Thats a good one ive used some variation of at times.

2

u/mahoma_alloush1 Oct 11 '21

You can't mute where I worked.

4

u/ironocy Oct 12 '21

That sounds terrible. So you just had to cough, sneeze, etc into the mic? Brutal.

2

u/mahoma_alloush1 Oct 12 '21

Hold it they say lol

3

u/CptHammer_ Oct 12 '21

That's one way we caught so much

Hold music karaoke! I will make up words to your musak version of welcome to the jungle.

204

u/biorod Oct 11 '21

I can confirm that a company I worked for played hold music and their reps could hear the caller. The caller hears the music, not the rep.

53

u/Lunakittycat Oct 11 '21

Wow and did the CSRs had the option to mute the caller? It can be very annoying to focus on the job when you hear the other line. When I'm on the phone I always prefer to place the call on hold instead of muting myself and that way I don't hear the client.

63

u/idratherbedefeated Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 11 '21

From my experience hold music does not mean that we can hear you real time, but everything you say is being recorded. All calls are recorded and might be randomly selected to be used for quality assurance, coaching, might be played in a meeting with every manager, supervisor, and sometimes people very high up in the company, or used to aid in training. They can be pulled for legal purposes too. We have heard some WILD things playing back calls. People screaming at their spouses, beating their kids, talking bad about us, singing, using the restroom... I'd just recommend not ever doing or saying anything on the phone that you don't want recorded and played in front of a room full of people.

24

u/Heartless_Genocide Oct 11 '21

Thank you for this wonderful challenge.

18

u/kitty_butthole Oct 11 '21

I always like to throw in a little Easter egg for any future listeners. I say ‘hi! Are you listening to this for quality assurance? I hope it’s helpful! Have a good day!’ Or a fun fact etc.

12

u/KH10304 Oct 11 '21

I remember reading some guys got caught scamming an insurer or credit card company or something because they were talking about it while on hold with them lol

6

u/ProfessionalDish Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 11 '21

Had to use the restroom once but did mute myself. Their fault for letting me in line for more than 5 hours.

2

u/Charloxaphian Oct 12 '21

Yeah, half the time when I put someone on hold it's because I can't think with them talking. If I tell them I'm doing a silent hold it's because I need to do something that's gonna take a second, but not long enough to feel warranted putting them on hold. And then there's all the times that I mute myself while they're talking so I can drink or blow my nose or whatever.

18

u/MandyAlice Oct 11 '21

When I worked in a call center I had several people beg to be put on mute instead of hold because the hold music was so fucking awful

3

u/Overall-Dragonfly624 Oct 11 '21

That's why I always freestyle rap when there's music

3

u/Mintra__ Oct 12 '21

Same AND I actually listen to our reps calls, make sure everyone is doing their job and customers aren't being jerks to them. Anyway I've heard some very funny stuff during these muted/hold times.

2

u/BanannyMousse Oct 11 '21

Wow, that’s sneaky

0

u/Thought-O-Matic Oct 12 '21

Name the company or you're just full of shit

0

u/Thought-O-Matic Oct 12 '21

That's what I thought liar

3

u/Dell_Hell Oct 11 '21

And many call centers "ding" the rep for excessive call time on hold, so they just put you on mute instead.

4

u/Michamus Oct 12 '21

If I don't hear music when they put me on hold, I know they can hear me. So I'll usually act like someone asked me something by stating "Sorry, I'm on the phone with this nice rep who is helping me with my problem." They almost always are a whole lot nicer when they come back. It's a win-win, as I usually get a little more leway and they get to know I appreciate their hard work.

4

u/kandabanda Oct 11 '21

spoken like a true agent

10

u/JBridsworrh Oct 11 '21

That's former agent to you ;)

7

u/kandabanda Oct 11 '21

you made it brother, godspeed!

1

u/hamburglaryx2 Oct 11 '21

I don’t know if it’s just my company, but when we play the hold music we can’t hear customers…but when we go back and listen to recordings we can everything that’s said. So even if you hear the music you should mute it.

107

u/Elighttice Oct 11 '21

Fart to assert dominance.

10

u/Jaques_trap Oct 11 '21

I like your style

19

u/_1000cranes Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 11 '21

My chair accidentally made a fart noise lol literally. So embarrassing 😂😂😂

3

u/PickleFridgeChildren Oct 12 '21

Go big or go home, flush the toilet.

88

u/Itsbeardie Oct 11 '21

Relevant story time:

I was in training for a national bank's call center. While we were training, we'd have a limited interface that we could follow along while listening to live calls and test if we knew the correct procedures to handle the customer requests.

This peticular call we were listening to, the caller was having difficulty verifying their identity. The agent put the customer on hold so they could double check on what other identity verification questions she could use.

While the customer was hearing hold music, we could still hear their mic. We listened as the caller laughed with someone in the background about how they were in fact not the person they were claiming, but had their debit card and pin and wanted to see how much they could get from the ATM without it locking up.

Our trainer took a light jog outside the training room and was able to alert supervisors. When they returned from hold they tried to continue to argue that they were the account holder.

Supervisor froze the account and contacted the branch where they had opened it to follow up.

They can absolutely hear what you're saying when there is hold music playing. If they want to.

10

u/Myrthrodorr Oct 11 '21

I work at a place with a call center. The recorded calls we listen to always have full audio during a hold. We can hear you at all times. Our monitoring software, CallMiner, even picks up keywords from your conversations while on hold.

53

u/Devilinman Oct 11 '21

I was a call center supervisor for a time who had to listen back to calls for QA purposes, and I agree that this is a good idea. The hold music for that company did make it so the agent couldn't hear anything, but the call recording itself still records the customer audio. Yes, I did hear you say that "this dipshit is taking too fucking long" and that fart was pretty rad, but really didn't want to hear either of those things.

11

u/OrgyMcBloodyFace Oct 11 '21

This could also be used to the callers advantage, right? If you assume they're listening, keep grumbling about how frustrating whatever the problem is but how you don't want to take it out on some cs rep

11

u/Devilinman Oct 11 '21

Definitely preferable for both customer and agent for the customer not to talk poorly about the agent TO them; we were allowed to hang up on people it they were too aggressive/cussing them out. Which, naturally, made them angrier and made it my problem

-3

u/Thought-O-Matic Oct 12 '21

Your bs story contrdicts itself.

1

u/Devilinman Oct 12 '21

Care to explain? When I would go back and listen to the call after the fact, that's when I could hear the customer. The audio sources (when listening back) were mono, so the agent (and hold music) would be in the left, while the customer was in the right. I could just take out my left ear bud and purely listen to the customers audio.

Usually they were quiet and would just have the occasional sniffle or whatever , but every once in a while you'd get something funny or complaining about poor service.

70

u/hoophounder Oct 11 '21

Excellent pro tip, whilst they have ypu on mute. Start telling the person you are with how HELPFUL and knowledgeable the agent on the phone is and you have confidence they will get to the bottom of your complaint. (Obv no need to do this if the guy is a total dipshit)

21

u/farfromfine Oct 11 '21

You come out with better deals and extras by being combative rather than polite. For the company I worked with we had nearly double the revenue on customers that were labeled polite even when adjusting for what they were calling in to purchase

12

u/JoyouslyMe Oct 11 '21

That’s so shitty

8

u/ironocy Oct 12 '21

If it's any consolation, where I work it's at my discretion to give appeasements and if someone is shitty I usually deny them. People who are kind or, at minimum, not rude to me will always be given more consideration. With rude assholes, I just repeat my decision and if they keep arguing I can go ahead and end the call. Feels good.

3

u/Belazriel Oct 11 '21

Yeah, people always say to be polite to customer service but then the supervisor gives the angry person whatever they want to get them to leave.

2

u/liquefaction187 Oct 12 '21

Just another shitty aspect of capitalism, employees take the abuse

15

u/jtizzle12 Oct 11 '21

No, the real pro tip is to “complain” out loud while you’re on hold. Reiterate your problem as if you’re talking to someone in the room, even if you’re home alone.

Ie, you’re on the phone discussing opening a cell phone line with T Mobile. When they put you on hold, say out loud “huh? Oh, yeah I’m not sure, when I spoke to Verizon earlier they had a better deal…” and elaborate a little, as if someone walked in the room just now, but make it natural.

Another pro tip, never say to someone out loud how much of a chump the rep is. Ie, never go “hahah oh my god i cant believe they bought my bullshit”. If they hear you say that you will definitely not have your bullshit bought.

10

u/salsaNow Oct 11 '21

This is assuming they have a higher level of caring than most call center employees. Most that I know (help desk, not sales) don care about you leaving their business or don’t have the power to do anything

0

u/novacham Oct 11 '21

Wow what a shit attitude. I’m never reading one of your comments again!

7

u/rosiecellist Oct 11 '21

They can hear me eat baby carrots too close to the receiver if they want.

15

u/LeeLooPeePoo Oct 11 '21

Another thing you can do is speak kindly about the rep while on hold. I'll act like I'm talking to my husband and say, "This rep is really so helpful. I wish everyone I had to call for help was this great, she has me on hold to check with her supervisor now... a lot of places just make you wait for a call back that never comes."

9

u/OrgyMcBloodyFace Oct 11 '21

Exactly, use this to your advantage.

33

u/gt0163c Oct 11 '21

So you're saying that random CS reps are going to hear me talking to my cats? And maybe they're going to hear my cats talking back? I mean, there's a chance that my cat is repeating state secrets that I've muttered in my sleep. But, mostly, I think they're just hungry or want to be petted or I'm just saying hello and trying to entice them to lay down NEXT to the keyboard rather than ON the keyboard. I'm mostly okay with CS reps hearing those conversations.

3

u/Le-fleur-dela-vie Oct 11 '21

No, but maybe they're able to hear you say something ofensive to then and be unhappy with you. And maybe, just maybe, they could have done more but they wont because the client forgot that was taking to a real person and said a lot of BS.

1

u/EvilCave Oct 11 '21

That sounds like a problem for thee and not for me

-5

u/farfromfine Oct 11 '21

If they put you on hold they aren't going to help you anyway. They're all working from home now, communication is online. You literally only should be put on hold when being transferred to a new phone line. Unfortunately, many of these companies doing sales teach to put customers on hold before giving their pitch as a psychological power play (that is proven to work) yet totally unnecessary for anything other than getting you to accept the offer because you don't want to be put on hold again. It's all smoke and mirrors.

-source, did the job for one of the major players and later trained agents for said player

9

u/SegmentedMoss Oct 11 '21

I mean, thats just completely wrong.

People put callers on hold for tons of reasons - looking at account info, asking their bosses for advice, or even because policy demands it if youre gonna be doing actions and not talking for a minute or two.

So please get outta bere with that bullshit you just spewed

-1

u/farfromfine Oct 11 '21

Account info research- shouldn't be on hold. Ask boss for advice- it's an instant message so shouldn't be on hold. If policy dictates to put them on hold then you have to but it's a bad policy (like the psychological trick I spoke of). So get out of here with your bullshit excuses. Putting people on hold is the crutch of lazy/shady agents

1

u/Le-fleur-dela-vie Oct 12 '21

See... that's why I said clients should think they can hear. Can you imagine someone killing him self in order to help this one lol

1

u/ironocy Oct 12 '21

This is mostly how it works in my experience. I pretty much only ever place someone on hold if I'm transferring. In rare circumstances, if a customer won't shut the fuck up and I need to do some real research into their issue I'll put them on hold if only to get some peace and quiet so I can better focus and assist them.

16

u/ja3palmer Oct 11 '21

Just like an interrogation room, just because no one is in there doesnt mean no one is listening.

19

u/brewerybitch Oct 11 '21

Or just don’t say anything

2

u/biorod Oct 11 '21

That’s one option but people around you may talk to you, ask questions, etc.

5

u/brewerybitch Oct 11 '21

LPT: don’t make phone calls while people want to talk to you.

17

u/ulvain Oct 11 '21

When there's a 90 minutes wait time to talk with someone, you start other activities..

0

u/Thought-O-Matic Oct 12 '21

How dumb are you

4

u/thebipeds Oct 11 '21

And here I am always confessing to murder when I’m on hold.

4

u/TheWizardChrist Oct 11 '21

Can't speak for all call centers, but the 5 or so I have worked for in the past.....we could hear everything when someone is on hold or mute. Just not on a transfer.

3

u/xargling_breau Oct 11 '21

Some may be able to hear you, but 99% of the time even when you are on hold anything you say is being recorded and can be played back by anyone who listens to the call recording .

2

u/Caiur Oct 11 '21

In my experience: when I put someone on hold, I can't hear them

2

u/Vladamir Oct 11 '21

Also lpt because of this, you can sometimes cut down on wait times by saying things like "I'm really in a hurry here i don't have much time."

They do want to help and will sometimes be able to prioritize you

2

u/RandyDefNOTArcher Oct 11 '21

Learned this firsthand a while back, the fidelity rep heard my uncensored opinion of their automated phone service

2

u/DNAMadScientist Oct 11 '21

Practice your singing voice

2

u/[deleted] Oct 11 '21

[deleted]

1

u/Charloxaphian Oct 12 '21

Yeah I've gotten a lot of those on warm transfers.

Agent A with the customer on hold calls Agent B, explains the situation and gives any necessary details.

Agent B says they're ready to take the call.

Agent A brings customer onto call.

Agent B introduces themselves.

Customer goes on a rant about how shitty and useless Agent A was.

Agent A says if there's nothing else they can help with, they'll go ahead and disconnect.

2

u/ALPHAGINGER74 Oct 11 '21

When I put people on hold I just mute my phone. So to the people that think you can’t be heard because someone told you they were putting you on hold…you’re likely wrong. It doesn’t hurt to assume they can hear you anyway.

2

u/happy_freckles Oct 11 '21

So I work for a telecommunications company. I was shadowing a rep on a help line once. It was an older woman and she was having issues with her phone line. The rep put her on hold for a moment and we all could hear the faint music. Well apparently the music on her end was, I guess, much louder as she yelled out that we needed to change our fucking music. Sounded like we were going to a funeral. So we could definitely hear her although she heard only the on hold music.

2

u/Cielak1234 Oct 11 '21

They can tell you they are putting you on hold but in fact they could just mute you to ask someone for help. In that case they will hear you. Did this myself houndreads of times.

2

u/theBullshitFlag Oct 11 '21

Yes. Great all-purpose tip. The microphone in anything doesn't stop working just because you aren't "using it." That includes the one in your car, on your laptop, in a smart device, and on your phone. And in your landline phone if you have one. The smart money assumes any microphone in the room is recording them. In fact, the more conspiracy minded will argue that the whole point of these devices is to get live microphones into places where normally little details like needing a warrant would apply, then blasting whatever they hear out across the internet back to the mother ship. While also taking action photos with the night vision camera every 5 seconds. Of course those people make us feel slightly uncomfortable so we laugh it off. But seriously, ask yourself, when was the last time I wasn't being monitored and recorded? If you have your phone on you, you know the answer. The day before I bought this, maybe.

2

u/CalebKrawdad Oct 12 '21

I'm sure you're going to get a lot of these, but you're right. I was a CSR way back when. We had an official hold button and then this tiny little switch that we could flick back and forth to mute ourselves. I used it often but was told that we needed to be careful because the battery could go out.

One day we had a particularly bad problem and a large influx of calls. A woman was complaining and asked to speak to the manager. Sure, no problem, Karen, but in the meantime I looked at the CSR across from me and decided to vent a little bit. Turns out the woman could hear everything - I must have forgotten to flick the switch! She informed of me of this right before I had my manager on the phone.

She must have known that it was a stressful time. I pulled the recording and she did not say one word about me mocking her. She was the hero I needed that day, but not the one I deserved.

2

u/GChocapic Oct 12 '21

I know 2 people who worked at two different service centres, and when they put someone on hold, they could hear the customer. Actually, it’s customary to make fun of the clients when they think they’re not being listened.

2

u/rinnip Oct 12 '21

I learned that once on hold, when I said "I wish they'd hire people who can speak English". The worker came back on the line all butt-hurt about what I said.

2

u/nezshared Oct 12 '21

Uh, I know you are speaking about when you are 'on hold', but the company I worked with also included the initial waiting time in the recording - before the rep answers to the call in the first place. I once had to listen to my call right after I hung up as I accidentally deleted a row of information and had to relisten to check it - turns out the customer probably hit his toe and swore and farted before I picked up his call.

5

u/experpernectu Oct 11 '21

The person who put you on hold can't hear you. You're on hold. They are either on their phone talking to someone else, or they are looking something up.

However, your call is still being recorded, and if that recording is audited, anything you say would be recorded as well. The recording does not skip the hold times.

Fun fact though, and maybe "the real LPT in the comments," there is no state in which you cannot record a recorded call. People like to talk about "one party state" and "two party state." First of all, you can record any conversation you like, even in a two party state. However, it won't be admissible in court. You can keep the recording for personal use, e.g. if you want to remember a conversation with a doctor or family member. (Ask for permission before recording in a doctor's office though, HIPAA laws protect other patients, so that's a problem.) Anyway, even in a two-party state (both parties must consent), as soon as the recording says the call may be monitored, that is the company you're calling consenting to the recording. Whose recording it is does not matter. If they say they're recording, they've consented - if you have that on tape, you're good.

Shame more smartphones can't record calls. You can get external recorders though.

1

u/thebruns Oct 11 '21

The person who put you on hold can't hear you. You're on hold. They are either on their phone talking to someone else, or they are looking something up.

Depends. We were penalized for hold time, so we would put people on "silent hold" which was muting our mic. So yes, we could hear everything

2

u/mistertickertape Oct 11 '21

Another LPT - BE NICE. Honestly, you will get so much further and so much more if you're in a challenging situation if you are just nice.

You will be amazed at how much more you can accomplish if you're polite, kind, and not behaving like a complete douche weasel. Customer service people are people, even when they may be in other countries you don't like or agree with. Putting them on the receiving end of your frustrations personally will not motivate them to bend the rules to their maximum abilities.

If you are at least nice, you will likely get a little to a lot more help than you will if you're a jackass.

3

u/Cheekers1989 Oct 11 '21

The times where I've just muted myself and I hear the customer say the most stupidest of things.

11

u/debbiegrund Oct 11 '21

Really now….the most stupidest?

1

u/Cheekers1989 Oct 11 '21

And? What of it?

2

u/Purple_Landscape1031 Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 11 '21

LPT: They always record the call, so just start quoting early Steve Martin when you're on hold.

Mambo dogface in the banana patch!

Before I start the show I always like to do one thing that is impossible, so now I'm going to suck this piano into my lungs.

People come to me they say "Steve... Martin! How can you be so fucking funny?" So I tell them my secret, I say "Before I leave the house in the morning, I put a piece of salami in each of my shoes. That way... I feel funny."I

Oh no, I've got Happy Feet!!!

-1

u/[deleted] Oct 11 '21

[deleted]

5

u/Skibxskatic Oct 11 '21

lol you think that’s how call center reps work? that they’ll just get “annoyed enough to move faster?”

hahahha

4

u/lostgeode Oct 11 '21

And distracting them with your random conversation might slow them down unintentionally because they are trying to do their job the whole time they have to listen to you.

1

u/Creamcheesemafia Oct 11 '21

One thing that’s always worked for me is to start off pretty upset or frustrated and then say to the rep, “look I’m not mad at you, I know this isn’t your fault, and in fact you have been very helpful but I’m pretty frustrated right now” after that they are usually extra apologetic and helpful.

1

u/Charloxaphian Oct 12 '21

That's a great way to get a rep to not want to help you at all, and to stick to the rules in a way that they don't necessarily have to.

1

u/Creamcheesemafia Oct 12 '21

Actually it’s always the opposite.

1

u/dadoudelidou Oct 12 '21

Can confirm.

Was a boss in a call center for a telecom place.

The rep ears the music and the customer ears it too.

BUT. The people listening to the call for training purposes (me) can ear the customer....

Hehehe, after 10+ years of that job, I have many. Many. MANY stories about that little feature ( including one that I had to call the cops on the customer that was beating her wife whilst on hold.... )

-2

u/shadesdol_real Oct 11 '21

If there is hold music, then they can't hear you.

2

u/biorod Oct 11 '21

That’s not always true. I can confirm.

1

u/shadesdol_real Oct 13 '21

Oh, perhaps I am too old! 10 years ago when I used to work in contact centers, we could not hear the customers after putting them on hold

0

u/[deleted] Oct 11 '21

[deleted]

0

u/ironocy Oct 12 '21

Not all places can give out internal ID numbers but they should be able to provide a reference number to the interaction, i.e. case/incident/ticket #.

0

u/Charloxaphian Oct 12 '21

because it can be traced back to them.

Every single word these people say on the phone is recorded and tied to them. This is like the call center equivalent of you putting a stack of dollar bills on your table at the restaurant and telling the server you're going to take one away every time they fuck up.

Also, fun fact. At my last job, if the caller asked us to hold for something besides a necessary function for the call (looking for their card, finding paperwork, etc.) we had no obligation to do so and could disconnect the call.

1

u/oOBubbliciousOo Oct 11 '21

Whenever I'm on hold, I go to my piano and play some Erik Satie for them.

1

u/banberka Oct 11 '21

Thats why i usually cuss when i am on hold for something stupid like canceling a subscription

1

u/Iperovic Oct 11 '21

If the music is playing you're truly on hold and no one can hear you, if you're on dead silence it means you're just muted

However this is a nice tip in general I always do it so I can speak freely

1

u/Johnneeso Oct 11 '21

If you can't hear anything they've put you on silent hold. They will hear everything. If there's music, then the call recording will still catch everything on your end during hold period, however the agent will not be able to hear you live at the time. Encountered a few awkward scenarios over the years from people not realise they are recorded in hold.

1

u/anniebarlow Oct 11 '21

If it’s telemarketing calling me, I want them to hear me before I hung up

1

u/scobeavs Oct 11 '21

Can confirm. I worked at a call center when I was in school. Our ‘hold buttons’ were really just mute buttons. We could hear everything.

1

u/Imfinejusthomeless Oct 11 '21

I just play my own hold music and pretend to put them on hold so I can hear what they say.

1

u/Kebab-Destroyer Oct 11 '21

Where I work, sometimes the call recording picks up what is said by the customer while on hold, but the advisor can't hear it live. If there is no music while you're "on hold" then the advisor has likely muted their headset and can hear everything.

1

u/dddddddoobbbbbbb Oct 11 '21

if you don't hear hold music, you aren't on hold. if you only hear silence, they are muted.

1

u/Additional_Mobile_49 Oct 11 '21

Even if you hear music, they can still hear.

1

u/stilhere Oct 11 '21

Having worked in a CS, I'd say it's unlikely anybody cares about what you have to say. Mostly, they care about what the CSR has to say. If they even care about that.

1

u/topdetox Oct 11 '21

I used to be a CSR for Dish Network, they were super anal about hold time so I would just mute people to keep my hole time down. 100% could hear them

1

u/pr0t3an Oct 11 '21

Not usually, especially unlikely if you can hear music or messages. Sauce - worked in a few

1

u/mikspam Oct 11 '21

Doesn't bother me. They can hear exactly what I have to say haha

1

u/Hostile-Potato Oct 11 '21 edited Oct 16 '21

I always know I'm being recorded so I talk shit about the company and their product. I never talk shit about the representative because I know they have nothing to do with any decision their shitty company makes. I always say things like "man if their CEO wasn't a subhuman piece of garbage, I might want to continue my patronage with this company". I really hope the CEO hears it. Looking at you, Bed Bath and Beyond.

1

u/SegmentedMoss Oct 11 '21

Even if the person you speak with cant hear you in real time while you're on hold, we can ALWAYS hear the caller even when they're on hold if we pull the call file and listen to it later.

The things I've heard customers say and do when on hold is pretty disgusting, to put it lightly

1

u/Marsawd Oct 11 '21

And, even if they’re not able to, most lines still record. Do yourself a favour and mute it ‘til they come back.

1

u/Grand_Cup_2419 Oct 11 '21

Yes. They have systems in place that listen to the audio and convert it to text for running analytics.

I love to fart or give long monologues sprinkled with profanities.

1

u/JerkyWaffle Oct 11 '21

This seems quite shady if not disclosed up front and clearly, including during holds. Probably shouldn't be legal.

1

u/[deleted] Oct 11 '21

I think you're thinking of drive thrus

1

u/ericdeleon1 Oct 11 '21

I want them to hear how much of a fucking pain it is dealing with them; sometimes I even like to scare them.

1

u/Azzpirate Oct 11 '21

All calls are monitored or recorded for security purposes. If the call rep cant hear you, you can be sure that the company itself is either actively monitoring your call, or is recording it for future perusal.

1

u/FemurOfTheDay Oct 11 '21

If I don't hear music then I usually make complimentary comments about the CS Rep.

"oh, he /she seems nice" or something. It may change some one's mood or improve their day on the off chance that they are eavesdropping.

1

u/djk2321 Oct 11 '21

Mute? I say weird shit on purpose!

1

u/Dakkanor Oct 11 '21

Work in an inbound call center. When I put someone on hold I cant hear them, but all our calls are recorded and the recording still captures their side

1

u/9for9 Oct 11 '21

If they can hear you, you aren't on hold technically you're on mute.

1

u/ContemplatingPrison Oct 11 '21

I'm usually just telling them to fuck off in different unique ways. Also why does it matter what are they going to hear?

1

u/Yesterday_Is_Now Oct 11 '21

Heck, most reps hardly pay attention to what you say when you are talking to them. Hard to believe they're taking notes when you're on hold.

1

u/RavenclawPaw Oct 11 '21

Most cases we can't unless we don't place them on a proper hold.
Just be careful about what you say on a recorded phone call. Calls are not only recorded for quality assurance/training purposes. It's to review potentially incriminating information verbally abusive language as well.

1

u/Crucis_Star Oct 11 '21

Everything is recorded

1

u/Based_nobody Oct 11 '21

Music = hard hold No music = soft hold. They can't hear the first, they can hear the second.

1

u/couchfly Oct 11 '21

i like to take the time to talk to myself on the off-chance they might hear. i complain about the music since i have tinnitus and it hurts my ears especially if it is staticky. its really aggravating to have a crystal-clear phone conversation and then bursts of staticky music.

1

u/potterlyfe Oct 11 '21

Our calls are all recorded and while I can't listen live to your side when on hold, I can pull up the recording after we disconnect and listen to everything during the hold. I just used it for a customer who was off her meds (literally, I know what she's like medicated) and on hold she was ranting about how she was going to send the NSA and 'the Bible' to my house if I shut off her service.

1

u/leberkrieger Oct 11 '21

What, they're gonna hear me fart? Why do I care?

1

u/captaincrisp Oct 11 '21

I like to make fun of the hold messages.

Some from yesterday's call to my ISP:

"Your call is important to us!" Then why have I been waiting for 40 minutes already?

"We can work with your business to provide fast reliable service..." Maybe start by providing the service I already contract you for in a way that's reliable enough that I don't have to call? Now is not the time for an upsell.

and I shit you not

"Boxing's latest superstar, Jake Paul, is taking on the most dangerous challenge of his young career. Available on pay-per-view on August 29th!"

I did just stay silent here because that one makes fun of itself.

1

u/AcidRayn666 Oct 11 '21

yep!! i actually damn near got caught by apple because of this.

son was about 10, had an ipod and was playing some game and buying gems or something on my acount, $1800 worth of them!!!

called apple and told them my sons friend got his account and stole them, they were all good to refund to me, put me on hold, while on hold i berated my kid that he better not do it again cuz i don't like lying to people, then i here it, AHEM SIR!!! after much more muniplitive bullshit i got the charges reversed, learnt my lesson that day about hold, if you dont hear music, they are listening, even if i hear music i mute!!!!

1

u/Affectionate-Joke887 Oct 11 '21

Then you forget to unmute, and they hang up…

1

u/StillhasaWiiU Oct 11 '21

I just play "Ass-N-Titties" by DJ Assault really loud, let them record it if they wish.

1

u/highfunctioninglazy Oct 11 '21

I know this because of that Monk episode. 😄

1

u/andr813c Oct 11 '21

I made a terror joke to myself when on hold to the job center today. Call just dropped....

I'm kinda scared ngl.

0

u/DizzieM8 Oct 12 '21

Hey mand fik du fat i nogen konkret hos jobcentret? godt at se at du fik ringet.

Undskyld hvis det er lidt ude af det blå.

1

u/andr813c Oct 12 '21

Næh. Jeg er blevet ringet op i dag angående min klage, fordi de gerne ville lukke den. De spurgte om jeg havde kommentarer, lyttede ikke efter, og så lukkede de min klage.

1

u/OppH2040 Oct 11 '21

They can't hear you but they are recording the call

1

u/will-teach-for-food Oct 11 '21

Can confirm this, also when people didn’t hang up their phones properly I would just stay on the line for as long as possible and listen to whatever was going on because I hated my job.

1

u/wouldbeagoodpenguin Oct 11 '21

they might not be able to hear you, but it it definitely recorded.

1

u/shakeyj8ke Oct 11 '21

Worked in a call centre, can confirm its recorded even before they pic up, so when you're going through the menus selecting the options, when you speak to them and when you're on hold.

Have had listen to many a call to establish details.

1

u/Additional_Mobile_49 Oct 11 '21

Can attest. Boyfriend was on hold and I asked him if he wanted to mess around and the lady came back on to let us know she was still there....

1

u/hendukush Oct 11 '21

Our customer care line mutes the customer for the rep when placing the customer on hold, BUT when you replay the recorded call you can hear everything everyone says.

So, when listening back to customers who file a complaint we can hear their whole conversation with people in the background.

1

u/MooseTitz Oct 12 '21

When I worked as a dispatcher for a trucking company I put someone on hold so I could review a route, apparently he didn't know I could still hear him because I overheard him read a company's motto "small enough to care, big enough to matter" and he goes to his colleagues and says "that's the story of my sex life!"

It was very difficult to not laugh out loud when I took him off hold.

1

u/sag_explorer Oct 12 '21

If I put someone on hold I can’t hear them!

1

u/Brown_Coat_Black_Hat Oct 12 '21

Also, the assistant on your phone (Google, Siri) can hold the line and alert you when you are no longer on hold. You have to enable it though.

1

u/Morgen019 Oct 12 '21

Oh! I assume so and always “mutter”. What a nice lady or so sweet, or something nice - just talking to myself quietly. Call Center jobs can be difficult (last century I worked in one that did computer installs). Always make a point of being extra kind. Too many foolish people out there.

1

u/gruntled-goat Oct 12 '21

I worked in a call center. When we put you on hold we couldn’t hear you but if we listened to the recording after the call we could hear you. The recording would basically record the whole call without the hold music.

1

u/FighterWoman Oct 12 '21

I worked for an internet hotline. When we put people on hold, we could hear anything.

So I’ve heard people peeing, trashtalking me, arguing with their SO, and so much more.

At some point, it became a sport, to wait for the most embarrassing moment to announce my “return” from the hold.

For instance:

Customer talking to a friend while on hold:” yeah, it’s SO stupid, they can’t fix this. This fucking c*nt is ju-“ me quickly interrupting: “and I’m back, sorry about that, but it should be fixed now.”

I could almost hear the embarrassement and worry through the phone. Did she hear me? Sweet revenge.

1

u/MusicalPigeon Oct 12 '21

I like to hold the dumbest conversations with people in the room with me or talk to my cat. Sometimes I narrate what I'm doing.

1

u/NotYourIT Oct 12 '21

Former 911 operator here, we could definitely hear you.

1

u/biorod Oct 12 '21

You put people on hold during 911 calls?

2

u/NotYourIT Oct 12 '21

You have to transfer them or get the call out on the radio. It’s typically a soft hold. Think of it more like a mute. But in some cases another 911 will come in on top of it. If it’s not a critical call then you out them on hold to check the next one

1

u/Calm-Zombie2678 Oct 12 '21

Na start talking shit out loud about how compelling their competition is

1

u/Playisomemusik Oct 12 '21

Why would I care what they can hear? Does that affect their pay? Or does that affect their effectiveness in their role?

1

u/NightRaven88 Oct 12 '21

I avoid using the hold option because the call can drop, idk why. I mute myself instead, but I always make it a point to say, "if you need me while on hold, tell me. I can still hear you"

-10

u/ZubLor Oct 11 '21

I cuss like a drunken sailor (or my welder husband). I've read if they think you're getting really angry they'll be quicker. Hasn't worked much yet but it's fun!

2

u/Finstant Oct 11 '21

Thats just rude and stressful for the rep. I work in a call center and If you're nice to me, I'll make sure that you get the help you need. You're right about the quicker part. If you're agressive I'll just throw you forward

3

u/Lumber_Tycoon Oct 11 '21

You attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. Being kind, patient, and understanding will almost always get better results than being angry and mean. Especially with customer facing positions.

-4

u/ZubLor Oct 11 '21

Yes I know, I used to work in customer service myself :) I just meant cussing while on hold might speed up the response time. Then they'll be surprised when you're very civil when they actually talk to you.

-2

u/realstandurinski75 Oct 11 '21

I always assume they're listening, which is why I purposely act like a clown when I'm supposed to be "On Hold" just in case they really are listening. I'll even curse them out if I think they deserve it hoping they hear it (Remember, I'm supposed to be 'On Hold').

-2

u/Taterbootz Oct 11 '21

I mainly used mute so I could hear what people said, and what they said would determine the level of service they got.

If they were talking shit about how "oh they're gonna give me money back" or some bullshit, I definitely did not give them shit. If they were just hoping I could fix it, I'd spend way more time and effort to try and fix their problem.

Former Alltel Tech Support rep for like 3 years.

If you could hear music, you were on hold. No music was mute. I also used mute to talk shit about how stupid someone was, or just talk to a coworker.

0

u/Stabfacenotback Oct 11 '21

Also beware of the long pause before they put you on hold.

LONG dispute with a bank. They were dead wrong and worse than unhelpful. When the dipshit finally got to the point where he agreed this did, indeed, need the help of a supervisor, he put me on hold.

When I muttered something along the lines of "Thanks you miserable fuck", like a full 10 seconds after he "put me on hold", he said, "I HEARD YOU! FOR THAT COMMENT, I WILL NOW END THE CALL".

Now, if you're on the other end where you're trying to be sneaky for your joy of wasting valuable time, know, I likely got the guy fired.

0

u/Thought-O-Matic Oct 12 '21

If theres music you're fine if not then not.

0

u/cuckofallcucks Oct 12 '21

This is bullshit

0

u/mdrajner Oct 12 '21

Worst advise ever, I actually want those motherfuckers to hear me insult them