Merry Christmas ... Can I Put You on Hold?



Christmas shopping and bungled online orders don't exactly go hand-in-hand but a recent incident involving a consumer and the Zappos corporation takes the fruitcake: a 10-hour-long customer phone call.

Amazingly enough, a spokesperson for Zappos, the online shoe retailer, doesn't think the 10-hour, 29-minute call was necessarily a bad thing. In an email from Zappos' official Diane Coffey to The Huffinton Post, Coffey said the Zappos customer service representative was "just following protocol" and it was "proof of the company's dedication to its customers."

CBS News reports that American call centers for companies like Zappos collectively receive 43 billion calls a year. And in 2011, FastCustomer found that Continental Airlines put its customers on hold for the longest amount of time: an average wait time of 13 minutes. Five of the 10 companies with the longest wait times were airlines.

Jeffrey Lewis, Zappos' Customer Loyalty Team supervisor, wrote the following statement in the wake of the Huffington Post story:

“Zappos’s first core value is deliver wow through service, and we feel that allowing our team members the ability to stay on the phone with a customer for as long as they need is a crucial means of fulfilling this value.”