#OnHoldWith the Worst Offenders of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Customer Service | 5 minute read

Can we all agree that being stuck on hold with a company is one of the most frustrating experiences? 

Despite this shared sentiment, hold time is still a standard practice in customer service. So, businesses worldwide experienced a rude awakening last March when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, causing overwhelming call volumes and incredibly long queues for panicking customers.

Businesses that were unprepared for the onslaught of queries buckled under the pressure, and their customers were left without a lifeline. Unsurprisingly, many took their frustrations to social media.

Fonolo created #OnHoldWith to spotlight customer woes and end hold time forever. Because the last thing we need in a global emergency is terrible customer support. We compiled a list of the businesses with the most #OnHoldWith complaints via Twitter from March to August 2020. 

#10. Travelocity

When your customer service is unhelpful, you know you have a problem.

A simple issue has turned into a test of patience. We feel your pain!

#9. American Express

Good shout, Alexander — we’re a big fan of call-backs too!

Well, is it?

#8. T-Mobile

At least they have a sense of humor about the situation!


#7. United Airlines

He makes a solid point here, United.

Hold time within hold time… didn’t Leo star in this movie?

#6. Virgin Media

When your customer is more concerned about the agent’s absence…

A questionable one, at best.

#5. AT&T



Call queue limbo can make you question everything you know.

#4. EasyJet

Despite two and a half hours of hold time over two days, this customer has stayed poised and polite…

If your customers feel invisible, you’re obviously doing something wrong.

#3. Delta Airlines

30 minutes for a simple question? THAT’S A DEALBREAKER.

Can you imagine if customers started invoicing companies for wasted hold time? Yikes! 

#2. Expedia

The desperation is REAL. Who would do this to a person??

Despite a valiant effort, this customer has conceded defeat. Nice going, Expedia.

And last but not least, the top #OnHoldWith medal of (dis)honor goes to…

#1. Chase Bank

This customer’s dedication inspires us, despite this ridiculous journey.

Four hours of her life that she’ll never get back…

And that’s the bottom line — a poor customer experience means poor customer loyalty.

Businesses, your customers have spoken loud and clear! Hold time is the worst, and we must stop the madness. 

The first step? Get call-backs for your contact center — your customers will thank you! Then check out this article on how you can improve customers’ perceptions of your brand. Spoiler: making customers wait hours to speak to you is one of the worst things you can do. 

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