There are few things worse than wasting precious time on hold. It’s a terrible experience for both the customer and the business. So why do we continue to put up with it?
That’s a question we ask every year as we prepare to name-and-shame Twitter’s top hold time offenders of the year. Your customers have opinions on your service, and if they’re unhappy, they will take to social media without hesitation to voice their frustrations. And trust us, it isn’t pretty.
Don’t believe us? A quick trip to OnHoldWith.com will change your mind fast. There, you can see live tweets of customer complaints as they wait on hold. You can even search by company name to get a full view of what these callers are dealing with, and how they are feeling.
For 2022, we’ve sifted through the data, and here’s what we found:
- Airlines account for 35% of all tweets complaining about hold time. They also occupy seven of the 10 top hold time offender spots this year.
- Financial services account for 24% of businesses who have received tweet complaints about their hold time, making them the most common industry dealing with long hold times.
- Telecommunication services accounted for 16% of tweets complaining about hold time.
- Other notable industries listed in our report include retail, government, utilities, and more.
This Year’s Top 10 Worst Hold Time Offenders
One of the most notable trends this year was the monumental number of Twitter users posting about being on hold with airlines. In fact, airlines dominated our top 10 list, which just goes to show how customer service can make or break the public’s perception of your brand.
So which businesses experienced the most ‘turbulence’ with their hold time this year? We’ve got the scoop — read on to find out!
10. Air Canada
First up, we have Air Canada. They more than doubled their number of Twitter complaints compared to the previous year, snagging them tenth place on our list of hold time offenders. Just ask these folks…
No amount of Paul Rudd GIFs will make up for the 5 hours this caller has lost.
— Natalie Kristy (@Nattyalexandria) December 25, 2022
When you’re waiting on hold longer than your actual flight… yikes.
— clifford harvey (@cliffyharv) January 1, 2023
To be fair, if we had this experience, we’d swear off this airline too.
— Joe Zackary (@ZackarywithaK) January 2, 2023
WestJet hasn’t changed much, moving from spot 8 to spot 9 on our list since last year. Today, customers are still expressing their frustrations with this airline.
They say creativity can stem from boredom, but this is ridiculous!
When you’ve been on hold with @WestJet for so long that you’ve made up lyrics to the hold music and now have full choreography to go along with it 😑✌🏻
— Michela Sheedy (@michelasheedy) December 29, 2022
Oof. That hashtag has to hurt.
— Jago Smith (@JagoZSmith) December 29, 2022
When your communications don’t align with your service, customers notice.
WestJet every five minutes while on hold for hours: “Have you considered changing or cancelling your booking online?”
WestJet’s online app: pic.twitter.com/XmicqFidqW
— DesktopFolder (@DesktopFolder) December 30, 2022
8. British Airways
This airline has flown into our number 8 spot for worst hold time offenders. And according to the following tweets, they certainly earned their place on this list.
This fitness enthusiast has found a silver lining to being stuck on hold.
I’ve gotten in 2 great workouts this week while on hold with @British_Airways 🙃
— thomscribner (@foncedechic) December 23, 2022
This post is a lesson in listening to your customers. But they shouldn’t have to plead to get in touch with you!
@British_Airways So disappointed that one has to be on hold for hours to speak to a customer service representative. How about upgrading so that customers can chat to you without having to be on hold listening to the same message over and over? Or how about providing an email? ☹️
— flowerastra (@mikiearthling) December 28, 2022
What’s the point of VIP status if you’re not even receiving basic service?
@British_Airways gosh I hate dealing with your customer service. I am a gold card member and on hold for 50 mins and being given the runaround
— Sophia Nadur (@sophia_isa) December 2, 2022
This telecommunications provider is notorious for their long hold times. They are no strangers to our top 10 list of hold time offenders, and we can only hope things improve in the coming year.
When your customers are telling you to fix CX, you better listen.
Have been on hold for about 30 mins with a customer care rep. Still no resolution! Have faced too many and too frequent technical glitches with online ordering system and portal. Have sent a DM with more details. Should do something about CX!
— Amardeep Modi (@amardeep_modi) December 30, 2022
Bet those emoji tears are real.
Who has the worst hold music? Currently my pick is Verizon since I’m on hold with them. 🤣 I’ll hear this for days!😂
— Katherine (@VAGirlsmom) December 1, 2022
No one wants to spend their precious vacation time waiting on hold!
How are you spending your break? I’m spending mine on hold with @VerizonSupport – five hours and COUNTING.
— Amanda K. Morgan (@AmandaKMorgan) December 30, 2022
Stress-free travel seems to be a rare thing when it comes to airlines. Qantas has snagged the sixth spot on our list of hold time offenders, and the complaints are really something to behold.
The only thing worse than waiting on hold is finally connecting with an agent who just can’t help you.
Four hours trying to use $9000 worth of @Qantas credit. Can’t do it. Is there a flight? Yes! Are there seats? Yes! Do we have $9k credit? Yes! Can @Qantas employee book the ticket? Not without help that he hasn’t been able to find for FOUR HOURS.
— K Dunning (@wellreadhostess) December 28, 2022
That’s a pretty bold move, Qantas. Let’s see how it plays out…
Very cool @Qantas to be on hold for 45 minutes and then thrown straight to the post-call survey 🙃
— Claire Taylor (@claire_coulton) October 8, 2022
The only thing worse than waiting on hold is finally connecting to a representative, and being placed on hold again.
@Qantas my rep went on hold without telling me he was now it’s been 20 minutes and he still isn’t back…..
— Tyler Butt (@Tyler_Butt1) November 18, 2022
Stressed about calling the IRS? You aren’t alone — these callers stuck in queue are venting their frustration to the Twitterverse.
That’s a fair assessment. What say you, IRS?
i just feel like if the IRS really wanted my money, they wouldn’t have me on hold for an hour
— ApricotSnaps (@apricot_snaps) December 23, 2022
No one should ever be betrayed by a call-back like that.
was on hold with the irs for two hours and decided to choose the call back option and they never called me back 😭 I knew I should’ve just stayed otp!
— HER 🐐💙 (@REALLYHER07) December 15, 2022
Now that’s just a waste of a good charge… hope you have spares!
I’ve spent so long on hold with the IRS today that my AirPods have died
— Luba Lesiva (@loobah_l) December 27, 2022
4. Virgin Media
Telecommunications giant Virgin Media has slid into 4th place on our list. The following Twitter complaints just go to show how essential good customer support is.
Looks like Virgin Media just lost a customer.
@virginmedia you have the worst telesales team in the history of the world. After being on hold for over an hour I got precisely nowhere. Thanks
— Dan Gadsby (@im_gadsby) December 30, 2022
“Is customer service a luxury of the past??”
@virginmedia @VirginMediaIE Spent 2 hours on hold. Is customer service a luxury of the past?? Been attempting to get a broadband engineer to the house for weeks without success. Would be great to hear from you.
— Jack Sheehan (@JackShe88247870) December 3, 2022
If customers can’t reach you in their time of need, they will go elsewhere.
I suppose @virginmedia doesn’t want my business. Looking to renew phone and broadband and on hold for 30 minutes to get through to sales. I’ll go elsewhere.
— Abbas Shah (@abbaslovesuk) November 8, 2022
3. American Airlines
American Airlines has secured the bronze spot for Twitter hold time complaints, and with the state of their air travel, it’s little wonder why.
This customer is desperate to speak to a human being. Why does it have to be so difficult?
@AmericanAir I’ve been waiting on hold for a representative for 56 minutes now! How long does it take to speak to a human???
— Kris Caraway✨ (@MissKris76) December 28, 2022
On the other hand, this person connects with a human and promptly gets disconnected.
On hold with @AmericanAir for 2 hours and the first person hangs up on me 😀 is being absolutely useless a job requirement or just a preference?
— Ԁ$∀ (@anaswagprincess) December 24, 2022
What a trooper – waiting on hold for two hours and counting!
I’m not usually one to complain but I’ve been on hold with @AmericanAir for over TWO HOURS. And this is after I got to talk to someone. I was transferred and I’m still on hold. Ever thought of hiring more staff? pic.twitter.com/zVdILChTXq
— Dixie Longate (@Dixielongate) October 25, 2022
2. Southwest Airlines
The silver medal for worst hold time offenders goes to Southwest Airlines. And if there’s any doubt, their customers’ tweets say it all:
Call-backs should be free of hold time. Isn’t that the whole point??
What the hell southwest!! Scheduled a call back and I’m on hold for 30 min after you called me back!!! 😡
— Sharon (@Sharon172228) January 4, 2023
This scathing shoutout is just the tip of the iceberg for Southwest Airlines.
Shoutout to @SouthwestAir for putting me through multiple delays and cancellations, keeping me on hold for hours, and after all that not offering so much as a wi-fi voucher for the plane so I can catch up on work they’re making me miss. Terrible airline.
— Colin Booth (@ColinGBooth) January 3, 2023
Even the flight attendants at Southwest Airlines are stuck on hold! Now that’s rough.
Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants Say They’re Waiting More Than 10 Hours On Hold to Get Through to Schedulinghttps://t.co/8J7ww2rLg8
— Tom Barnett (@TomBarn82753032) December 29, 2022
1. Delta Airlines
Delta Airlines is no stranger to our list of worst hold time offenders. In fact, they have once again secured the top spot for most hold time complaints on Twitter. Do they deserve the crown two years in a row? These customers think so.
Your customer service game is lacking, Delta!
@Delta customer service game is lacking. Was on hold for over an hour and then got disconnected. Getting frustrated af
— Chad Zapfe (@ChadZapfe) January 4, 2023
SEVEN HOURS?? This customer is going the extra mile to get her baggage returned. Wouldn’t it be nice if Delta would match her effort?
I’ve been on hold with @Delta for almost seven hours because the first representative I got to simply hung up on me and so am ready to scream if I I have to listen this hold music any longer I just want my clothes
— Alex Hartmann (@xandradhartmann) December 28, 2022
And finally, this customer who revived her old Twitter account just to spite Delta Airlines.
— Alexandra ODaly (@AlexandraODaly) January 7, 2023
We hope that this list of hold time complaints helps businesses understand just how essential good customer support is, especially when it comes to time-sensitive issues. It’s not just about resolving customer problems — it’s all about building trust and showing your customers that your team is committed to giving them a positive experience.