Well calling on these numbers may be free of charge but we forget that our time is charged. And I had to face this problem last week. I called the toll free number of a public sector bank. After choosing numerous options and giving all kinds of details, I get to choose the option to speak to a customer care agent. I chose that option and then comes the message: All our customer care agents are busy. Your call will be attended in 38 minutes 40 seconds. I was shocked and couldn't believe my ears. My husband too thought I had made a mistake and asked me to put the phone in speaker mode. When the same message was repeated, we realized my ears were working properly. I was aghast. I didn't want to disconnect and go through the whole process again.
The phone was left in the speaker mode and we decided to do our work. After 5 minutes came the same message but now the waiting time was 28 minutes. I was happy thinking that finally things seemed to be moving. Suddenly my daughter was hungry. The waiting time was still 28 minutes. I happily fed her. Even her nappy was changed. all this took 15 minutes but the waiting time was still 28 minutes.
Then comes the maid. I explain the things that she has to do. The waiting time now changes to 21 minutes. and on goes the process till it's 1 minute 6 seconds. And this waiting time continues for the next 10-12 minutes. Luckily the call didn't get disconnected at any point. Finally I get a human voice to speak to. and thankfully it was a sane person who solved my problem easily.
After completing the call, I took a look at the call duration: It showed more than an hour!
Ah..toll free numbers...there is no money involved but the time costs are something we forget to mention!