By GalTime Consumer Watchdog Mary Schwager
Online Customer Service
In most situations, picking up a phone is such a simple way to make contact or get help. But when it comes to calling a major company's customer service department, well, "easy" isn't exactly the first word that comes to mind. In fact that dreaded pre-recorded message is so familiar, most of us can recite it by memory: "Thank you for calling. Your call is very important to us. If you REALLY want to talk to a LIVE person, we estimate your wait time to be (insert NEW automated voice) '23 minutes. If you don't wish to wait, you can go to our website for more information and customer service."
You think to yourself, "Seriously more than 20 minutes?!" And then you just might decide to go with plan B--you hang up the phone and go online. But will you have more luck with a cyber rep? A new study estimates you have about a 50/50 chance of getting a helpful response from top retailers' websites.