Cost of waiting: $38 billion
Waiting for the cable guy and other in-home appointments and deliveries costs Americans an average of $250 in lost wages, poll says.
Waiting for the cable guy and other in-home services cost American workers almost $38 billion in the past year, according to a new study.
That's the cost of two full workdays for every U.S. employee -- not just the ones who stayed home from work to wait on a service call, TOA Technologies CEO Yuval Brisker said in a statement. TOA Technologies sponsored the study.
Fifthy-eight percent of respondents to the 2011 "Cost of Waiting" study said they had waited at home for delivery, service or repair people three times in the past year, with an average wait time of 4.5 hours. More than 25% said waiting resulted in lost wages, and 50% said it cost them a sick day or vacation day.
Taking a half day off work to wait for a furniture delivery or appliance repair appointment is bad enough, but survey respondents reported that the wait times were a full 2.5 hours longer than they expected.
And what do people do while they wait? They complain, of course. As Multichannel News reports: "The longer a technician is late, the more likely it becomes that customers will start griping online: After waiting for one hour, almost half of respondents (49%) said they would have posted a complaint on a social media."
In sponsoring the 2011 Cost of Waiting study, TOA Technologies has created ammunition for such complaints -- and a warning for companies who neglect customer service. TOA, which develops software for mobile workforce management and customer appointment scheduling, concluded that -- based on estimates from survey respondents -- each lost customer cost businesses $330 annually. Post continues below.
The top reason respondents gave for companies not showing up on time was a perceived lack of consideration for the customer's time (29%). Though 21% of people surveyed said the length of time required for service is unpredictable, 18% said the companies took advantage of knowing the customer would wait.
The survey also found that most customers (71%) blame the company, rather than the service person, for keeping them waiting in 2011 -- up from 55% in 2010. And 27% switched to a competitor as a result, according to the poll of more than 1,000 adults conducted by IBOPE Zogby International for TOA Technologies.
The study results didn't mention whether any of the respondents worked in home offices or if any were unemployed. While someone working at home or job-hunting might not lose wages waiting for the doorbell to ring, their numbers would certainly increase the overall dissatisfaction rate. No one likes being kept waiting, and it's tough to concentrate when you anticipate being interrupted at any moment.
I can't complain too much about the cable guy. The last time we had someone from Comcast come to the house, we were able to make a weekend appointment, and when they were running ahead of schedule that day, the techs called ahead to ask if they could show up early. (Perhaps service improved after the cable company was named The Consumerist's Worst Company in America for 2010.)
Online comments to news articles about the poll indicates my experience is likely atypical, however. Readers mostly related their customer-service horror stories, often bringing up wait times in other places, such as doctors' offices and airports.
"What ticks me off is that companies could do a better job. Cable companies know how long it takes to hook up cable in an apartment or house, especial since most are already wired, and they know how to map out routes to pin down the installation time," reader Joshua Morgan said on CNN Money.
To which another reader responded: "I don't like waiting, but the fact is that estimating such things is an art, not a science and is based on a variety of factors."
"Rabbit Ears are making a comeback … go buy a pair and curse at the satellites when your station won't come in. But it comes with no monthly bill," a Daily Finance reader offered.
What has been your experience? Have you been kept waiting in the past year? And do you still do business with that company?
More on MSN Money:
- Calculator:Is your budget in balance?
As 'someone' mentioned, it can be frustrating for the customer, but it is even worse for the Tech because this is a daily, all day stressful job. I think that the corporate powers-that-be would spend a week in the field with a service tech, the overall customer service and installation time would improve and be competitive.
Worse than waiting on service people is waiting on Nov. 2012 to get here!!!
So far the wait has cost the taxpayers 14 TRILLION plus!!!!
WAKE UP PEOPLE! Take the trash out in DC!!! ALL OF IT!!!
Okay...Let's play doctor...No. Get your dirty minds out of the gutter. Doctors are at the hospital most mornings by 5 AM. I know this because I've seen them do their rounds between 5 AM and 9 AM. This includes reviews of patient progress, tests performed, changing medications as well as speaking with patients directly.
Then? Off to their office where most work from 9 AM until 7 PM and some still offer Saturday hours. Some doctors see as many as 30 patients in a single day. Think you can maintain that schedule? Oh and by the way, in all fairness, how many times must doctors stop to answer phone calls while they are with patients to argue with HMOs dickering over whether or not HMO Kings will accept claims and medical procedures?
What's with this younger generation running their lives at breakneck speed, multi-tasking and still accomplishing nothing of any major importance or value? They whip through their daily work at their jobs like tomorrow might not come. Then it's hurry, hurry, hurry off to lunch where they spend an hour of lunch time on their cell phones. They fly out the door, rush to pick up the 3rd generation of Daycare Trophy Kids and then shove a mediocre meal on the table they call dinner or hustle the kiddies out to the nearest fast (there's that word again) food restaurant.
If they are trying to do an impression of the Busiest Generation, give it up already. We get it.
This kind of waiting is definitely annoying but life isn't perfect. At least you are in your own home or environment and can do other things. My personal pet peeve is doctor's offices. You make an appointment and sometimes don't get seen for over an hour past your appointment time. While waiting you are trapped in some innocuous and bland little room with a bunch of inane and irrelevant reading material with absolutely nothing to do. Then the nurse or what ever comes and gets you and puts you in an even smaller room and amuses you for perhaps 10 minutes or so then you are left alone for up to another hour with even less to do. Then when the doctor finally does pop in they look at you for maybe 10 or 15 minutes, give you a scrip, and boot you out the door followed by a bill for anywhere from $25.00 to $75.00 for the privilege.
The medical profession definitely has a racket going because they know that they have you over the proverbial barrel. I appreciate that they went through a lot of education to become doctors but what part of their education taught them complete arrogance and inconsideration for their patients? Frankly I am just as pleased with the speedy clinics where you are seen by a courteous and caring nurse practitioner. Quick in, get what you need, and quick out.
Comcast is without a doubt the WORST cable company in the history of cable! Just bought a new (forclosure) home, set the appointment 3 weeks in advance, on the day of installation no one showed up, called Comcast and was told it would be 3 more days due to the fact that they had a problem with the last owners bill. I ask what that had to do with me and why would I care? They said "they thought" I might be hooking it up for them. The house had been vacant for almost a year! WTFO
Guess who didn't put cable in my house? Called Dish...had a tech there the next morning at 8:00 am...he did a wonderful job of his installation and everything works like a champ! Say what you want about Dish but I like them way better than Comcast or Direct.
I agree with the comment about calling the customer on a cell phone before I arrive. We try to do that just for that reason. The customer can then stay at work or whatever until shortly before we arrive. What most people don't unerstand is the very nature of the repair business is frought with uncertaintys and variables tnat can't be accounted for by the person setting up the service call. in 35yrs of servicing I have never been able to do two jobs in exactly the same time. In other than the most routine repairs, things come up. A bolt may be rusted, the machine is stuck in a closet and has to be removed before I can even start the repair, the customer asks me to look at another appliance "as long as you are here, can you take a peek at my washer" , or the "BEST ONE" the customer thought he would help me by completely disaasembing the appliance and left the parts in a bowl and doesn't want to be charged any more that what they were quoted on the phone !
It's not to our advantage to take more time on a job than is needed. It's just something that happens and most of the time it is beyond our control and can't be planned. Some of our customers make the mistake of comparing the repair business to a barber shop where they have an exact time and "They" go to the appointment at the office. It would be a totally different scenario if the barber had to fight traffic and do "house calls"
If we are going to start looking into this kind of thing, how about looking into the time people waste at the DMV or any other goverment requirements. Look at both sides before you complain.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
CareerCast has released its list of jobs that really aren't as glamorous as they seem.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'