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Last Updated: Monday, 7 August 2006, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
Consumers angry over phone wait
Call centre workers
The hold period may only be six minutes, but it often feels longer
Hanging on hold during a phone call is the biggest bugbear for consumers, a survey from management consultancy Accenture suggests.

The survey, of 1,000 adults, found that on average consumers spent six minutes on hold each time they call a company.

The next biggest gripe for consumers is having to repeat the same information to different members of staff.

The inability of customer service staff to answer questions and offer helpful advice also angered many consumers.

Consumer anger

Banks, utilities, phone and internet providers seem to prompt the greatest anger amongst consumers.

One in five consumers surveyed said they had ditched their bank, utility company, phone company or internet provider in the past year because of poor customer service.

Robert Wollan, Accenture spokesman, said that successful companies paid special attention to customer service.

"High-performing companies recognise that customer satisfaction is built or destroyed by how well they co-ordinate every step of each interaction," Mr Wollan said.

Earlier this year, the National Consumer Council (NCC) warned UK business that it risked losing out to foreign competitors if it did not nurture a better relationship with customers.

The NCC cited banks and telecoms companies as offering the poorest service levels.

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