Since Diann & I are moving soon, I needed to call up all our utility companies and get services transferred. My phone at work can report on who I recently called and the time that I spent on each call (to answer your question: I don’t think big brother is watching). I noticed what I thought was an interesting trend, and dug up the phone logs to prove it.
I had to call 5 companies in total: 3 of them local (Puget Sound Energy, City of Bellevue Utilities, and Allied Waste) and 2 national (Comcast and Verizon). Since we’re moving within the same city and service areas of these companies, most of the calls would be to transfer service from our current residence to our new residence. Some of the calls would be to disconnect service altogether (Verizon doesn’t offer FiOS at our new place), and some would be to transfer and modify service (had to move cable from Comcast and add internet to our service).
The local companies use local call centers, the national companies use national call centers. Comcast’s national call center is local (up in Lynnwood, if I recall correctly), but it answers calls for their nationwide customer base.
Here are my results:
|Local||Puget Sound Energy||Transfer service from old to new address||3m44s|
|Local||Allied Waste||Transfer service from old to new address
Inquire about new service (trash day, etc.)
|Local||City of Bellevue Utilities||Transfer service from old to new address||6m27s|
|National||Comcast||Transfer service from old to new address
Add new service
|National||Verizon FiOS||Disconnect existing service||11m15s|
Verizon was the worst – as I expected – to do the least amount of work: just disconnecting service. Didn’t have to schedule time for someone to come out and do work, didn’t have to ask about how the service would work at the new address. Just disconnecting. My Verizon timeline in detail? 3m03s to get an actual human, the human transferred me to another department at the 4m46s mark, whereupon I had hold music until 6m35s, and I was finally completed at 11m15s.
My sample size is small, but I’m theorizing that as your call center becomes more national, it takes longer to do stuff.