Today, I decided to conduct an impromptu litmus test for several major service providers. The procedure was to call shortly after lunch, when businesses are returning to their desk and might run into a problem that would cause their meal to find its way back up their esophagus. Graphic? Maybe. Accurate? Yes. Waiting on hold is something we’ve all done in our lifetimes, and it can be infuriating, especially when the music is pleasant, but the reason for calling is not. As a native New Yorker, I’ve spent my whole life getting what I need at the speed of light, and I’m resigned to the fact my demanding demeanor will never change. In the same regard, business is conducted at the same speed, if not close to it – waiting on hold is enough to cost not only time, but money!

Setting up and maintaining a VoIP system can be complicated, and I’ll testify that here at, we often consult with various technical support teams during our research. The addressing and resolution of issues in a prompt and efficient manner is something that goes a very, very long way when using Business VoIP. Even the most tech savvy will find themselves calling from time to time, and it is important that this experience be quick and concise.

On Hold - Two Words That Make Me Cringe

The following is a list of major Business VoIP providers and the hold times I experienced when calling around 2:30 PM, EST – a generally busy time of day. The times logged are clocked from the moment I keyed for technical support to the time a human being answered. Much to the credit of Fonality, I’ve included a * as they forewarned of “longer than usual” wait times and are also dealing with a fresh release today in their Voicemail Transcription; not so bad considering. Here are the wait times on hold for technical support:

Service Provider Time on Hold
Nextiva Immediately Answered
Phonebooth 56 seconds
8x8, Inc. Immediately Answered
Fonality 22 seconds*
Jive 1 minute 17 seconds
26 seconds

There you have it…the wait times for technical support for some major VoIP providers. I’m off to listen to something heavy to rid myself of the residual echo of banjos, violins, acoustic guitars, and any other instrument that could produce tension despite its gentle ambiance. 

A few things of note:

  • FreedomVoice informs you of your position in the queue [I was number one]
  • Jive did not have any hold music whatsoever – this made me realize the importance of music while waiting. Janet Jackson covered it most recently, Joni Mitchell sung it best, Ral Donner said it first back in 1978 – “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone”.
  • None of the providers required keying in any account numbers or pins – which I find as a nuisance and have experienced with other companies. Screening support calls in this way is counter-intuitive to say the least.
  • All calls were made between 2:30 & 3 PM EST, did not count keying in any menus, and were clocked immediately from when I entered the queue. Nextiva & 8×8 were noted as “answering immediately” since an extension was rang directly and answered the moment I keyed for technical support.

Wait times will obviously vary based on the number of staff, volume of calls, and the company itself. All of these factors will play the largest role in wait times, and this is more of a guide based on my experience rather than a large sample of customer experience. The wait times noted were considerably short, and generally, my experience with the support staff of the above companies has been smooth and easy.

Waiting On-Hold is Enough to Make You Blow Up/Hang Up

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