'Your call is important to us': Here's how long we had to wait on hold at ten call centres

PUBLISHED: 15:07 08 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:34 08 June 2018

Wendy Grady has been scammed out of money which disappeared from her TSB account (Photo: Archant)

Wendy Grady has been scammed out of money which disappeared from her TSB account (Photo: Archant)


After a pensioner from Attleborough waited for 16 hours in total on hold to her bank, we decided to dip our toe in the water of call centres.

Wendy Grady lost £2,800 to scammers but could not get through to her bank TSB for hours, despite making several calls over three days.

We picked ten helpline numbers for big companies and local councils and timed how long it took us to get through to a human.

All performed well. Norwich City Council had the longest wait at 5 minutes 36 seconds.

But this was due in part to the wide variety of options they give when you call.

It was a similar story for media firm Sky and insurance company Aviva, with waiting times of 5 minutes 4 seconds and 4 minutes 22 seconds respectively.

HM Revenue and Customs point callers in the direction of their website. Their wait time of 3 minutes 45 seconds reflected the number of different options you have to select before speaking to someone.

At the other end of the spectrum, depending on nature of your enquiry, it can take as little as 1 minute 6 seconds to speak to an advisor from BT. Greater Anglia, Plusnet and Barclays also performed well when we called, with a waiting time of under 2 minutes.

Building society Nationwide clocked in with a wait time of 2 minutes 22 seconds.

These calls were carried out on a weekday mid-morning. Any other time could yield different results:

•Norwich City Council - 5 minutes 36 seconds

•Sky - 5m 4s

•Aviva - 4m 22s

•HMRC - 3m 45s

•Nationwide - 2m 22s

•Norfolk County Council - 2m 18s

•Barclays - 1m 55s

•Plusnet - 1m 49s

•Greater Anglia - 1m 37

•BT - 1 m 6s

•What are your experiences of being on hold? You can leave your comments below.

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