Top customer phone gripes revealed


Research reveals that companies still aren’t answering their phones, messages aren’t being passed on, phone numbers aren’t being listed on websites, and annoying ‘on hold’ music continues to drive people round the bend.

Leading outsourced communications provider, Moneypenny, surveyed more than 2,000 UK and US consumers and found that three quarters of respondents agreed that a good call experience was a powerful customer service differentiator.

Despite this, poor customer care habits continue to irritate consumers when calling a business – with phone calls not being answered (43%) and annoying hold music (34%) topping the list of gripes. 

Further phone annoyances revealed by the survey include:

Complex automated phone messages       30%
Being told to check the website                 30%
Having to leave a voicemail                23%
Feeling rushed and not listened to     21%
Background call centre noise             19%

Joanna Swash, Group CEO of Moneypenny, commented: “First impressions count, and bad ones can be difficult – impossible even – to recover from. It’s crucial to ensure that employees responsible for handling calls have the resource and experience to not only answer professionally but also tune into the emotion of the caller. 

“Their perception of a caller’s spoken, and unspoken emotions can help to shape their response and could determine whether somebody converts from a prospect to customer or stays a customer at all.”

A poor call experience can trigger a number of different reactions – all of which are detrimental to a company’s bottom line and reputation.

According to the data:

36% would take their business elsewhere
34% would complain to the business
32% would call again and ask to speak to someone else
29% would spread the word to friends and family
25% would write a negative review

Another huge bugbear revealed by the research is that 90% of those surveyed get frustrated when businesses don’t include a phone number on their website. Promisingly though, 37% of people are satisfied with their experiences of solving a query via digital channels.

Joanna added: “Not every query is urgent, complex or sensitive, and in those cases using digital tools to communicate such as live chat, chat bots, FAQs and email provide quick and convenient ways to contact a business. 

“We know that different people prefer different channels depending on the time and situation. Excelling in one area and lacking in another is counterproductive and a sure-fire way to intensify any existing stress or concern. To succeed in delivering a great customer experience, businesses must deliver a consistent level of service across every single touch point – on the phone, online and in-person.”

Moneypenny’s report is available to download for free on Moneypenny’s website:

Established in 2000, Moneypenny is the world’s market leader for telephone answering, live chat, outsourced switchboard and customer contact solutions. In total, more than 21,000 businesses across the UK benefit from Moneypenny’s mix of extraordinary people and ground-breaking technology. 

For more information, visit:

*Moneypenny survey conducted by Censuswide among 2,000 UK and US consumers, from 27 May to 6 June 2022.




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