TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Your Call (and Rants on Hold) Will Be Monitored

Your Call (and Rants on Hold) Will Be Monitored

Monty Solomon (
Wed, 12 Jan 2005 11:49:29 -0500


MELVILLE, N.Y. - It is the opening line on so many phone conversations
these days: This call may be monitored for quality assurance purposes.

The taped message is so common that many callers might assume that no
one is ever listening, let alone taking notes. But they would be

Monitoring is intended to track the performance of call center
operators, but the professional snoops are inadvertently monitoring
callers, too. Most callers do not realize that they may be taped even
while they are on hold.

It is at these times that monitors hear husbands arguing with their
wives, mothers yelling at their children, and dog owners throwing fits
at disobedient pets, all when they think no one is listening. Most
times, the only way a customer can avoid being recorded is to hang up.

"You could have a show on Broadway just playing the calls," said Mike
Schrider, president of J.Lodge, a call monitoring service based in
Hammonton, N.J.

Call monitors eavesdrop on millions of exchanges a year, and listening
to the mumblings and rants of people on hold comes with the job. Over
all, about 2 percent of the hundreds of millions of calls made to call
centers are monitored by a company's own managers or, increasingly, by
third-party monitoring companies, which have come on the scene in the
last couple of years.

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