“Thank you for calling Waste Your Time Hotline, press one for this, press two for that.’
Tired of calling a company hotline only to be prompted with a maze of recorded messages? It seems the phone gods have heard your gripes as a smartphone app was created to address such time-consuming, patience-draining effort of trying to reach a human receiver for enquiries, complaints, and so on.
Skipmenu, dubbed a ‘hotline killer,’ can read up to 800 hotlines including those of banks, airlines and government departments and allows callers to bypass pre-recorded interactive response systems.
Gabriel Chan, Skipmenu founder and chief executive, said in a report by South China Morning Post that by calling a faceless entity like the Inland Revenue Department, one can waste 10 minutes on average listening to ‘press one for this’ or ‘press two for that.’
Chan reportedly came up with a list of 800 hotlines by simply asking around.
“If you spark a conversation about annoying hotlines, HSBC is the most mentioned one, and then there’s whatever telco they’re using. After that, it’s maybe their insurance company,” Chan says.
With Skipmenu, options will be displayed onscreen instead of waiting to hear them. Skipmenu allows users to select the options provided before placing the call, helping users connect to their desired recipients in seconds.
Chloe Chan, Skipmenu’s head growth said the levels of hotlines are way deeper in Hong Kong than in North America. Both Chans come from Canada, where Skipmenu’s engineering lab is located. She added that large companies have been increasingly directing customers to hotlines. And even if there are other options such as email support, social media or live chat, people still prefer to call.
Besides HSBC, other hotlines in Skipmenu’s initial list include Bank of China, AIA, AXA, Cathay Pacific, Octopus, PCCW, China Mobile and the Immigration Department.
Gabriel Chan said they are open to suggestions for other hotlines to be added.
Skipmenu is available in iOS and Android.