Not happy with your customer service? Now just hold on!

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Do you ever feel like major companies, especially those who have little competition like utilities, are trying to tell us they'd rather not let us resolve our service and billing issues with them by phone anymore.

I mean, just a little hint.

I don't want to really pick on any single corporation, because they are all guilty and are deliberately trying to ruin my summer, but that's beside the point.

What is most infuriating, however, is that all the while during you 45 minutes waiting to discuss a bill, they are inundating you with insidiously nauseating niceness every seven seconds as if this, alone would mollify any rising tide of fury you will surely begin to experience.

But rather than digress, let me disclose.

While waiting more than a half hour trying to discuss an electric bill in a certain state in the area, these are some of the recorded messages I was forced to listen to for a half hour on a 60-second loop.

"Because we value your call we'll be with you as soon as possible ... thank you for your continued patience."

"Because we want to give all our customers the individualized attention they deserve you may experience a brief delay ... please know we value all our customers and we'll be with you as soon as possible."

"Don't spend a beautiful day in Maine (whoops, sorry, cat's out of the bag) paying your electric bill. Sign up for autopay by going to our website now and clicking on the autopay button."

Now if you believe in "truth in lending" what they should really have is a single recorded message that says simply, "Please be patient, we'll be right back with another recorded message shortly."

But perhaps the most sad and pathetic tale of woe I experienced recently was when I fell for this old ruse: "If you want us to call you back without losing your place in line, just give us your number and we'll call you back."

Believe it or not I got a call back at 10:30 p.m. Woken out of a sound sleep, I just murmured, "Never mind" and went back to sleep.

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