According to MarketWatch:
Americans will likely waste more than 900 million hours waiting on hold this year, according to an analysis of more than four million phone calls from consumers to businesses released this week by mobile advertising analytics firm Marchex. And a survey by text-message service TalkTo found that more than half of Americans say they spend 10 to 20 minutes every week — or 43 days of their life — on hold.
To consumers, this is incredibly irritating: One survey found that being put on hold was one of consumers’ top three phone pet peeves (the other two were automated attendants and the person on the other line having bad manners, or having a bad attitude).
There's more at the link.
What's even worse is to speak to a 'customer service representative' whose English is sub-standard, whose accent is incomprehensible, and who appears to be incapable of understanding or doing anything other than what's in the script in front of him or her.
"Sir, you need to reboot your router and see whether the signal returns."
"I've already done that three times, and my computer as well."
"Please do it again, Sir."
"You don't understand. I used to be a computer systems engineer. I know what I'm talking about. The router isn't the problem."
"Yes, Sir, but you need to reboot your router before we can continue to the next step."