PEOPLE in France spend as long as four working days a year hanging on the telephone waiting for a response from call centres, a survey says.
The study found that customers spend 28 hours every year trying to contact call centres and public services by telephone in France.
The authors of the study estimate that this lost time costs the French economy 1.8% of its GDP.
Finding the right number to call was among the biggest bugbears, with more than 70% of respondents to the survey saying phone numbers could be difficult and time-consuming to locate on websites or documents.
Even more - 80% - complained about long waits to be connected to an operator. They said banks, utilities and e-tailer waiting times often exceeded six minutes.
But Assurance Maladie disputed the waiting times quoted in the survey conducted by professional magazine In-Contact, and Radio Caroline Media. It said the average waiting time for calls to its 3646 hotline - which handled 30 million calls in 2013 - was just two minutes 30 seconds.