Numbers or apologies? Customer reactions to telephone waiting time fillers

Nira Munichor, Anat Rafaeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


The authors examined the effect of time perception and sense of progress in telephone queues on caller reactions to 3 telephone waiting time fillers: music, apologies, and information about location in the queue. In Study 1, conducted on 123 real calls, call abandonment was lowest, and call evaluations were most positive with information about location in the queue as the time filler. In Study 2, conducted with 83 participants who experienced a simulated telephone wait experience, sense of progress in the queue rather than perceived waiting time mediated the relationship between telephone waiting time filler and caller reactions. The findings provide insight for the management and design of telephone queues, as well as theoretical insight into critical cognitive processes that underlie telephone waiting, opening up an important new research agenda. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-518
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Atmospherics
  • Perceived progress
  • Perceived time
  • Queues
  • Telephone waiting


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