Poll: What is Your Average Wait Time for Helpline Calls?

We have seen PTA, in recent past, emphasizing much over the support of customers, in fact at one instance – the authority said that customer support has become an industry itself.

We appreciate the gesture, but we thought of asking our readers about the wait time they usually bear for calling cellular helplines, before getting connected to the customer support representative.

We aren’t calculating the complaint resolution time, or complaint resolution rate – just the time they have to wait before getting a human on line to hear their problems.

Please vote below, to help us better understand the standards maintained by cellular operators for (paid) helplines:

(For commentary or feedback use below section)

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • Saeed

    When i was with Mobilink – i just waited 38 minutes.

    and now I’m on Zong but after 2 times – call center they DC my call after 12 minutes waiting.

    Also one thing more, when talking with the agents they are very hurry and they wants to DC the call as soon as possible.

    I don’t know why they are increasing charges but quality is ZERO.

    • Hassan

      saeed this because more of the time their is more queue. they was on a hurry because alot of people was wait and second their NPR, CSO mention the NPR in zong.

  • Azim Saud

    So much talk about telecom operators and never is load shedding or the performance of electricity operators mentioned. I mean the country is without power for 6-16 hours every day and telco blogs are questioning the efficiency of time to respond to a call? For crying out loud, the telco operators are contributing over Rs. 100 billion in taxes annually, provide service in every nook and corner of the country 24/7 and 365 days. They even apologize if there is an outage. And here we have PEPCO, WAPDA etc. not even providing what they are supposed to provide on such high rates. Lets be propakistani about electricity

    • salman

      u forgot alot of taxes paid by customers?

      in this much money they can give non stop services.

      and it is a standard around the world that telephone service should be permenant regardless of any problem. if a company cant do this then they should shut down the company.

      if there is this useless excuses of electricity in this service law then telecom sector can enjoy 16 hours of down service by saying wapda or pepco shit.

      try to educate urself with laws and standards.

    • Ahmed

      HELL YEAH! oh but wait, isnt this is an IT blog?

      • Stone

        You pay taxes to the government of your country not the telcos. If you think your taxes make you eligible for lesser hold times, you need to think again.

        By the way, ever tried dailing a government helpline? Oh wait!! They don’t have helplines :)

        The guy above talking about global services certainly hasn’t seen the telecom world. Go to England or the U.S. and all of the operators simply turn down network or wrong deduction complaints. The consumer here is actually PAMPERED. You can cry about it all the time, but the fact remains, Pakistani telcos are providing the cheapest of services with the lowest of profit margins.

  • Mkm

    Telen ka 5 mint bad othaty hain.

  • Ajmal Abbasi

    I am a Telenor Postpaid customer and for postpaid customers, wait time is less than a minute most of the times.

  • basit147

    why telcos have dual standards for prepaid and postpaid costumers and pick call of postpaid at first bell and prepaid users are kept waiting

    • Ajmal Abbasi

      Dear Basit, simple reason is that Postpaid customers are more of benefit to the company compared to prepaid customers both in terms of loyalty and ARPU. And it’s a rule of business to give precedence to such customers :)

      • admin

        This precedence is only for helpline calls i suppose

      • Pre-post-pay

        FYI, there are ~98% of prepaid customers in the country and only ~2% of the mobile users belong to postpaid group. In terms of margins, it is the prepaid subscriber base not the postpaid. The major revenue chunk comes from the prepaid subscribers.

        • Shahid Saleem

          It’s like this. You run a shop or a restaurant or whatever. 98% of the people who visit wear t-shirts, jeans, shalwar kameez etc. 2% wear expensive expensive suits. Who are you going to give attention to?

  • Roger

    JAZZ help line is very pathetic and painful.Nearly impossible to get connected.Don’t know about other operators.

  • Haris Humayun

    I am on zong and calls pick up within one mintue previously i was using mobilink they took 15 min and then give a simple topi and claim to be best customer care network. warid callcenter also pick’s up call on one bell

  • I waited Almost 15 minutes for PTCL call centre agent :D..

  • Stone

    Interesting topic to discussed but I doubt anyone here knows what actually goes on behind this wait time. An explanation for anyone interested:

    Wait times are strictly dependent the call center call routing strategies. The calls do not land on a normal phone line but rather a PRI(Primary Rate Interface) which can have up to 30 channels for accomadating individual calls. One operator can have multiple PRI’s depending on their work load and if you call drops with an error beep without the helpline prompt, that means all the PRI’s for that operator are full and cannot handle another call without one channel being free.

    This was pretty ugly for operators in Pakistan 3 or 4 years back but is no longer a conern as they now have plenty of PRI’s and answer almost 200000 calls/day/operator.

    Second step starts when you connect to the helpline. This is where advanced call routing systems come in to play. Each call center has something called a call queueing structure and a department called traffic control. Traffic here refers to the number of calls currently waiting to be answered + number of calls being answered. Queue here refers to a line up of calls. Both these factors actually play a significant part in the wait times as queueing structure can prioritize call answering for one customer and delay it for another.

    From what I know about the queueing structures in Pakistani Telcos, they are based on different things with each operator.
    1.Postpaid always has a seperate queue and is always prioritized.
    2.Some operators have queues based on the packages they offer. Sometimes one package and its queue is given preference over the other and is answered quickly.
    3.Third type is based on APRU generated by the customer in a certain amount of time. Higher ARPU customers automatically get answering priority here.
    4.4th type of queueing is based on the active/inactive VAS or services that a customer has. Priority maybe given to customers who have balance and do not have any VAS as they provide highest chances of earning immediate revenue.

    Last but by no means least, the wait time depends on the number of people answering calls at a certain point in time. This is based on forecasting based on the customer calling trends and manning required to cater to various call influx that might fall to the helpline. Manning is always subject to “Shrinkage” which refers to a certain number of poeple being absent from duty for various reasons. What this forecast can never tend to are unexpected natural/unnatural disasters and/or man made errors. So anytime there is an issue, call center wait times always go up.

    With Pakistani telcos, this too was pretty ugly back in the hay days of the telecom boom. Under manning was a constant issue plus with no historical data forecasting was non-existent. As time has progressed though, call centers have become highly efficient. Proper manning requirements along with proper forcasting and scheduling tools has led to near perfection of the call centers. Also an important part is the customer behavior and calling trends which are abunduantly available now. An additional soothing factor have been the outsourcing of Telco call centers where they higher 3rd party vendors to answer calls on their behalf. This not only increases manning but saves a lot of cost of operation or CAPEX.

    Hope this helps if anyone actually reads the whole thing :)

    • admin

      Pretty informative, appreciate your insight…

      I am wondering, if cellular companies do maintain the customer history too? for instance, if there is a buggy customer (who calls every other day to ask necessary things – and CSRs have marked them as a bug), he/she should be given least priority.

      Similarly, if there is a customer who hasn’t called you in three years (apparently very satisfied – but at once came across some issue) should be given some incentive during the priority setting.

      • Stone

        Part 1: As long as such customers question about avaiable services only, they are not tagged in anyway. A concern is only raised once a customer becomes, abusive, crank or a time waster. Again each operator has their own way of dealing with them. Some block helpline access, some send warning messages, some make warning call backs.

        Part 2: This will once again on the routing strategy. Satisfied customer roughly translates in to good ARPU so this customer should automatically be in one of the higher level queues. Haven’t heard of queuing based on how long the customer hasn’t called the helpline :)

        • admin

          makes sense…

    • Rameez Kakakhel

      I read it :p

      • Stone

        What? The last line or the whole explanation? :p

        • admin

          essentially the last line :-) but whole explanation was a good read

          • Stone

            haha :) i think you should put this up as a seperate article :)

            • admin

              Sure I will,

        • Rameez Kakakhel

          Last line + Explanation + The Whole Conversation :)
          .
          Ab Khush? :P

          • Stone

            Thats good then :P

    • Waqas

      Read whole of it [and enjoyed as well, being a geeky electronic engineer] =)
      I say that it all, what you’ve explained, does make sense.

      • Stone

        :)

  • majju

    best call center is ptcl 1236 , they recived ur call in within a second and solve ur problume , but other cellular network is sooo busy and average recived time is more the 10 mint

  • MS Mirjat

    For past some weeks, I am satisfied with the Ufone operator. Last week I called them twice, they attended my calls within 5 seconds and my problem was solved within 24 hrs. Even they called me back twice and asked me if my problem was solved.

  • Hassan

    Dont know about the rest but ufone sure sucked for me. They put me on hold for more than 40 minutes once

  • Riz

    jazz per kabhi 3 min say zyada nahi lagay mujhay

  • Uzi

    On warid it has taken me 20 min max and 10 min average on helpline

  • Umer

    time to wait for human operator on ptcl is more than 20 minutes and what is more annoying is every 20 second you have to press 0 in order to continue waiting.
    even when u get through and complaint is a difficult one you are routed to a supervisor and again the wait starts.

    • Malik

      Hahaha, talk about it. and during that time we are constantly fed up with the company crap

  • Salam, zong pick my call in second, mobilink in less 1 mint.

  • sarwat

    It used to take like twenty minutes on ufone helpline. Haven’t made a call to helpline from my indigo yet. The need hasn’t arrived :P

  • Nidz

    telenor per 12 mins and around 15 on zong

  • Ammar

    Most of all i hate the ptcl helpline cuz they either put you on hold for more than 30 minutes where you have to keep pressing 0 key and when the operator attends he may drop your call or put you on hold again if he’s unable to troubleshoot it

  • Arsh

    I think time differs if you call during the peak hours or later cuz i never had trouble with mobilink. all my calls get picked up in less than 30 secs

  • Danish Gul

    i think zong is the longest call center waiting time…in pakistan…more then 10 to 12 minutes…:/

  • Riz

    For PTCL, average wait time is 10 minutes or more
    For mobile operators, its around 1 to 3 minutes.

  • Saad Durrani

    Well, what I know that all the Telenor help-agents are told to solve the queries in less than 4 minutes.

    Worst is ZONG. They do not know English.

  • Nadeem Ahmed

    this poll is baseless until and unless the cellular COMPANY name is mentioned . as i have experienced that zong has the worst time in this regard (more than 8 minutes) and mobilink (postpaid) has the best time less than 30 seconds.
    so i cant poll correctly !

    • admin

      There is a word used as average, according to your experience with two operators with two different plans, your average wait time is around 4 minutes…

  • Less than a minute.

  • Manzoor Akbar

    Hi, every one, I need 0300-9483063. it is in use of any one. how can I get it?? plz reply f u know?

  • Sahib Ailiya

    for zong sevice cntr, i hv watd for more thn 3min

  • Sahib Ailiya

    all operators provide best service to their post paid clients

    and they think prepaid customers are trash

  • Ali

    I think rather than talking about the timing of call waiting admin should add another qestion which ask “How many times you have to call before it connects to the call center”. Coz mostly we face issues like calls drop / network error when we call to customer centers.

  • ptcl

    i dont know if ptcl has a paid customer support but i had to wait for 30 mins for first support than they transfer the line and again half an hour ..Hope they increase there customer support call centers as they should be the leaders (i think its semi-governed)
    otherwise im a warid postpaid customer and they pick it at the first minute..

  • Abdul Rasheed

    Zong per to milti hi nahi hai call,

  • Ali Muqadas

    I have called ufone help line about my postpaid bill complaint and they took my about 20 mins on holding my call and after that they just disconnect my call….

  • Ali

    Telenor’s helpline is pretty good…I’ve haven’t had much experience with the rest of mobile operators….

    PTCL sucks big time when it comes to helpline calls….they keep me waiting for like 15-20 mins on average…

  • fakhar

    @ ali123.
    Totally an irrelevant video!!!!!!!!