Every once in a while, I come across a great poll or statistic that makes me smile. This is certainly one of them.
In an article from CNN called “Waiting for the Cable Guy is Costing Us $38 Billion”, it claims that American workers lost approximately $37.7 billion dollars in 2011 in the form of wasted time while waiting for in-home services and appointments. This is according to an IBOPE Zogby poll.
Waiting for service is one of those things we occasionally have to deal with and cringe when we have to. There have been a number of times I’ve had to leave work early or even take the day off just to meet with someone about our washing machine, sprinklers, cable, etc. It’s bad enough that the only available hours are from Monday through Friday during 8 AM to 5 PM (no coincidence the same hours as when both my wife and I will be at work and not available), but then they give you these ambiguous four to eight hour windows of when they will arrive. Come on! If airplane traffic can be calculated down to the minute, I’m sure service appointments can do a little better than they are now.
Here is a quick summary of the survey:
• Time was valued at more than $15/hour
• The average time spent waiting was 4.5 hours
• The average number of appointments per year was three
• The number one offender: The cable guy. Runners up: Internet service / repair, furniture delivery, computer repair and phone services
Although $38 billion is no laughing matter, I’m very amused that someone was actually motivated enough to conduct a survey on this topic and quantify the time lost into dollars. Nice work!