Amy Lanctot, a spokeswoman for CVS, this week confirmed that the pharmacy chain was indeed in the process of updating their on-hold telephone system and was expecting to implement the new system in 2019. Lanctot at the same time indicated that the system had long been slated for an update and that the move was not in response to the letter, which was written by Dr. Steven Schlozman.
“Plans had already been under way to enhance the phone system,” she said, “and the music is only one element of it.”
Even so, Dr. Schlozman’s powerful (and humorous) letter continues to serve as something of a manifesto for agitated on-hold callers who have found themselves enduring terrible music when waiting for their connection.
“I have researched the source of this music online,” the doctor wrote.
“I did this, as you might guess, when I was on hold. It seemed the healthiest response I could muster to that faux-soothing piano wandering that is supposed to placate customers for anywhere between 20 seconds and 35 minutes.”
Schlozman went on to clarify that he was not at all writing to criticize CVS pharmacists or suggest that they weren’t working suitably hard while he waited on hold, but rather wanted to lambaste the hold music itself, which he described as sufficient to drive a person mad. Schlozman’s agitation was especially profound as he, like many doctors and other medical professionals, find themselves having to contact pharmacies — and wait on hold — many times throughout their daily work.
“Please change your hold music,” he pleaded in his open letter which quickly made the rounds on social media and news stations around the world.
“Please. Do the right thing. I hear it in my sleep. I hear it when I go running. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night humming that melody. It haunts me day and night. It’s not healthy. I know. I’m a doctor.”
In the letter, Scholzman wrote that he had researched the jingle and found it online, pointing out that it is known as “The Golden Dragon” by Karl King. Based on his own calculations, the doctor says he has spent 35,250 minutes listening to it on hold over the course of his work. That represents nearly 25 days of “The Golden Dragon,” he points out.
Relief, as CVS has promised, is on the way in 2019, doctor.