Name that tune caller

FED up with tinny versions of Henry VIII's big hit Greensleeves or Vivaldi's Four Seasons keeping you “entertained” while hanging on the telephone?One of Suffolk's biggest organisations is giving its callers an opportunity to escape from the traditional tunes played to those waiting on the line for an answer - and offering them a chance to choose a new one.

FED up with tinny versions of Henry VIII's big hit Greensleeves or Vivaldi's Four Seasons keeping you “entertained” while hanging on the telephone?

One of Suffolk's biggest organisations is giving its callers an opportunity to escape from the traditional tunes played to those waiting on the line for an answer - and offering them a chance to choose a new one.

Suffolk Coastal council has come up with the idea and is hoping the public will join in the fun.

Cabinet member Doreen Savage said she didn't expect callers would hear whatever song was chosen too often because the council had a good record at speed of answering calls, but wanted something people would enjoy if a line was engaged.

“I suspect most of us have suffered at some time rather tinny and tuneless versions of Greensleeves when we have called some organisations,” she said.

“We would like to find something that our customers would like to hear, for those few times when what they really want, a human voice, is not available because we are busy.

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“Something like Blondie's Hanging on the Telephone, or Bob Marley's Waiting in Vain might be some people's idea of what would be appropriate but I can promise you that is not the case for this council.

“Song titles like the Beatle's We Can Work It Out, or Sam and Dave's Hold On, I'm Coming would probably be more appropriate titles for us.”

The council still offers a real human voice on the end of the line when the phone is answered on its main switchboard.

“Our statistics show the average wait is only 14 seconds and that we answer 70 per cent of calls within our target of 21 seconds,” said Mrs Savage.

“But sometimes we are busy so people are put on hold before they get answered and we want to make that wait as pleasant as possible.”

Council staff have already been asked for their ideas and now the control of the juke box has been thrown open to the public.

Anyone with any ideas of an appropriate song or tune, classical or pop, can send their suggestions in.

“It may well be that we will pick more than one, in order to have different ones at different times of the year,” said Mrs Savage.

“The goal has to be to pick something that will be as pleasing to as many of our callers as possible, which is clearly not an easy task but who better to help us choose than our customers?

“Perhaps there is an appropriate piece by Benjamin Britten or Nate James, two artists with Suffolk roots of the past and present. I look forward to seeing or hearing the suggestions.”

Anyone with ideas on what should be played on the council's switchboard can write to customer services at Suffolk Coastal District Council, Melton Hill, Woodbridge IP12 1AU or email customerservices@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

Let us have your views on the idea? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FASTFACTS: When I call you up, the line's engaged . . .

Call Me - Blondie

Girl on the Phone - The Jam

You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) - Beatles

Telephone Man - Meri Wilson

Telephone Line - ELO

No Reply - Buzzcocks

Hello this is Joanie (The Telephone Answering Machine Song) - Paul Evans

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