Waiting for the Cable (or Telco) Guy

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Twiddling one’s thumbs while waiting for the cable guy has become a trope of modern life.

But no joke — it’s a pretty big hassle. According to a new survey, 49% of American consumers waited for a cable technician or some other service professional in their homes in the first half of 2009 — and 32% took a vacation day or sick day to do so.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, polled 2,261 adults online in June 2009. It was commissioned by TOA Technologies, which sells workforce-management software services. A copy of the survey findings is available here.

About 37% of those surveyed think long wait times occur because companies “take advantage of the consumer,” while 18% said they refused or cancelled a product or service because the service or delivery person was late or didn’t show up at the promised time.

Other findings:

* More households with incomes greater than $75,000 (28%) waited for cable service than the national average (23%)

* Men waited for a cable technician more than women (27% vs. 20%)

* Of consumers 55 and older, 97% said they wanted improvements in service vs. 84% of people 18-34

* 14% of single people waited for cable and 9% for Internet vs. 29% and 21% respectively for households of five or more people

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