Frustrated Psychiatrist Writes Letter Begging CVS to Change Their Hold Music…and It Works


Did you know that in their 10,000 nationwide CVS pharmacies, the exact same scratchy piano music plays while you hold on the telephone?

Did you further know that the same exact scratchy piano music has been soothing holders for nearly two decades?

You would think that a change would be common sense, but in fact it took the humorous post by Dr. Steven Schlozman – a child psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital – to get CVS to update their system.

Being a doctor, Schlozman spends more time on hold with CVS than the average person, calling in prescriptions, adjusting dosages, and responding to refill requests. He calls an average of three times a day and figured if he listened to the music a minute and a half each time, he hears the same music…a lot.

“And when I did the numbers that worked out to 25 days of my life on this planet, and that’s too much for any one tune to be listened to.”

Schlozman decided to take matters into his own hands, but he never expected his post asking CVS to change their hold music togo viral. It did, and Schlozman found himself fielding interview requests from Good Morning America and The Wall Street Journal.

He wrote:

Dear CVS,

Please change your hold music.

Please. Do the right thing.

It’ll take you, or someone who works for you, or even a barely pubescent adolescent who nevertheless knows how to program music on his iPhone with more aplomb than anyone born before 1975, only about 48 seconds.

And 48 seconds is substantially less than the amount of time I have listened to your never-changing hold music.

I have researched the source of this music online. 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.

I am just guessing at these wait times, by the way. That data might be out there and it might not, but I can’t bring myself to see how long my waiting compares to the average waiting.

And, to be clear, I am not critical of being on hold. I know the pharmacists are working as hard as they can. I know it’s part of our modern world. This is why we have social media, and ESPN.com, and trashcans placed about four or five feet away, into which I can toss crumpled-up pieces of paper. In fact, being on hold has greatly improved my trashcan basketball accuracy, so there’s that. Thank you.

Still, that tune has got to go.

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.

It’s not healthy to hear pharmacy-hold music while you sleep.

Oh, you want data?

Fair enough.

CVS…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

I have a crazy passion for #music, #celebrity #news & #fashion! I'm always out and about on Twitter.
Sasha Harriet

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