"Your call is important to us."
"We are experiencing higher than normal call volumes."
"Our agents are currently busy handling other enquiries -- please hold and someone will be with you shortly."
"If you know the last name of the person you wish to reach, please use our company directory."
I know you've heard these things too.
They have become the antithesis of authenticity.
I had the ultimate today. I've been trying to reach an educational institution in regard to a client project. [I can't tell you more or I'd have to ... you know the drill]. They publish exactly one phone number and one e-mail address. For students. Except I was trying to reach the marketing department. And I had a name. I was advised they can't put through calls to head office, and suggested I fax my request to customer service so it could be passed on to the right person.
Rarely have I seen an organization so hostile to the outside world. Quite remarkable. [and not in a good way!]