American workers lost $38 billion in wages waiting for the cable guyWaiting for the cable guy, the Internet guy, or the air conditioner guy are tedious life necessities, like doing laundry or visiting the in-laws. But they are vastly more expensive. According to a new poll, American workers lost a total of $37.7 billion waiting around for in-house appointments in 2011.

An IBOPE Zogby survey of over 1,000 adults found that 58 percent of Americans had waited for a delivery man or technician to pay a visit to their home in the last year, for an average of four and a half hours on three separate occasions, reports CNN Money. The poll was conducted on behalf of TOA Technologies, a software company that can predict accurately when in an in-field employee will arrive at your home.

More than a quarter of Americans lost wages waiting around for the doorbell to ring, according to the poll. Half said they used a sick day or vacation time. The average customer lost $250. That's the equivalent of every American losing two days of work, says Yuval Brisker, the CEO of TOA Technologies.

The number one culprit, according to the poll, was the cable guy. TOA Technologies has partnered with cable companies in the U.S., as well as the biggest cable companies in Spain and France, to provide realtime alerts to expectant consumers. "Customers waiting at home without knowing -- it's universal, it's everywhere," Brisker told Forbes.

Frustration over service wait times has reached fever pitch in the last few years. Online forums brim with customer complaints. "DirecTV (DTV) is the worst company ever." "SCAMCAST should be their name."

The Los Angeles city's attorney's office even filed suit against Time Warner Cable (TWC) in June, 2008 for "unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business acts and practices and deceptive advertising." Its alleged crimes were excessively delayed repair appointments, forcing subscribers to spend hours on hold, Internet outages, and deceptive pricing.

Americans voted Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) the worst company in America last year.

Perhaps the introduction of so many 24-hour delivery services, like GrubHub, Seamless (formerly known as SeamlessWeb), and Dot-com flameouts UrbanFetch and Kozmo, have made the cable company's request that you stay home between noon and four p.m. on Tuesday seem annoyingly archaic.

And while Americans actually have more leisure time these days than they did in 1965, according to a 2006 study, a Pew Research Centers survey that same year found that nearly a quarter of Americans always feel rushed. Our perception of time has changed, and our cell phones and e-mail may be to blame.

"Technology has been a rapid heartbeat, compressing housework, travel, entertainment, squeezing more and more into the allotted span," the historian Theodore Zeldin wrote as far back as 1994. Although technology promises to save us time, it is possible that it has forced us to live by its frantic rhythm, which makes those hours waiting for your couch delivery all the more excruciating.

The number one reason Americans believe companies don't show up to their door punctually is that they "don't care about my time," according to the Zogby poll.

Some companies are heeding this news. Comcast promised in June to reduce its repair and installation windows from four hours to two hours or less by 2012, and even gave one customer a $150 credit last month to compensate him for missed vacation time.

According to the State of Customer Experience Management 2011 report, while just 7 percent of organizations consider themselves a "customer experience leader," 61 percent want to be within the next three years.

It's a smart plan. 70 percent of Zogby respondents said that they would recommend a company simply for showing up on time.

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dhirenkmehta

Here is how to avoid wasting time for a cable guy to show up on time................ 1. Use services of a company that employs sevicepeson who works afterhours and give them a big tip to show up on time or ask company to pay you for your time. 2. Don't buy their sevice send them away and sue them in small cause court the company for your time.

November 07 2011 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
savemycountry911

Rabbit ears? Put your hat on and no-one will notice.

November 04 2011 at 9:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vippy

Talk about wasted time at the doctor's office. Have an appointment for 2 PM and don't get to see the doc until 6 PM.
One should be able to charge them for wasted time.

November 04 2011 at 9:50 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mielkele

Verizon's phone system is difficult to deal with. But what angers me the most is seeing ad after ad for FIOS (on TV)which is not available in our area. Don' t advertise something you can't provide. I understand the service is fabulous but don't think I will live to see it.

November 04 2011 at 9:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jaguar6cy

I had Dish Network for years and never had to have a repair man out. In fact while cable repair trucks are everywhere, I have never seen a Dish repair truck.

November 04 2011 at 9:21 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
chaspharrington

AND EVEN AFTER THEY GET THERE, THEY STILL DON'T KNOW HOW TO FIX IT! WE RECENTLY BOUGHT A NEW CONDO, WITH ALL HIGH END BOSCH APPILANCES AND WE WERE HAVING A ISSUE WITH THE NEW FRIDGE, SO WE CALLED BOSCH AND THEY SENT A REPAIRMAN AND THEN HE IS ASKING ME FOR THE INSTRUCTION MANUEL FOR THE FRIGE, SO HE COULD READ IT!
NEEDLESS TO SAY I COULD HAVE FELL ON THE FLOOR!
THEN HE GETS ON HIS MOBILE PHONE AND CALLS BOSCH, BUT DO THEY HAVE THE ANSWER EITHER, NO!
BY THIS TIME, I KNEW! I SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT AMANA , LIKE I ALWAYS HAD IN THE PAST!
WE LIVE , WE LEARN, UNFORTUNATELY AT OUR EXPENSE!

November 04 2011 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to chaspharrington's comment
vippy

Bosch is made in California. I know that is where my washer/dryer come from!

November 04 2011 at 9:52 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mbzmc

Cable TV companies have a monopoly, that has to change. We pay a lot of money every month for Time Warner and I would estimate 60% of the channels are infomercials. Cable TV should be free with all that advertising. Why should we have to pay for advertising channels? Can't wait until internet TV is 100% and we can tell the cable companies to pull the plug!

November 04 2011 at 8:32 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mbzmc's comment
Glenn M. Eades

You're waiting for TV on the internet? It's already here..
Watch your shows or movies on your computer anytime, 24/7...
Do a google search on internet TV sites...
I have friends who have cancelled their cable service, eliminated their bill and the hassles, and tell me they feel they've actually gained more by going to internet TV exclusively than what they got when they had cable.

www.hulu.com is a good one to start with, or go to http://internet-tv-sites-review.toptenreviews.com/ for others and a side to side comparison of the 10 best internet TV sites

November 06 2011 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
c2t2beau

Can we charge the cable company Hourly...

November 04 2011 at 8:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
motorbikes

get Comcast Premium package and you get 45 of those channels as music maybe good if you are having a party. But I can't see paying for it when I can turn on the radio cost less. Currently I watch what I want off the internet, Hulu, Netflix and such, so as you can tell I have done away with the TV portion. Besides way to expensive. Direct and Dish have better packages and it cost so much less. Can't wait to get fios in my area

November 04 2011 at 7:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mrbean

Comcast has been the worst though honestly the american public has been taken advantage of from all cable companies who over charge for crappy shows and channels. An Avg cable, phone and internet with a couple of premiums cost nearly $200/month and do we really need most of it? We could just use our mobile phones, 90% of cable is crap and we spend way too much time on the internet!!!

REVOLT!!!!!

November 04 2011 at 7:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mrbean's comment
alfredschrader

I had 200 channels, of which 199 were "Nope" channels and the watchable one was watchable because it featured a motorcycle guy and his sons building motorcycles.

November 04 2011 at 7:29 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply