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By Ethan Wolff-Mann
February 5, 2016
Pool—Getty Images

The average lifespan in the U.S. is around 78 years. And if you end up hitting that number, you will probably have spent a distressing, depressing amount of time–43 days, when it’s all added up–on hold.

Days!
The five minutes here and 10 minutes there might actually feel bearable, but put the aggregation in context and it’s pretty brutal.

According to MarketWatch, a study from analytics firm Marchex estimates that Americans spend 900 million hours per year on hold, most likely pacing around, listening to muzak, and desperately hoping not to be disconnected. An infamous study from TalkTo found that most people say they are on hold for 15 or so minutes every week, adding up to that dreaded month and a half over the course of a lifetime.

Marchex’s study had more than just the inordinate amount of time consumers suffer on the wrong end of a phone—it provided some delightful insights as to whose fuses are shortest as well. Apparently, Kentucky residents have an incredibly short tolerance for saxophone and chimes, hanging up the fastest of the 50 states. Not surprisingly, overall, the Northeast is more impatient than other parts of the country.

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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