Britain is in the grip of "phone rage" brought on by automated call services.
Recorded voices telling callers they are held in a queue are driving millions to outbursts of anger and frustration.
If the message is followed by muzak to "entertain" them while they hang on, the fury only intensifies.
Call services are increasingly used by banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions to cut costs and enable customers to conduct business on the telephone.
But the lack of human contact is causing many people to boil over and hang up, according to a survey carried out by market research analysts Mintel.
Almost 60% of 1,946 call centre users questioned said they had been left seething when a cheerful but impersonal recording told them to hold.