How to find a real, live person for real customer service
Jordy Leiser, co-founder of STELLAService, which rates online companies, says businesses shouldn't underestimate the impact of good customer service on the bottom line. Online shoe retailer Zappos grew to become a $1 billion company because of outstanding service, Leiser says.

STELLAService recently surveyed the fastest and slowest response times to emails and phone calls among top online retailers. Consumers can use the information to decide whether they should call or write a retailer, Leiser says.

Based on the findings, you're better off calling You'll have to remain on hold for about four minutes. But that's faster than waiting 881/2 hours for an email response — the longest in the survey.

Fastest and slowest response times among the top 100 online retailers

Shortest time on hold: — 6 seconds —11 seconds — 12 seconds —17 seconds — 21 seconds


Longest time on hold: — 8 minutes, 3 seconds — 7 minutes, 20 seconds — 7 minutes, 12 seconds — 6 minutes, 56 seconds — 4 minutes, 50 seconds


Quickest email response: