Hold for me – Sometimes, a call is the most ideal approach to complete something. We call retailers to find missing bundles, utilities to change our web speeds, aircrafts to change our movement itineraries…the list goes on. But more often than not, we need to wait on hold during these calls—listening closely to hold music and repetitive messages—before we reach a customer support representative who can help. In fact, people in the United States spent over 10 million hours on hold with businesses last week.
Use Hold for Me
When you call a freephone/toll number and you’re put on hold, you can choose to let your Google Assistant wait on hold for you and notify you when the support representative is ready to speak to you.
What you need
Hold for Me only works on Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a (5G) devices in the US. You need the latest version of the Phone app to use Hold for Me, and it is only available in English.
How to turn on Hold for me?
Once the setting is on, you also have to turn on HFM with each call to let Google Assistant wait on hold for you. Open the Phone app phone. Tap More More and then Settings. Tap Hold for Me. Turn Hold for Me on or off.
Turn on Hold for Me when you’re on a call
- Take your phone off silent or vibrate only.
- Open the Phone app phone.
- Place a call to a freephone number.
- When you’re placed on hold, tap Hold for me and then Start.
- While you’re on hold, you’ll find a card on the screen that says “Don’t hang up”.
- When the support representative is ready to speak to you, a prompt will display: “Someone’s waiting to talk to you”.
- Tap Return to call.
Does Google collect your call details?
To protect your privacy, audio and call details are not sent to Google unless you choose to share your audio and transcript after the call is over to help improve HFM. When you use HFM, the Phone app records the audio from the business and shows you a transcript of what’s said. When a support representative joins the call, they’ll hear a brief disclosure that the call is being recorded and connected to you. Your phone vibrates, plays a sound and notifies you on your screen that you’ve been taken off hold. When you return to the call, the recording stops.
You can choose to share your HFM data after a call to help Google improve the feature. To share your data without any identifiers linked to you, submit it as a “Google user”. It may be reviewed by humans in order to help improve the machine learning in HFM.
What all data does Google collect if you want to share your data?
If you choose to share your call data with Google after a HFM call, you send to Google:
- The recording and transcript of the business’ audio for the period after you activated HFM and until you returned to the call.
- System logs, like diagnostic data.
- The business’ phone number.
- The greeting and disclosure that was played to the business.
How many days does Google keep your data?
Audio processing is done on your device and no audio recordings or transcripts are sent to Google, unless you choose to share your call data to Google after the call to help improve the feature. You can listen to the audio recording and review the transcript before you decide whether to send your call data to Google.
- Call data is stored on Google servers for 90 days, then deleted.
- If you choose not to share your data, the audio recording and transcript will be deleted from your device 48 hours after the call happened.
Points to remember
HFM may not detect when the representative returns to the call in every situation. You can’t play music or other audio when HFM is active.