Being put through to out-of-two call centres is stressful enough at home.
But one family were directed to such a service while they were trapped in a lift.
To make matters worse, the operator then hung up on them.
Donna Coe, 38, her husband Nick, daughters Jessica, eight, Ellie six and Larissa, one, became stuck in the lift after shopping at a Marks & Spencers store in Cambridge.
Shockingly, when the terrified family tried to alert staff at the store by pressing the emergency button they were transferred to a national call centre.
The handler then put the family on holf before hanging up on the trapped clan before they could even explain where they were.
After hearing nothing for five minutes the family hit the emergency button again and were put through to a new operator, forcing them to explain the situation again.
It was only after 20 minutes and a third call that the family were rescued by a security guard who had eventually been alerted by the call centre.
Dona said the ordeal had been “disturbing” leaving her young children “very frightened”.
The full-time mum, who was nursing a broken foot, said: “It was a nightmare.
“They didn’t even know where we were in the country and the whole time we were stuck in this square metal box.
“It was disturbing to find we were stuck in the lift and non-one in the shop knew we were there.”
A Marks & Spencer spokeswoman said: “We would like to offer our sincere apologies to Mrs Coe and her family for the distress caused by this incident, which was triggered by a technical fault that has now been repaired.
“We are taking this very seriously and have launched a full investigation into what happened so we can review and improve the process should this happen.”