Call queueing is intended to prevent callers from being turned away in the case of insufficient staff capacity. The purpose of the pre-recorded music or messages is to shorten the subjective waiting time. At the same time, call queues can be used for advertising products or services. As soon as the call can be dealt with, the caller is automatically transferred from the call queue to the member of staff responsible. If customer or contract data has to be requested in several stages, multiple downstream call queues can be used.
Different countries have different regulations on call queueing. In Germany, the costs chargeable to consumers as a result of call queueing have been set out in the German Telecommunications Act (Telekommunikationsgesetz) since 2012. Among other things, the law stipulates that the caller may only be charged from the point in time at which he is transferred to a member of staff or handling of the enquiry begins. This also applies to downstream call queues. The call queue ends as soon as information required for handling the enquiry is requested from the caller, either via automated dialogues or by staff.
Previously, media such as cassettes or CDs were used for recording music or messages on telephone systems; however, modern telephone systems and cloud telephone systems almost exclusively use digital audio formats. In the case of cloud telephone systems, for example, digital audio formats can simply be loaded onto the system via the Internet and are then ready for immediate use. However, when making recordings of this kind, it is important to comply with copyright law and GEMA regulations (Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte – German Association for Musical Performing and Mechanical Reproduction Rights).