Queue waiting times 'twice as long'
It takes twice as long to reach the front of a queue as it did two years ago, a new survey has revealed.
In the Europe-wide poll, researchers in 24 countries were asked to join queues in businesses and services, including banks, grocery stores, travel ticket offices and fast food outlets.
They found on average it takes just over 10 minutes to reach the front of a queue - twice the time taken in 2008.
The survey, organised by the European branch of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA), saw researchers assess 2,000 different queues.
They also found on average post offices had the longest queues, as well as the most dissatisfied customers, closely followed by banks.
According to the poll, Russia had, on average, the longest and slowest queues, but the Bulgarian Passport Office was found to have the slowest queue - taking six hours to process 36 customers.
As well as reporting on the time taken to get to the front of the queue, researchers also assessed the response from the member of staff when they got there - discovering only half could manage a smile.
The top ten countries by queuing time, according to the survey, are Sweden - 2 mins, Denmark - 2 mins 40 secs, UK - 3 mins, Spain - 3 mins, Estonia - 3 mins 30 secs, Lithuania - 4 mins, Macedonia - 4 mins 10 secs, Ireland - 4 mins 30 secs, Austria - 4 mins 50 secs and Portugal - 5 mins 15 secs.
The top ten worst offenders for queueing, on average, according to the survey, were post offices - 19 mins, banks - 18 mins, department stores - 11 mins, train stations - 8 mins, grocery supermarkets - 6 mins, pharmacy - 5 mins, liquor stores - 4 mins 30 secs, fast food outlets - 4 mins 30 secs, clothing stores - 4 mins, bus stations - 3 mins 45 secs.