What kinds of companies elicit profanity from their customers? The answer, according to a Seattle mobile-advertising company, is satellite television providers,Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
Housing contractors and cable TV companies filled out the top three, according to the analysis of 1.2 million U.S. consumer calls from March 2012 to November 2013 by Marchex, a company that makes software connecting customers' clicks on websites to call centers for 100,000 businesses.
One out of 82 calls to satellite TV providers led to customers swearing, the company says. At the opposite end: veterinarians' offices. Vets generated just one instance of cursing for every 2,634 calls.
Researchers scanned anonymized transcripts of conversations for common curse words, starting with comedian George Carlin's famed "seven dirty words" and adding a few others, says John Busby, a Marchex senior vice president.
Americans' favorite expletive? The f-bomb, Busby said. Some callers dropped it while waiting on hold. Others cursed over unexpected price increases, missed appointments or difficult-to-decipher charges, according to Busby. Men were more likely to swear than women; about 64 percent of curse-filled calls were from men.
Certain industries were excluded for a lack of data, including finance and insurance, Busby said.