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1 for Yes, 2 for No

I'm always frustrated when dealing with management or customer service because of the automated systems in use. I have to go through a lot of button pushing before I ever reach a human being to discuss a topic that isn't on the menu. Are any of you experiencing the same kind of frustration with this? - by ozzie
Here are a couple of simple tips for phone systems;

Once you have a phone number, here are some tips to try to get through the computer to get to a live human:
  1. Interrupt. Press 0 (or 0# or #0 or 0* or *0) repeatedly, sometimes quickly. Unfortunately the same keystroke does not always work for each company. Many IVRs will connect to a human after a few "invalid entries", although some IVRs will hangup. :-(
  2. Talk. Say "get human" (or "agent" or "representative") or raise your voice, or just mumble. :) The IVR might connect you to a human after one of these key or unknown phrases.
  3. Just hold, pretending you have only an old rotary phone.
  4. Connect to account collections or sales or account cancellation; they always seem to answer quickly. First ask them for their name and rep number (so they know you are writing it down, and thus so they are more likely to help you.) Then ask them to transfer you to the department you need. Sometimes they will put you ahead of the queue, although sometimes they will send you to the end (and thus in those cases this tip is useless).
  5. Toll call. For credit cards, if the expected wait time is too long, hangup and try to call back on their non-toll-free number, as they often have shorter queues.
  6. Selecting the option for Spanish will sometimes get you a bilingual human more quickly than if you just waited for an English-only operator.
When you do finally find a human, ask them how to connect directly the next time (in case your call gets disconnnected etc), and be sure to tell us so we can then list their number here. :-).

If THESE don't work, here is the largest database that I know of for blasting past the computer... "The Gethuman 500"

http://gethuman.com/us/

** Courtesy of the gethuman project: http://gethuman.com/ - by TommyMac5
Wow! Thank you so much for all the hints and for the link. I really thought all this time that I was at the mercy of the machine. lol! I can't believe how many things I've been learning here at this forum. It's great! ;sm - by ozzie
Whether the topic is or isn't on the menu I know the frustration you're writing about Ozzie. ;pi - by Liberty
"Speak to an agent" also works. Say it loudly.

Susan - by susana
Thank you for the tips TommyMac5. These tips are ver helpful to me. - by shinningstar
I've had some frustrating calls. Most of mine have been with my cable, phone and Internet service provider.

In some systems, I've had some luck by pushing O, as well.

I know that some organizations have gone back to live phone personnel, but I'm afraid those are the exceptions, rather than the rule. - by Ricardo
My most frustrating call to date was when I was given instructions to call an 800 number to obtain my medical test results. I followed all of the instructions and received a recorded message with my results. They told me this was for my convenience! yeah right. ;ma - by ozzie
My most frustrating call to date was when I was given instructions to call an 800 number to obtain my medical test results. I followed all of the instructions and received a recorded message with my results. They told me this was for my convenience! yeah right. ;ma
Mine wasn't a call, it was a website. I needed to "find my lost password", however, to do that, you needed to log in and request one. duuuhhhhhh.... who writes these websites anyways? - by TommyMac5
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