Circumventing automated operators

I hate it when Im calling a helpline or customer service number and I cant speak to a real human being! I dont know that there is a tactic for it short of circumventing the recording by hitting zero or saying operator over and over again, but I think a lot of people suffer from the fact that the automated recordings often do not understand what you are saying.

The trend now is to get rid of humans who can help customers and instead send everyone to the website. (visit us on the web at www. and check with out encyclopedia of answers… blah blah blah… you practically have to become your own research librarian to solve a problem that their product has and shouldnt).

Does anyone have any creative ways of dealing with this situation?

Nah, I gave up when I cursed one at the seventeen menu level.

CP: “F__K!”

AO: “If you would like to end this call, please hang up.”


Time to give away a big trade secret.

Listen to the menu options. It’ll likely be something along the lines of:

“Press 1 for blah blah blah.
Press 2 for blah blah blah.
Press 3 for blah blah blah.
Press 4 for blah blah blah.
Press # to hear this message again.”

Press 5. If that does nothing, try pressing 6, 7 or 8.

If you call the help line at my company and press one number above what the menu tells you your options are you get into the secret, advanced help line. We only tell the customers who give us a few million bucks a year about it.

I’ve successfuly used this trick in dealing with other companies twice now. Not only do you jump to the front of line, plus get the most knowledgable reps available, but you get your ass kissed as well. :slight_smile:

Worse yet are the voice recognition systems. Aside from the fact that heaven help you if you have a difficult name to spell over the phone, don’t the people who implement these hellish things realize that people often need to call the DMV or the gas company or whatever at work? With the older button-activated systems at least it was discreet. With VR systems you have to speak loudly and enunciate every sylla*ble. Everybody around you knows you’re doing personal business on company time. Maybe not something to wink at, but sometimes necessary nonetheless.

Bwa-ha ha. (rubbing hands together) BWA-HA-HA-HA!!!

Often, if you hit ‘0’ after they start listing the menu options, you’ll get put through to a real, live customer service rep.

When I was trying to get hold of a real person on my bank’s helpline, someone told me to press zero twice and it would take me directly to a live operater. It worked, and I’ve tried it for a few different automated operaters, and it has always worked.