is there a way to record script of getting through telephone menu until human is reached?

some telephone menus are really tedious, especially if they end up dropping the call before “all of our customer service representatives” stop being “currently busy”. It would be nice to record a script of going through the menu until the “to speak to the customer service representative press zero” and then have my robot play it against their robot until they finally capitulate and put a “next available customer service representative” on the line.

Is there something like that already on the market?

Excellent idea.

I call Dish and Directv frequently and that would be a time saver.

Funny, no one at either company ever calls their own menu system to see if it works on the common problems.

For a long time the Directv system did not recognize Tivo error codes, and for quite a while, you only had to enter a code 721 once, now, it does not recognize the input, and makes you do it again, and then it verifies it.

Your idea would be great, although it might take some advanced AI to cope with the inanities of the existing phone menu tweaks.

Also, I have noticed, fairly routinely, if I call Dish with a somewhat more complicated problem than average, the call is MUCH more likely to be dropped after it reaches a human operator.

I REALLY hate it when they do that.

Most phones nowadays support pauses in speed-dialling. You can store something like 123-4567PPP8P9P0 and it would dial a number, wait, then choose options 8, 9, then 0. Provided they always pick up in short order, and you have to call them frequently enough, it would be worth punching in.

You could do what you want in theory and maybe in practice. There is software that can decode phone codes by sound and you could connect some phones to your computer to listen in on the sound to decode it. The sounds are what trigger the actual dialing so you would have to play that back through your phone at decent quality and a high enough volume to make it work.

However, that is a lot of work for questionable utility. Many companies do have bypass codes in their system to take you straight to a person who can help. There are websites to tell you what they are for many large companies. I haven’t used them in a few years but they do work if you can find the current. A google search for the companies in question can probably tell you.

I have found both Medicare and Social Security impossible. They have done away with the relatively workable system of press … They have gone to a voice non recognition system. You repeat the same thing time after time and after several times of being asked to repeat it, it reverts back several menus and you can start over again. I think I was on the phone a half hour getting the form to have my Medicare premium taken out of my checking account. A year ago I was on the phone an hour without ever getting to explain to a person that Medicare was was my primary insurance. I then went in to my local office. They explained they can’t correct problems. I never got it fixed until I went through my congressman.

It is time to clear out those highly paid, incompetent idiots.

I’ve programmed the pause like Nanoda mentioned into numbers a few times over the years and it’s probably your best bet. Just write down the numbers you have to press and how long you need to pause between presses, then type it into a number. It shouldn’t take longer than making one call (and writing everything down), then a minute or two to program the number into the phone.

If you’re using VOIP, it may be possible on a unix box with something like the command line version of Linphone and Expect, which can record sessions to automate later. It would probably require enough tweaking to make it not worth your while, but may be possible in theory.

Seems appropriate; kind of like talking to some old folks.

Try They are a database of tips on how to get a real person.

Fairly often in my experience, you can reach a human directly by one of two strategies:

1 - Do nothing and wait. After some amount of time (30-60 seconds) you get transferred to a human, on the premise that you may not have a push button phone (after all, I personally know at least 3 households who still have wall-mounted rotary phones in the kitchen as their only telephone).

This is particularly true for those ultra-annoying “speak your answer” menus which I hate even more than the push-button ones. I will not sit there saying “yes”, “no”, “reception quality”, “question about my account”, etc., into a phone like an idiot, and am astounded that anybody would prefer that interface to pushing buttons. Just say nothing and the system will have to assume at some point that perhaps you don’t speak the language well or something.

2 - Hit “0” repeatedly. When the automated message says “I’m sorry, I don’t understand --”, hit “0” again. And again, and again, and mash it a few times for good measure. You’d be surprised how often the system is programmed to recognize this frustration and connect you to a person directly.

Some people eventually mature and gain wisdom.

saying operator normally gets you to a person. (for the voice activated systems)

There’s a service called Lucy Phone that supposedly takes care of all this for you. You tell it what company you want to talk to, give it a callback number where you can be reached, and then they call and connect you when a live person becomes available.

Just to be clear, I have nothing to do with this company, and can’t tell you how well or poorly it works. As I recall I saw a spot about their iPhone app on a morning news show sometime last year, downloaded the app, then forgot all about it until now.