Bypassing computers to speak with a human being

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 hang up. 

Talk. Say "get human" (or "agent" or "representative") or raise your voice, – or even just mumble. The IVR might connect you to a human being after one of these key or unknown phrases. 

Just hold, pretending that you have only an old rotary phone. 

Connect to account collections or sales or account cancellation. These groups always seem to answer quickly. When you reach a real live person, immediately ask for the representative’s name and rep number. This way, the rep knows that you are writing it down and is thus are more likely to help you. Then ask the rep to transfer you to the department you need. Sometimes you’ll be put ahead of the queue, but at other times, you will be sent to the end. In that case, you’re back where you started. 

Make a toll call. For service on credit cards, if the expected wait time is too long, hangup and try to call back on the company’s non-toll-free number, as these numbers often have shorter queues.

I’ve done best with number four.  "Small steps toward a much better world," as they say.  The pointer is from Natasha.


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