Friday, February 15, 2013, AM | Leave Comment
These days most companies have automated their customer service on the phone. They tell us it may be cumbersome and annoying and more frequently frustrating to the customer but it’s cheaper. They save money. That saved money is never passed on to their customers.
Instead there are times when consumers don’t get an answer, they get tired of waiting and as a result they just hang up with a few curses blurted out.
A typical scenario
We have all come across this scenario on an almost daily basis:
Call customer service of an establishment like Verizon and we are put on hold by an automated system for, in some cases, close to an hour. At least, on some occasions, that has been my own experience.
To talk to a human is extremely difficult if not outright impossible. A few times, I just hung up the phone without talking to anyone because they put me on hold.
Have you called a business and gotten stuck in an endless loop of automated computer messages? Are you tired of hearing “Your call is very important to us” when you have been put on hold for the upteenth time?
Blame it on Interactive Voice Response…
With the advent of Interactive Voice Response, or IVR, came the criticisms and frustrations from people who felt their needs weren’t being met and that their phone time was being wasted.
If an IVR system is giving you the runaround, there are ways to make it clear that you need to speak to a real, live human being.
There may be solutions…
Now some websites have started to emerge to help us talk to a human directly without going through the automated system. When you need to talk to a customer service person, you call directly to their desk. Isn’t that sweet?
By the way…
In our household, we use land-line home phone – unlimited calls for a fixed low price – to talk to our service provider. We don’t use cell phone because it has limited minutes in a month.
No more electronic voices when you call customer service. Two of the better websites to find humans at the other end:
Get-Human lists actual phone numbers and tricks for talking to a human being, instead of endless robotic runarounds.
Time magazine named it one of the 50 best websites of 2011. It has phone numbers for credit card companies as well that you can use to communicate with humans at the other end.
Dial-a-Human provides shortcuts, codes, and phone numbers that connect you with real people.
In both these cases, you can find information on almost 1,000 companies and counting – Amazon, Bank of America, and State Farm Insurance among them.
The sites encourage users to send in new numbers and prompts – or an alert when the numbers and codes don’t work.
In a Nutshell
So go ahead, use these services and instead of talking to a robot, talk to a human without the system putting you on hold.