How to get a human to answer the phone.

Tired of calling a large corporation and trying to get someone to listen to you? Tired of punching numbers to select an option that never seems to fit your problem?  Well there may be a way that you can speed your way to a real human who may be more likely to answer your questions.

Getting to a human

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).

  1. 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.
  2. 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 one of the above does not work, see the gethuman database.
More information is found at:
This site offers suggestions on how you can get a real person online to help.

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