Friday, February 24, 2012

10 Ways to Get Even with Automated Answering Services

The chances of reaching a live person when placing a call these days get slimmer all the time. Every call turns into a form of techno-gymnastics, hopping through a maze of push-button options until you finally reach a human being, if ever. Time for revenge. Here are ten ways to get even with automated answering services:

  1. Share their number with your social networking friends, and invite everyone to call it simultaneously. You might not have as difficult a time gathering disgruntled callers together as you think.
  2. Leave a message for them to call you back. When they do, ask them to please hold, put down your receiver, and go back to watching your favorite show.
  3. Use their toll-free number whenever you call, even if you are local. If you’re going to be placed on hold for an eternity, let it be on their dime, not yours.
  4. Always try pressing ’0′, saying “operator” or “customer service”, when given an option menu. It often short-cuts you to a live attendant.
  5. Turn the tables on them when the company calls you. Let them follow an options menu from hell before you talk to them directly:
    • “For English, press 1 …”,
    • “To speak with a customer, press 1 …”
    • “For my wife, press 1; for me, press 2…”
    • “Your call is very important to us. Please continue to hold until NCIS is over …”
  6. Keep pressing buttons, even after you’ve reached a live person. Don’t acknowledge that you are aware of the keypad tones. Or, alternately, tell them that your finger muscles must have spasmed from repeated pressing.
  7. Threaten to take your business elsewhere due to interminably long hold times. Make sure you’ve got reasonably attractive alternatives before playing this card, though.
  8. When you are given an options menu, you may want to consider pressing the wrong option. Yes, this will add to your time on the phone, but it will also inconvenience someone on the other end who wasn’t supposed to get your call. It might just get the company to re-evaluate their answering service, but don’t bet on it.
  9. Pressing keys that are not options in the call menu will also prompt most answering services to re-direct your call to a live attendant. It’s just another way of cutting through the maze of options.
  10. Follow the menu through the billing options. When you finally reach a live person, tell them that you had initially called to pay your bill; but while you were on the line for 45 minutes, another bill came due that you’ve decided to pay instead.
Taken From Landline Phone Service

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