04 February 2007

Getting to Talk to a Human Being Instead of Voicejail

I do not like how some companies have made it really difficult to get through to a human being and how sometimes, to get to where I want to be, I have to wend my way through three or four layers of voicemail just to get the information I want. I don't mind using a teleresponse system to get an account balance or something like that. I especially like the teleresponse system when I don't know the answers to questions the agents ask for verification, it can be faster to use the tele-response system. I'm very good at my social security number, but not so good at the other information they ask for.
But, I don't like it when companies do not tell you how to speak to a human being, so you are left to guess -- usually zero works in those instances. Or, if zero doesn't work, often pressing the "wrong" key multiple times eventually fails me out and I get to an agent.
The one teleresponse system I like is Julie on Amtrak. She's very good, understands me when I speak, and I can often make a reservation with her over the phone quite easily. Plus, if I need to talk to a human being, I say agent, and she puts me right through, passing whatever I told her along, so I don't have to explain my travel plans all over.
While I don't like ING direct's tele-response system, I do like the fact that when I call the line they have that is specially set up for requesting to talk to a human being, they realize that I called the line because I really, truly, want to talk to a human being and place my call through without any voicejail at all.
The number that Commerce Bank has on the back of my ATM card is direct to a human. I think that's cool of them.
And, speaking of that, this is a neat website that has the phone numbers for lots of major corporations and how to get a human being, whether that is saying certain things to the automated response system, pressing buttons, or simply calling a special number.

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