I was sent this on how to get to a human on a PBX system quickly

If you want to get thorough a PBX system fast and not have to wait to talk to someone read this.  It was sent to me by Amy Quinn at www.voip-news.com and you can find the article here.
Use these methods for surefire ways to find the numbers that VIPs use to get through fast.

  1. Read The Consumerist. The Consumerist regularly features contact information for executive customer- service departments.
  2. Go to the collections department. The collections department tends to answer calls quickly, and you can jump to the head of the line for the correct department in this way.
  3. Search EDGAR. Get information for corporate officers from EDGAR’s SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) filings.
  4. Find important numbers through Whois.net. Check out Whois.net behind the company’s domain name to reveal live-person numbers.
  5. Call the number for new service. If you’re a prospective customer (even if that’s the truth), a company will snap to answer your call.
  6. Find the right number. Many companies have specific numbers for specific functions, so if you find a specialized number, you’re more likely to get through quickly.
  7. Call the retentions department. If you call the retentions department first, they’ll answer fast and transfer you to the right place.
  8. Do a Web search for the company. Hit your favorite search engine and enter the company’s name, plus terms such as “president,” “investor relations” or “executive service.”
  9. Find disgruntled customers. Again, search engines can help you locate numbers if you enter phrases such as “I hate company ‘X'” or “company ‘X’ sucks.”

What to Press

Confuse, frustrate and game the system by pressing these numbers and characters.

  1. Press zero. Pressing zero will often result in a direct route to a live person. Continue pressing zero until you’re put through. You may need to try combinations such as “0#,” “#0,” “0*” or “*0.”
  2. Memorize prompts. If you’re unfortunate enough to have call about the same issue on a regular basis, memorize the prompts that work for you.
  3. Press the pound key. Skip to the next message or just confuse the system by pressing this character.
  4. Press the star key. Again, the star key can open up system tricks or simply make the system give up on you.
  5. Press everything. By pressing multiple numbers, you can trick systems into thinking you’re on a rotary phone — or that you’re crazy. Either way, you’re in.
  6. Go through the phone prompts. Sometimes it pays to work with the system.
  7. Press any digit repeatedly. You may land in the wrong department, but you’ll end up at beginning of line when you’re transferred.

Things to Say

Use these key trigger words and methods to get through interactive voice phone trees.

  1. “Prospective Member”: Companies are always quick to help new customers, so get to the front of the line by telling this white lie.
  2. “Agent”: Many voice prompts have a backup trigger word that will send you to a real person instead of more prompts.
  3. “Member”: If the company thinks that you’re a member or part of a special group, you just might get premium treatment.
  4. “Transfer”: This magic word can often get you transferred to a real person fast.
  5. “Help”: This backup word is great to use if you want to pretend like you’re stranded in the phone tree.
  6. “Representative”: Another trigger, saying this word can get you transferred to a representative.
  7. “Sales”: Of course, companies want to fast-track anyone who will be buying from them, so use this special word.
  8. “Human”: You can trigger a transfer to a human using this word on many systems.
  9. “Customer Service”: Make it clear that you’re not interested in hearing about your balance, past payments and other administrative tasks with this phrase.
  10. “Advisor”: Use this alternative trigger word when others don’t work.
  11. “Operator”: Unless the company is trying to give you the runaround, this word will get you someone that can help.
  12. The Name of a Competitor: Systems sometimes monitor what you say while you’re on hold. If you say the name of a competitor, a company may become concerned that you’re going to leave it for greener pastures, and someone will snap to help you.

Things to Do

Take these actions to get through fast, whether you’re employing a white lie or working with the system.

  1. Speak Spanish. The Spanish option often has a shorter wait time, and you’ll probably be connected with a bilingual person.
  2. Mumble. If the voice robot can’t understand you, it will be forced to connect you with a live person.
  3. Speak nonsense. Again, if you can’t be understood, you’ll have to talk to a human.
  4. Do nothing. By doing nothing, you can trick the PBX into thinking you have a rotary phone and force it to get you an agent.
  5. Be persistent. Press multiple numbers before the system has a chance to respond and try multiple trigger words.
  6. Speak in a quiet environment. Often, callers have a hard time getting through because the system can’t understand you through background noise. Work with the system by calling from a quiet place.
  7. Select the cancel-service option. If a company thinks they’re going to lose you as a customer, they’ll be quick to try to convince you otherwise.
  8. Swear. Some IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems are programmed to put anyone who is using profanity at the front of the line.
  9. Don’t use your cell phone. Systems sometimes can’t correctly hear the numbers that you press.
  10. Speak loudly. Some systems monitor decibels, and a loud caller may prompt an immediate transfer.
  11. Don’t call the toll-free number. Companies do not want you to wait on hold if they’re paying for it.
  12. Schedule a phone call. Many companies now offer a service where you can request a customer-service call on their Web site, so they call you instead of making you wait on hold.
  13. Call the corporate office. Bother the head honchos to get some attention.
  14. Don’t pay your bill. The company will call you.
  15. Ignore errors. Keep doing what you’re doing, because errors just mean you’re winning the game of confusing the system.
  16. Send an email instead. This won’t get you connected on the phone any faster, but it will save you the trouble of waiting on hold.
  17. Switch to a small company. Avoid phone trees altogether by using a company that is small enough to not need one.
  18. Ask an agent how to get through. When you get a live person on the line, ask them how to get directly to them for the next time you call or if you get disconnected.
  19. Plan your call time wisely. Avoid Monday; if you have the option to call at a very odd hour, do so.

Cool Services

Take advantage of these services that make calling corporations a lot easier.

  1. Jigsaw Data Corp.: Use Jigsaw to call the CEO’s line, and you’re sure to get an answer.
  2. Hard to Find 800 Numbers: Check out this site to find numbers that will put you directly through to a person.
  3. Bringo: This service calls customer-service numbers for you and gets through the phone tree. Then, it calls you once a person is on the line.
  4. Gethuman.com: Visit Gethuman.com for actions you can take for specific companies.
  5. DialAHuman.com: This service is very similar to Gethuman.com and offers a directory of what to do to get through at your chosen company.


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