Swear at an IVR (interactive voice response) system = Instant human on the line!

Before I formed my own company and started working for myself I was a system administrator at a medium sized credit card service company.  Not only did I do the system administration stuff, but I also dealt with a variety of phone things.  Since the company had customer service and collections they had IVR’s to deal with the customers calling in.  One of the things I learned was that there are a lot of different things that will trigger you to be sent to a live operator such as:

  • Dialing 0 (zero).  If it doesn’t forward you, try hitting it multiple times…some systems are setup for the 20th time to forward you to the operator.
  • Pressing certain other characters like * and # anywhere from 1-4 times.
  • Saying operator.
  • Saying complaint.  Sometimes this takes more than one time also.
  • My personal favorite, cussing.  A LOT of different cuss words will forward you directly to a live operator.

These simple tactics have come in really handy for me since 95% of the time just hitting 0 or cussing will get me instantly forwarded to a live operator.  I HATE wasting time sitting on hold and I figured I’d share these little “tricks” with anyone who isn’t aware of them.

If you want to know the quickest route to an operator or just simply can’t figure out how to get to one at a certain company then check out GetHuman.  This site lists exact steps to get greeted by a human as fast as possible.  It has come in very handy for me when shouting a simple F#CK YOU into the phone doesn’t get me where I need to be! 😉