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! 😉

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  1. Doc

    I found out about cussing bringing you to an IVR the hard way. I made a call and was brought to an IVR. It asked me the normall things like account #. What service I wanted. Then it started to ask for every single detail about my account that I had with this bank. First Name, Last Name, DOB, Mother’s Middle Name. That was when I got pissed.

    I said into the phone “How the **** do you know my Mother’s middle name you **** ****….” and so on. Well have way through my rant an operator got on the line and told me to calm down. He then went on to say that this call was being recorded and the entire time I was giving my information he was on the line and could hear what I was saying. That was when I realized why the company was using an automate message to answer those questions. The guy was from India and could hardly speak english. He reminded me a college professor that I had, that was the same way. Trevor I think you might know who I am talking about 😉

    Half way through the phone call I was really starting to wish that the guy would put me back through to the automate service. Either way it was a lose lose situation.

  2. That’s funny, I’m gonna try some fuck you’s. I think they already worked for me in the past without me realizing it :).

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