How to Get to a Human on the Phone
Tired of wasting money and time due to phone systems that require you to press 10 or more options?
Here is how we can help:
- Our database of shortcuts: consult the Get2Human database of secret phone numbers and codes that immediately get an actual, live person on the line for customer service for more than 1000 major companies
- Our phone menu transcriptions: or, read a transcription of the phone menu (IVR) before you call so you know what to expect…just look up the company here.
Tips for Getting to a Human
For calling enterprises that are not listed on our site, you will need to figure out how to get to a human. Once you have a phone number, here are some tips to try to get to a live human:
- Interrupt: Press 0 (or 0# or #0 or 0* or *0) repeatedly, sometimes quickly. Unfortunately the same keystroke does not always work for each company. Many automation systems will connect to a human after a few “invalid entries”, although some will hangup. ?
- Talk: Say “get human” (or “agent” or “representative”) or raise your voice, or just mumble. ? The IVR might connect you to a human after one of these key or unknown phrases.
- Hold: Just hold, pretending you have only an old rotary phone.
- Ask for sales or cancellations: Connect to account collections or sales or account cancellation; they always seem to answer quickly. First ask them for their name and rep number (so they know you are writing it down, and thus so they are more likely to help you.) Then ask them to transfer you to the department you need. Sometimes they will put you ahead of the queue, although sometimes they will send you to the end (and thus in those cases this tip is useless).
- Toll call: For credit cards, if the expected wait time is too long, hangup and try to call back on their non-toll-free number, as they often have shorter queues.
- Spanish: Selecting the option for Spanish will sometimes get you a bilingual human more quickly than if you just waited for an English-only operator.
When you do finally find a human, ask them how to connect directly the next time (in case your call gets disconnected etc), and be sure to tell us so we can then list their number here. :-).
Can’t communicate properly with the agent
Increasingly, American customer support jobs are being outsourced to regions of the world where the cost of labor is considerably cheaper.
In many instances, this has created a severe communication problem. The callers are not able to understand what the agent is saying and the agent does not understand the caller.
What can you do about it? One thing that you can do is ask the agent to connect you to the supervisor. Then ask the supervisor to connect you to North American based call center.
Free directory assistance & calling
If you dial 411 from your mobile phone, stop. Almost all carriers charge a fee, and those fees can add up over the course of a month or a year.
To find the toll-free phone number for US-based companies, call 1-800-555-1212 (AT&T), or search for the company phone number on our list.
See also the get2human standard for a description of how automation system should work.
Top of Form
Bottom of Form