Cheatsheet to get a Real Person on an 800 Number

As a person working at a technology company, I felt kinda unsure about publishing this. As a consumer, I was really excited..

In our daily lives, I always wonder how much of our time is spent on the phone figuring out how to get a live person on the phone. An IVR (Interactive Voice Response) System is an automated "Voice Portal" which navigates a caller through a number of prompts to provide some type of service (check a purchase, check your bank balance, buy an airline ticket). Companies love these IVR systems because they save themselves between $3-10 per minute handling a call.

In 95 percent (or more) of the time, these IVR systems provide all of your needs. In that 5 percent of the time, these IVR systems do not provide any help. In some untolerable moments like this, you are faced with either a trip to the office or you are out of luck.

Paul English IVR Cheatsheet. I had to hand it to this guy. He has a website dedicated to getting a "LIVE OPERATOR" on the phone.

Maybe this is a sign for companies to spend more time on building better (easier and feature rich) "Voice Portals"?

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I'll be writing about topics that would interest users and developers of Sun Java Communication Suite.

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