Does this scenario sound familiar? Your latest credit card statement comes in the mail, and there's an error. You know that it needs to be dealt with, but for some reason you keep putting it off. Then it hits you. The reason for your procrastination is that you just cannot bear the thought of calling "customer service". Just the idea of facing a telephone maze of pressing buttons and repeating personal information over and over again to a computer is so daunting, so loathsome, you actually consider just paying the charge.
The good news is your days of wallowing through the Dante's Inferno of customer service phone systems are over. Thanks to a computer programmer/blogger named Paul English, you can now talk to a real human being in a fraction of the time. You see, Paul and his Internet friends have taken the time to compile a list of some major companies along with shortcuts you can use to reach an operator on their systems. Here are some examples:
America Online® - Don't press or say anything
Bank of America - Press 00 at each prompt
Citibank - Press 0# 0# 0# 0# 0# 0#
eBay® - Press 0 after each of the first two prompts
e*Trade - Press # # # #
FedEx® - Say "agent" at each prompt
MasterCard® - Press 000 at each prompt
PETCO - Don't press or say anything
To see Paul's entire list of company phone numbers and instructions, simply log on to www.gethuman.com and click on the "Database" link. You may even want to create a bookmark to the website on your computer both at home and at work.
Mr. English is completely dedicated to the customer service cause. Along with publishing this potentially time-saving information, Paul provides the ability to rate a company's customer service and allows anyone with information about bypassing customer service phone menus to contribute what they know. Both features can be found by clicking on the "Sitemap" link on the website.
Companies are constantly changing their phone systems, so Paul's list is always in flux. Lucky for us, the most current information is only an Internet connection away.