The IVR (interactive voice response) Cheat Sheet by Paul English
If there's one thing about technology that drives me insane, it's the fact that companies think that it can replace human interaction. I develop e-commerce stores, so you'd think my stance is automate, automate, automate. In fact, that's kind of the entire point of this blog. But...there's a time for automation, and then there's a time for old-school human conversation. When I'm on a short lunch break or between meetings, and I have to call a company - especially if it's about a mistake they made - I don't want to have to sit and navigate through screen after screen, listening to some slow bot drone on and on about options that I already know don't affect my situation.
My general response is to say "operator", and if that doesn't work, I press 0. If that doesn't work, I start randomly pressing *, # and 0 in rapid succession. This almost always gets me to a human - otherwise I try to go straight to sales, because they tend to be waiting to talk to me.
Well, screw that from now on. Paul English has saved us all an unbelievable amount of time and frustration with his wonderful compliation of ways to get around interactive menus. The page is logically organized and has an amazing number of companies. Make sure when you go to his site, you read the info page at the top, there is a lot of good information there. Thanks for the link, mom!
IVRs ("interactive voice response") are the annoying computers that answer phones. They can sometimes be useful (check flight status etc), but consumers should be able to decide when they want to speak with a human, simply by pressing 0.
The IVR Cheat Sheet by Paul English