Tips for getting to a live person

HomeMore tools & toysTipsTalking to a live person

Once you have a phone number, here are some tips to try to get through the computer to get to a live human:

  1. 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 IVRs will connect to a human after a few "invalid entries", although some IVRs will hangup. :-(

  2. 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.

  3. Just hold, pretending you have only an old rotary phone.

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. Selecting the option for Spanish will sometimes get you a bilingual human more quickly than if you just waited for an English-only operator.

  7. (recent tip from a GETHUMAN user) "Whenever I call places that have a high call volume, I listen for a company directory. When it asks me for a last name keyed in, I type in one letter and it gives me a list of corresponding people. I keep doing this until I get someone. It's worked a lot."

When you do finally find a human, ask them how to connect directly the next time (in case your call gets disconnnected etc), and be sure to tell us so we can then list their number here. :-).

If one of the above does not work, the GetHuman database contains tips and shortcuts for many different companies.

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