Whatever Happened to Customer Service?

Ways to Get Through to a Customer Service Rep

I can not tell you how many times I have called a customer service number only to be given the runaround by a less-than-helpful automated system. If you’ve ever wished you could reach through your phone and rip apart the wires of whatever stupid machine you are trying to communicate with, you can relate to what I’m talking about. Luckily, there are ways to get around this growing tend. The following advice will help you get a real, live customer service rep on the line — just when you thought they were going extinct.

Resist the Urge

Whatever you do, resist the urge to hit O for the operator unless the system specifically tells you to hit that button to talk to a live customer service rep. Many companies have programmed their automated systems to bring you back to the main menu or disconnect the call when you try getting an operator by hitting O. In fact, if you refuse to hit any buttons at all, the system may think you’re calling from a rotary phone and will automatically transfer you to a customer service representative.

Pretend You’re Someone They Want to Talk To

There are two types of people almost any company will make time for — potential new customers and existing customers who want to cancel service. Oftentimes the automated menu will tell you which button on your phone to press in order to become a new customer or place an order and what button to press to cancel an account or service.

Pressing one of these buttons is bound to bring you to a live person who works for the company. Once you have that person on the phone, ask them if they can help you and if they can’t, ask to be transferred to a live person who can.

Once you do have a live customer service rep on the phone, ask them what number you can dial in the future to reach the customer service department directly. This will save you from any future automated-service aggravation.