How to Find the Right Phone Numbers for Customer Service
How to Get a Live Person On the Phone
Last Updated: May 15, 2015
How many times have you called a company, wanting to talk to a live person, only get caught up and lost in their computer voice directory service. There is nothing more frustrating than having an issue you need resolved ASAP and not being able to talk to a live person. This is especially true when trying to call one of the credit reporting agencies, or maybe a collection agency.
You've written your dispute letters to the credit bureaus, verification letters to credit card companies or settlement offers to collection agencies and now you just want to talk to a real person. I receive calls every day asking me for information on how to get a live person at the credit reporting agencies. They seems to change their automated prompts all the time - and in my opinion this is to cut down on staff required to answer the telephone. Here are some tips on how to get a live person for any situation, not just for credit repair or debt settlement.
Find a Phone Number to Talk to a Human
- Dial-a-Human. This site has an alphabetic company listing of real phone numbers and what to dial to get an actual human - not the robot answering machine.
- GetHuman. This site has you type in the company name and it will give you the option to provide a phone number, have the company call you back, access live chat, or send an email. It is a fairly well-maintained list of how to get past computer prompts.
- Data.com Connect. Use this service to call the CEO's line, and you're sure to get an answer. You do have to sign up for this service.
- Disgruntled customers often post the phone numbers of company officials on consumer websites as revenge. Try phrases like "I hate company X" as a search term on Google or Yahoo!.
- You can also use the search terms like "Company X" and "president" or "officers".
- The Securities and Exchange Commission have a complete list of company officers which are public record. You can search for these on EDGAR website.
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What To Do and Say When You Call
- Press the following keys to try to bypass the automatic prompt system: 0, #0, 0#, 00, #, *. You can also just try pressing all the numbers to confuse the system.
- Say the following terms at the voice prompt:
- "Prospective Member"
- Mumble. The computer will not know what to do if it does not understand what you're saying and will send you to a live agent.
- Speak Nonsense. This is my personal favorite. It also confuses the computer and it relieves some of my stress during customer service calls.
- Use Bad Language. Some company voice recognition software will put your call to the head of the line if they hear swearing. The same holds true for speaking loudly or shouting in the phone. They want really frustrated customers to get helped immediately.
- Do nothing. The system will think you're on a dial phone and transfer you.
You can also try these Toll Free"411" numbers:
- 1-800-FREE-411 (requires listening to a short ad)
Contact Their Corporate Office
When all else fails, and this trick has gotten me to a live Equifax customer service rep - look up the local number in the yellow pages. In the case of calling Equifax:
- Equifax is based out of Atlanta, Georgia
- I just looked up the office number locally.
- It was the main switch board to corporate offices.
- I asked to speak to someone in customer service - explained why I was calling.
- I was put on hold, but it was only 10 minutes, wasn't an outsourced rep, and I did get issues resolved.