Tired of the phone tree and want to talk to a human?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by SpeedoGuy, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. SpeedoGuy

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    Then this website is for you. It claims to provide the phone numbers and keypad secrets needed to bypass the annoying "phone tree" and put you directly through to a real human being in customer service for 500 companies and government agencies in the US.

    gethuman 500 database from Paul English

    I tested a few of the numbers for airline reservations and it worked for me. Has anyone else tried it out?
     
  2. simcha

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    This is fantastic!!!

    Now if they could just find a way you can get to customer service agents that speak the same language you do with the same accent and inflection, who know how to help you, that would be magnificent!

    I'm so tired of talking to people in Calcutta who barely understand me and whom I barely understand and who have no clue how to help me because they're 1/2 a world away and I'm calling a US airline about US connections and they haven't the foggiest idea of where things are in the US.
     
  3. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Yeah. The least they could do is outsource to some fun place like Jamaica.

    "Thank you fuh calling, mon."
     
  4. findfirefox

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    Does anyone ever think those phone trees are there for a purpose??

    I know that our company if you ignore it you end up waiting on hold longer as you get transfered to the wrong department and they just transfer you to another queue...
     
  5. No_Strings

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    I'd rather a phone tree by which I can actually get where I want to go, than a babbling operator who will alway either, A) Have no idea about the subject which I am calling about, B) Won't have a fluent grasp of the English language or C) all of the above.

    Plus, I despise using the phone to talk to other people in general.


    But yes, this usually works and always has. :smile:
     
  6. Principessa

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  7. whatireallywant

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    They outsource that stuff to Calcutta, etc. because they can pay the people there a third to a fourth of what they would pay someone in the US, and the CEO can make more money. :mad: Now, I realize that businesses have to make money, but my gripe is with profitable companies outsourcing these departments, cutting good US jobs, so that the upper management and top stockholders can be multi-millionaires to billionaires.

    I'm an IT professional, so this really hits a nerve for me, since many of the jobs I could have had have been outsourced, usually to Mumbai. That said, I have absolutely nothing against the people in India, etc. who take those jobs. My gripe is with the business leaders who decide to outsource out of their own greed.
     
  8. simcha

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    Yes phone trees are there to make you wait. They do nothing else but delay the time it takes to actually speak to a human being who just might be able to take care of your particular issue. It's traffic control. It has nothing to do with engendering good customer relations.
     
  9. findfirefox

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    Well for the company we I work at we have a single number, each department has a single queue. If you push "0" you go to an operator, if you press any other button you go to the department you have chosen. ONE MENU.

    If you push the wrong button you wait on hold for the wrong department, our company does not have an express queue for any department so in order to transfer you to the correct department (THAT YOU COULD HAVE LISTENED FOR) you have to wait on hold again.
     
  10. ManlyBanisters

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    General rant: I'm fucking sick and tired of people knocking Indian service agents (which I know not everyone here is doing, btw). I've had nothing but good experiences talking with them. They take the time to understand me, I take the time to understand them and, IME, they're as well trained as (better trained than?) the UK/Irish/US/French callcentre staff I have dealt with. If you have problems understanding their accents then go out and fucking live a little - it's a full and diverse world and not everybody speaks with a MidWest 'neutral' accent. Fucking deal with it.

    /rant
     
  11. simcha

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    However, I'm the customer. I'm the one who deserves service because I'm PAYING for the product or service and thus paying their salaries. If I'm calling an American company I should get someone who can speak American English and understand American English. As the customer it's not my job to bend over backwards to get service. The customer service reps have the responsibility to serve me and MY needs. Therefore they should learn how to speak so I can understand THEM and THEY should learn to understand MY accent.:mad:

    I agree with you on an International/Global context when visiting foreign countries. If I'm in India I would expect not to be understood or understand everyone. That is EXTREMELY reasonable.:biggrin1:

    But it is HIGHLY UNREASONABLE that I should have to do tricks to learn how to deal with customer service reps in India when I PAY THEIR SALARIES through products and services I'm BUYING in the USA from companies who claim to be AMERICAN and I'm calling from the USA. And these foreign service reps should learn our geography if they are going to do customer service in the travel industry for an Amercian Domestic carrier. :mad:
     
  12. whatireallywant

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    I do have a problem understanding the accents of the Indian service providers often. Sorry. Also, I'm an IT professional and I've often had phone interviews with Indian interviewers and I have to ask them to repeat themselves often. I actually don't have a problem understanding most other accents.

    MY particular gripe though is with outsourcing, for the sake of the upper management making more money, and specifically because there are fewer jobs in the US in MY field because of that.
     
  13. ManlyBanisters

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    Well - then maybe you should pay a little more for your services so that the companies you use would not try to save money by outsourcing. You want everything bottom dollar you can expect the companies to save money by exploiting the fact that they can pay these people per month what a US employee expects in a day. Give the poor bastards a break. The foreign service reps do exactly the training that the company you buy the services off sees fit to train them. Do you expect these guys to go out in their own time to buy a fucking map of the States and sit there studying it? Get some perspective! They do what they are required in order to meet the standards their employer sets for them to earn a wage that employer could afford to double but doesn't have to, so won't. You want them to be better trained - lobby the employers to spend more time and money training them.
     
  14. Northland

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    My only problem with phone trees is when an account number needs to be entered or an invoice number or that sort of thing and after entering the 95 digits, a voice says I'm sorry, that number does not appear on our list. Please reenter your 95 digit invoice number. That is followed by a click or the same monotone voice saying, you screwed up again and to please hold for the next available representitive.


    When it comes to the actual rep. I have rarely had any difficulty understanding them and they have not had difficulty understanding me. If you cannot be understood, then learn to speak slowly and clearly. If the other person cannot be understood ask them to please repeat. If you still are unable to understand then take the waxballs out of your ears! Really, Simcha, you remind me of Urgo who mocked Mustafa for his accent. I have substantial hearing loss in the right ear and understood Mustafa perfectly. If you enter into a situation expecting difficulty, you have two ways to handle it- patience or intolerance. Intolerance will prevent you from getting any information and the intolerance will be detected in your voice and distort your voice which will make it difficult for the other person to understand you. Go into it with a peaceful calm and it'll be much easier.
     
  15. Sklar

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    I've used the get human data base for years. It's made calling the companies I patron easier.

    As for the bantering about the client having to bend over backwards so that the service rep can be understood, I'm against that. I'm the client, they need to be concerned with my needs first. I'm NOT saying that the customer is always right (usually they are not).

    I only deal with companies where the service is above and beyond reproach, so when I do have to call them, it's dealt with in a smooth and efficient manner. So I can take the OCCASIONAL dissatisfaction of having to deal with someone with a heavy accent. If the service problems don't go away, I go away from the company. Not because of the person on the other side of the phone but because of the service I get here in the states with the companies product.

    That's why I enjoy the new commercials from Comcast about their phone service. The songs that are sung by the employees of the Big Old Telephone Companies and how they will miss us paying their higher fees is spot on and funny in a very satyrical way.

    But, when all is said and done, I try to hire LOCAL self employed people who have the experience I need. So if I have computer problems, I'll call a local computer person who will make a house call. If my car has issues, I'll take it back to my dealers maintenance shop.

    Yes, I can see the whole PC crap thing about "we're a global economy so we must adapt." I don't subscribe to it but I see it happening. I'd rather pay a little bit more to get the service from a local expert who can meet me face to face and I don't have to be put on hold or have to go through a voice tree if I can avoid it.

    Thanks for reading,

    Sklar
     
  16. SpeedoGuy

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    Its true there are legitimate reasons for phone trees and I've even encountered a few that expedite the communication process. However, my overall experience has been that their main reason for existence is to discourage contact with customer service departments through delay and confusion tactics. Why? So the parent company can save money by outsourcing or staffing a smaller in-house customer service department.
     
  17. earllogjam

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    Hey thanks Speedo. Useful information here. Just tried the trick for Continental and it worked! This will be great to save some cell phone minutes.

    Honestly though, sometimes I'd rather use the phone tree for certain things like retrieving directions, movie times, flight departures, or simple balance inquiries. I find that it is quicker and more accurate.

    Many times, especially with Citibank operators, there is always some sales pitch involved with dealing with a live person which is a nuisance.
     
  18. SteveHd

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  19. Mem

    Mem
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    I love phone trees, I put one up for X-mas.
     
  20. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    Great idea for a site. I fucking hate how companies these days care so very very little about good customer service. On so many websites it is damn near impossible to even find good contact information. If you send them e-mail (the easiest contact info to find) then it often takes days to get a response, and then when they do respond it's obvious they haven't even read your e-mail and are just sending you a form letter in response that contains the same worthless information listed on their FAQs. If you manage to find a phone number, then you have to go through those infernal endless phone tree gauntlets, where often there is no option to speak with a person at all or if there is one it is typically only at the very end of the tree and then the very last option. When you do find that option, you have to put up with being put on hold forever, frequently being disconnected, or being connected to the wrong department. Then when you finally do get someone, more often than not they don't know what they are talking about and don't have any of the power, information or authority necessary to help you with whatever concern you may have. They are usually only able to read mindlessly from pre-scripted dialogues, it's so friggin' frustrating. One of my BIGGEST pet peeves. The concept of customer service is COMPLETELY foreign to these companies.

    In my experience, incidentally, some of the very worst:

    Wizards of the Coast, a division of Hasbro
    eBay
    Verizon
    DirectTV
    Chase (and virtually all other credit card companies, but I've had particularly bad experiences with them)
    ANA (airline)
    MBNA
    Tweeter
    Daimler-Chrysler
     
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