There are few things I dislike more than automated phone systems. Anyone who’s ever been through the hell of “Press 9 to repeat this menu” feels immediate camaraderie with the poor sap on the new CitiBank commercials. (“Please state your password,” the system asks. “Big boy,” he responds, sitting on a commuter train next to an older, somewhat surprised passenger.)
So, apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Paul English, co-founder of travel search engine Kayak.com (about which I recently wrote a web review), had a few too many bad experiences with phone systems and set out to do something about it.
On his personal blog, English began posting 800-number shortcuts for more than 200 companies. What happened? Well, the site was a little overwhelmed. So many people wanted this information, the site has now become its own movement, called Get Human. The site still focuses on secret number codes and phone numbers that will allow you to slice through those crappy automated phone systems to get straight to a living, breathing (very likely incompetent) human being. And because of that incompetent thing, they’re also using the site as a rating system for customer service calls and plan to publish a list of the best and worst mass-market consumer companies in the world.
So, if you need to call Dell, AAA, Visa, Fifth Third, or any one of more than 400 other companies and you prefer a human to a computer, make a quick stop at Get Human.