We’ve all been there. Sometimes you just can’t get your new gadget to work, or you have some question that is simply not answered any where on the Internet, especially on the company’s website. You decide to call customer support and begin the gauntlet. Prompts and voice-activated questions and long holds dominate the landscape.
My first tip for getting through this nightmare involves voice-activated questions. It may sound ridiculous, but it has really worked well for me. Most voice-activated prompts will understand you better if you talk in a British accent. I’m not exactly sure why this is. It may be because the British pronounce things more clearly and this comes through over the phone or you articulate in a way a machine can understand. Give it a try. (Preferably while you are along, if you don’t have a British accent and you don’t want to sound silly.)
My next tip is over at GetHuman (http://gethuman.com/), you can find the customer service help number for over a thousand companies and the series of button presses necessary to get in the cue to talk to a human being. One thing that you’ll notice if you scan a variety of companies is that a lot of them simply use ‘0’ as your tool to get to the operator. So if you are ever stuck, and the particular company you are talking to is not on GetHuman’s list, give it a try.
Finally, if you get through and the company still can’t help you. I sometimes try Yahoo Answers (http://answers.yahoo.com/). You may not get a response, or more likely you’ll get some useless responses, but you get real help often enough where I keep using it every so often. It’s free, so you really don’t have anything to lose accept a little time.