by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
Press “1” for sales. Press “2” for service. Press “3” for accounts… How often have you encountered one of those ubiquitous voice menu systems? You make a futile attempt to understand what “the voice” is saying. With your poor hearing and limited ability to discriminate sounds on the phone, you are in Voice Menu hell. Vainly you search for the magic button that will connect you with a live human. Whatever happened to that “Press ‘H’ for human” button?
When you are hard of hearing, it is difficult enough just talking with a live person on the phone. At least with a live person you can ask them to repeat what they said, or spell it out, or use different words that you understand better. Not so when you reach one of those ubiquitous voice menu systems, otherwise knows as IVR or Integrated Voice Response systems.
However, you are not totally at the mercy of these Voice Mail systems. According to Paul at http://www.paulenglish.com/ivr/info.html, here are some things you can try to reach a live human.
1. Press 0 or 0# repeatedly, sometimes quickly, ignoring any “invalid entry” messags.
2. Say “agent” or “representative” (or sometimes your favorite four letter word).
3. Just hold, pretending you have only a rotary phone.
4. Connect to sales; they always seem to answer quickly, then have them transfer you to the department you need.
5. When you find a human, ask them how to connect directly the next time.
What do you do if the above don’t work for you? Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a “cheat sheet” of how to get through to a live person at various companies? Look no further. Paul has done exactly that. He has created a “cheat sheet” that contains the secret ways to reach live humans at 111 of the biggest companies in America. Here you are–Paul’s “IVR Cheat Sheet to Find a Human” (http://paulenglish.com/ivr/).
Thanks Paul. This is a real help to all of us hard of hearing people!