The endless phone tree

Most of us have had the unpleasant experience of being stuck on an endless phone tree. Phone trees are of two basic types, the voice response tree and the touchpad tree. The voice response tree asks you to respond to specific questions and has a limited vocabulary with which it expects you to respond. For example, if the question requires a yes or no response you can’t say “yeah” or “yup” or “OK”, you must say “Yes” or “No”.

On the key pad phone tree you must respond with the options they provide. The typical choices will include: Do you speak Spanish, Do you want to place an order, Do you want to repeat these options and Do you want to speak with billing. None of these options help, if you are trying to resolve an issue such as a product you ordered not being delivered .

After being stuck in this endless loop many of us just give up. But there is a better solution. If you are on a voice activated phone tree try these unannounced options: “Agent”, “Customer Service” or “Representative”. These will usually get you to a customer service representative with whom you can speak. On a keypad phone tree try “O”, “*O” or “#O” and these will usually get you to a customer service representative with whom you can speak.

Finally, if none of these work you can go to the business’ website which will usually have an option for “Contact Us”. There you can write an e-mail to the company to voice your complaint. This option will usually be successful but may require a longer wait time for a response.

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