Get a Real Person, Not a Machine Do you hate having to press lots of buttons or talk to a computer instead of talking to a real person when calling for customer/technical support? Paul English offers the following on this nuisance: IVRs ("interactive voice response") are the annoying computers that answer phones. They can sometimes be useful (check flight status etc), but consumers should be able to decide when they want to speak with a human, simply by pressing 0. For example, what if the consumer is: * a senior citizen who does not ever want to talk with computers. * someone hard of hearing or in a noisy environment or on a bad cell phone connection, where communication with a computer is always more difficult than talking with an actual human. * someone driving a car who does not want to go back and forth between listening to prompts and pushing buttons. * someone who knows the IVR system will not help with their current question. Some IVRs require you first enter your account or social security number. This is also stupid: * many times after punching in your account number, the human who finally answers asks you to repeat it anyway! * what if I don't yet have an account number? * what if I don't have my account number handy? * what if my question has nothing to do with my account? Paul has compiled ".The IVR Cheat Sheet™", an impressive list of over 250 companies, phone numbers and their respective 'cheats' to circumvent those aggrevating, time-wasting IVRs. Chances are, some of the companies you deal with are on his list. 02/02/2006 UPDATE: URL changed to [B]http://gethuman.com[/B] -- see post #5 below.