During a very dark period in my life, I used Sprint for my cell phone service. The reception was decent, but I hated the company as I have hated few things in my life. I switched providers specifically because it was simply not possible to reach their customer service department. I'd call and spend a small eternity listening to a robot voice slowly dole out tedious instructions--"Press 1 to pay your bill, 2 to hear our mailing address, 3 to get very, very angry, 4 to tear your hair out and stuff it down your own throat, 5 to throw your cell phone at a passerby and scream til one or both of your eyeballs explode." I'd press the appropriate number, and then be transferred to another department with a robot voice which doled out new instructions at the same incredibly slow rate. I'd pick the appropriate number again, and be transferred again...only to be offered some more robot choices. It was like being on a ferris wheel against my will. This went on and on, with no opportunity to speak to a person. Eventually my call would just be cut off. Seriously--after I'd spent 10 minutes pressing 2, then 5, then 1, then 3, then 72, then 119, then 2577860287, then 4, then 9, then 666, then being put on hold, my call would just get cut off. This happened enough times that I eventually just switched providers. Once I sat on hold for 45 minutes, only to have my call cut off. Christ, I hate Sprint.
But as you know, most companies have that same passive-aggressive robot answering their phones, doing nothing at all but making nice customers turn violent. That's why Paul English is going to get his feet rubbed. On his website he has posted an insanely huge list of companies and the shortcuts you can press in their automated systems to get right to a person. In some cases, it's as easy as pressing 0, but in others, it's more complex. For instance, with AT&T, you press the pound key four times, then 1. With Aetna, you press the star key three times. With Dell, you press 1, then extension 7266966, then press 1, then 4, then 4. This is the kind of information that would have saved me several pieces of broken furniture and 2 ruptured eyeballs.
How does Paul get this info? Does he spend all day, every day on the phone calling up Target and American Airlines and IBM, pressing crazy combinations of buttons til he discovers the the loophole? Or does he travel the country, sleeping with customer service reps from each company til he can dupe them into giving up the coveted phone system secret, then dumping them like cheap hookers? I don't know, but whatever his methods, I endorse them--even if animal testing or POW-style torture is involved.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to rub some feet.
I'm sure Bill Engilsh would be more than happy to get a footrub, but isn't dude's name Paul?
Yay for him. I do something similar to bypass that crap, but it usually involves putting 911 incessantly when it asks for either my account no. or social security number. Cuz even if I DID enter either one, and even if I DID actually reach a human... they would ask me for it again anyway.
Jesus Christ on a pogo stick! Yes, his name is Paul. Duly noted, and corrected.
Karla, I'd like to kiss and massage every inch of your delicious body!
What combination of numbers must I press to shortcut my way through this tedious blog?
ZING! Oh, I keed, I keed... You know yours is the blog I'd most like to be stuck on a deserted island with.
Unless there's a blog out there listing ways to get off a deserted island. Then that blog would have to be my choice.
How sweet is this? It's an early Christmas present. Thanks for sharing!
Gah! This is killing me. I can't find the animated image, but here's something else for you.
Oh this is very cool. Useless when you're outside of the states, but very cool nonetheless. I suppose, being a customer service agent, I should frown at this, but I've been scowled at by people who couldn't get through the menu so often that I happily applaud the initiative.
And the parenting goes in the crapper when dealing with the automated phone systems.
"MOMMY"S ON THE PHONE!...What did it say?...NO! NOOOO! NOW I HAVE TO START OVER?!!"
..."Mommy I'm scared, what's happening?"
My children thank you for the info.
Yes! We can all definitely relate to this. I was on one of these with a bank the other day that NEVER did give the option for a "real" person (I used to work for this bank so I use the real loosely). And the thing was that they called me. I was returning their call!!
I hate calling and listening to all the automated shit and never get to talk to a human. Most of the time my question does not involve any of the options they give you. UGH!!! And I have heard Sprint is bad...REAL bad!!
I would like to give you a massage for sharing this information. Thank. You. Seeing as how I almost shot the people at Apple one day.
You and Paul have probably cured more stress and anxiety than a truckload of Valium and Paxil, and we didn't even have to wade through the drugstore's automated prescription refill line.
Haha, I'm going to have a ton of fun this week calling all the ones where you have to say "agent" or "representative." It just makes me feel cool... like I can give orders to machines - that belong to someone else! - and they do it.
Why stop with Paul English's feet? That's all I'm sayin'...
sprint shut of my serivce cause i missed one lousy payment. i called and explained to the guy that i was sorry, i would pay it on friday blah blah, could they please turn it back on as i have been with them for over 5 years etc etc. the guy actually said, "no i will not, and if you don't like it get a new provider. i told him to f**k off. i called back and the next guy did it though.
does he want his toenails painted? some men are funny about that
Love it!!! Thank you! This is the best discovery since penicillin, sliced bread and any other cool thing you can think of.
I'm a little surprised at your offering to kiss and massage his feet, though. You seem like the kind of person to have an anit-foot fetish like me....
That would be one hell of an invention - a computerized set of hands that would massage your significant other's (or your own) feet so you didn't have to touch them yourself....
Hey! That's a great list! I've saved it to print off.
I will say that T-Mobile makes it very easy to get to a real person.
You know, Shea, you're right. I hate feet. That just goes to show how grateful I am to Paul, that I'd be willing to do the unthinkable to his grimy little toes.
So what happens when the companies change their options? As we all know, the first "cover our ass" thing they say is that they want you to listen to all of the %$#@ing options as they have changed.
I know Nextel and Sprint merged, and before when calling Nextel I freaked out and pressed "0" eleven times and found you can immediately get someone this way...hahaha...
I came here because I heard you were funny. Instead, I came away with the most important information I've seen this year. Forget your blog -- I'm off to massage Paul English's toes also.
All well and good. So, now who's your provider, and is it any better? If I come to Dallas in early May will you rub my feet too?
:-p you crack me up. I really need to visit your blog more often! and boy, oh boy, do I ever know what you are talking about. but they always switch the damn tele-number-prompt options on me! curse those passive-aggressive robots!
Did someone delete my comment?! Karla, all I want to do is eat your excrement! You MUST let me!!
Well, that's quite an offer...but as you may know, I'm married. So I feel it's only fair to offer my husband first dibs on my excrement.
But if he doessn't want it, then what the heck? I'll mail it to you.
That is hilarious! Guess I'll have to join you in some foot rubs.
Yes, feet are way nasty.
I have noticed that on some of the voice-driven menus profanity works well. Some companies have set their systems up to recognize the word, F@*! and its permutations, which puts you through to a human directly.
Of course now that this is out, they are probably going to change all of this.
Wow..great to know!
I say we nominate him for President or King or at least grand high pooohbahhh
I don't care how he gets his results as long as he gets them.
And on a totally other note, a chick who doesn't mind giving foot kisses and massages, where were you when I was single and still presentable girl???
Danged if your hubby ain't a lucky man even with your 100 fact list...
My blogsite was afu for repairs when you posted Karla, sorry for the late response but I did find your post and respond to it
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