I have written before about how much I hate IVR systems and the drain they are on society’s productivity. And I recently shared a tip that defeats an IVR barricade about half of the time: just keep hitting zero until you hear the phone ringing.
Turns out there’s an entire Website called gethuman devoted to collecting the “secret” ways to navigate around the computer and get to a live person at each company with an IVR system. In many cases, the answer is just to keep pushing zero, but there are many more complicated , including this advice for calling MSN: Say “agent” at each prompt, until offered a representative; say “yes.”
There is also an interesting little soap opera about the site’s owners, if you click on the “Info” link.
And just to let you know that I acknowledge that there are times when IVR is more efficient – just today I renewed a drug prescription over the phone in about 15 seconds, which is faster than a person could have done it.