What is the best way to get passed automated telephone systems?
It is unavoidable. You need to sit on the telephone wading through an phone menu that is extensive. If you’re wearing socks Press 1. Press 42 in case you’d like to hear your choices in Elvish. Maybe you’re trying to troubleshoot a computer problem; maybe you are just trying to have insurance. It does not really matter what your aim is menus are annoying and long.
It turns out far too few people know about a characteristic of many automated phone systems which will change your experience forever. On the weekend, Verge editor Casey Newton discovered that if you swear at an automated phone system, it might take one to a real live human being talks and that breathes.
Life hack: I called Walgreens to check on something and got a lengthy ad for flu shots and I shouted “fuck OFF” and it took me right to the main menu
— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) November 18, 2017
Someone quickly replied, noting that this is real technology. It’s not a coincidence or an isolated instance.
My friend created and patented this technology! If you swear at an automated system, many will redirect you to an operator. That is a legit way to shortcut automated menus. https://t.co/47yl2iUbDG
— annebot (@annebot) November 18, 2017
Haha! This is the sort of thing I like to fact check. TRUE! https://t.co/XHXvztSkkK
— Brent Logan (@blogan) November 18, 2017
You might have tried variations like tapping “0” until somebody asks you to stop. Or maybe you’ve tried saying “agent” or “representative.” Those all work on particular systems. It is essentially the exact same concept, except it seems cursing is equally as politely requesting a broker as effective. Until you talk to an actual person, because if you are frustrated, you can let off a little steam, that is nice. (It’s useful for them also, since they didn’t personally create your difficulty or build the annoying automated menu which offers you so worked up.)
Many others jumped into the dialogue to express joy about the discovery and to offer other methods with which they’ve found success.
I yelled “HUMAN HUMAN HUMAN!” at a system the other day and got immediately transferred to a person. It’s such a pleasant surprise when technological advances make things BETTER for me instead of worse!
— Naomi Kritzer (@NaomiKritzer) November 18, 2017
It may not work. It’s a whole lot easier to try than, say, cataloging amount sequences for every company you call.