How to get a hold of a person during a customer service call

Cell phone
Posted at 5:20 AM, Feb 17, 2022

Getting a hold of a human being on a customer service call can be a challenge. You can spend hours on hold, then all of a sudden the call drops and you're back to the beginning. And it doesn't help if a company is struggling with staffing during the pandemic.

Author and freelance writer Jeff Somers shares the hacks he's learned over the years to have a successful experience over the phone.

1.) Check out websites like

"It's basically just a directory. It's kind of a crowdsourced directory of direct lines, 800 numbers," Somers said.

"You can find a listing for the company that you're dealing with, those phone numbers will get you directly to a human being. You won't have to deal with the phone tree at all."

2.) If you can't get a human being on the line, press zero, and if that doesn't work, keep quiet.

"Say nothing at all and do nothing at all. Give no responses whatsoever to the phone tree. It will prompt you a few times saying 'I didn't understand that' or 'can you try again?' It will try and insist that it needs a response from you. They often don't and eventually, it will give up and shrug and send you to a human being."

3.) Select the menu option that involves payment, even if that's not what you want. It helps speed up the process.

"So, look for the option that upgrades your accounts, or adds optional features or insurance or something like that. You'll probably be put through to a human being immediately, and while that's a salesperson and not a customer service person, you're inside the wall at that point."

4.) Hang up and dial the same number again.

"Calling back often is the greatest superpower on customer service calls. You'll get a different person, and a lot of times you'll get a much better or a much different experience."

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