If you ever need to call me, you can be sure of one thing – the voice you hear first will be mine. Either I will answer the phone, or if I am with a client, you will be able to leave me a voice mail message. What you won’t get is a maze of menus and options such as “Press 1 for English”, “Press 2 for store hours” or “Press 3 for the Sales Dept”.
For most people, the most frustrating thing about dealing with a large corporation is the lack of personal contact. Navigating through the multiple phone options is almost like trying to figure out the combination to a safe. And that’s if you can even get a phone number to start with – a lot of these companies don’t want you to call them, so they deliberately make their contact numbers very difficult to locate on their website.
I sometimes need to call a Tech Support number for a computer or software company, so I have these numbers stored as contacts in my phone:
- HP/Compaq: 800-474-6836
- Dell: 800-624-9896
- Linksys: 800-326-7114
- Microsoft: 800-426-9400
- Symantec: 800-441-7234
- Yahoo: 866-562-7219
You may never need to call any of them, but it doesn’t hurt to have them saved just in case.
But what about other large companies? You may someday need to contact an airline to see if they have found your luggage. You might want to call AOL to cancel your monthly subscription. Maybe you need to call Equifax about an error on your credit report. How do you find phone numbers for companies that really would prefer you didn’t call them?
Thankfully, this information is all compiled in one location – a website called GetHuman (www.GetHuman.com). It’s called that because you need to get a human on the phone, not an automated phone menu.
Here are some of the inquiries the site has received recently:
When you get to the site, you have the option of just typing in the name of the company you want to contact. That brings up the phone number they have on file for that company. However, important facts are included – such as how to navigate the phone menu to get to a human, the average wait time, and more. A lot of this comes from input from people who use this service.
For example, if you want to find out how to contact Bank of America, this is what you will see:
One important thing to realize is that with some companies a phone number is actually not the best way to reach someone. An example of this is the listing for Facebook. Yes, there is a phone number for them but you would be better off trying a different way:
For me, a big convenience is that the whole database is available as an app for my Android phone (also for iPhones). At least it would have been – on my phone it kept crashing instead of running. Probably just a bug in the newest version or something so I’ll keep trying that.
If you use the GetHuman service, let me know what you think about it in the comments.