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November 22, 2005

How to avoid 'voice mail hell' — My best post ever?


What do you want to bet this one does more for more people than even the one about the Sharper Image's dangerous, useless and expensive Ionic Breeze Air Cleaner?

Paul English, co–founder of the travel search engine kayak.com, has created a website with a list of phone numbers for 110 organizations along with tips for bypassing phone trees and 'voice mail hell' — the endless, confusing instructions to press this number, then that, on and on forever, which end with you being disconnected and enraged.

It's at www.paulenglish.com/ivr.

"ivr" stands for "Interactive Voice Response," the name of the brain–dead–on–arrival (ooh, I like that: bDOA — better get on that one right away. Hey, crack reseach team, wake up: go make bDOA™, bDOA® and bDOA© happen) technology that drives you mad.

Loretta Chao, in today's Wall Street Journal, wrote that the site is constantly updated by, among others, bottom–of–the–totem–pole call center drones from the companies themselves trying to do their best to strike back at the empire.

For example, there's an unpublished internal number to reach Best Buy supplied by an employee.

Here's a number I've posted before, one that takes an awful lot of digging to find on your own: amazon's toll–free customer service telephone number: 800-201-7575.

[via Loretta Chao and the Wall Street Journal]

November 22, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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The post on the mini file cabinet business card holder was very practical and the Homer Simpson pizza cutter ended all of my holiday shopping two months early, but I have to say this post is definitely in the top five.

Posted by: UncleHorns | Nov 26, 2005 9:45:42 PM

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