ABC News World News Tonight just profiled blogger Paul English and his "Cheat Sheet to Find a Human." English has figured out hacks past the Byzantine customer service phone menus for more than 100 companies.
It costs companies $1.00 per minute to put a human on the phone with a customer, .40 cents per minute if that human is in India. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology is designed to eliminate the need for human intervention and save the companies money.
Paul English’s blog and extensive IVR hack list is a great example of the power of a passionate consumer. If your company is on the list, perhaps you should consider revisiting the voicemail jail you’ve built for your customers?
Can You Hear Me Now?
In the time these customers are on hold, or trying to figure out the confusing menus, they can go online, create a blog (for free) and tell their story to several human beings. With Google and RSS behind their ire, your company generates negative word of mouth without even knowing it.
UPDATE: It looks like this story is old news. Colin McKay of Canuckflack posted on this hack back in early September--1.5 months ago! The hack appeared in the PC World article "20 Things They Don't Want You To Know" which includes 19 other tips for dealing with tech vendors.