Thursday, May 19, 2005
More Bang for Your Buck: Defeating Automated Machines
Everybody's heard of road rage. Well, how about phone rage. As we all know, there's nothing more frustrating than calling a company and getting an automated machine. But in tonight's more bang for your buck, we found a way to talk to a real human real fast.
WSVN -- It's well known - talk is cheap.
But wouldn't it be nice to talk to an actual human being once in a while.
Barbie Marquet runs abusy doggie day care called "Wags to Wishes."
For her, time is money and that's why she doesn't have patience for a lot of prompts.
Barbie: "To no end, frustration, frustration, frustration."
But Barbie's days following voice commands could soon be coming to an end.
Computer whiz Paul English has decoded the combination for talking to a real person at over 70 companies.
Paul: "I just wanted to find a way to get through all the stuff and get to a human as quickly as I could."
Paul says the codes work as a fast pass to a customer service agent.
Sometimes -- it's as easy as pressing zero, sometimes -- it can be much more complicated.
Paul: "In most cases these are codes that aren't really documented."
For instance, for BellSouth, the trick is pressing star then zero. For American Airlines, press zero twice then say "agent."
Paul: "Its generally pretty simple."
But how simple? Well, we asked Barbie to give a few numbers a try. First up, Delta Airlines. The trick - say the word "agent."
Next - American Express. The secret - try zero then pound three times over. And last but not least - Sprint PCS. All you have to do is hit zero twice then say "agent."
Barbie: "Calling Sprint with code 'agent' - "Wow, Tracy that was quick."
That's three for three, and that's all the proof Barbie needs.
Barbie: "It is very helpful. I wish someone would have invented this awhile ago. We've been suffering for years now."
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