phone promptI’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. A little advance planning goes a long way. This phrase is accurate in so many situations, including when you want to avoid the telecommunications maze known as audio prompts. We all have those days when things are especially busy and we have just five or so minutes to call our bank, airline, cell phone provider, or the like regarding a billing issue, a service inquiry, or a reservation question.

Sometimes, companies’ automated telephone systems provide the information we need and then we do a little happy dance. But sometimes audio prompts leave us eager to speak with a real live person.  Cue This nifty website is self-described as “the ultimate consumer tool with phone numbers, shortcuts, reviews, tips, and more for companies worldwide.” I am in no way affiliated with this site, but I admit that the violins were playing when I discovered it.

Websites like this one provide tips and time savers that have a positive impact on my version of organizational bliss. Out of curiosity, I recently did a quick search on this site for how to reach a live human being at my mobile telephone company. This website told me which menu options to select that would lead me to a person. It also told me the average call wait time, it had a place for me to share comments, and it showed the date the provided information was last updated.

The next time I want to call a big company, and I want to speak with a real person instead of hearing pre-recorded information, I’ll first visit to see what dialing tips they have up their sleeves. The ten seconds of advance planning this will take is sure to save me several minutes during the call and I expect it will contribute to a harmonious conversation.

Have you found other websites that have helped you avoid the audio prompt maze? If  so, let us know about them and they could appear in a future blog post!

* Photo by Jakub Krechowicz