When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

19 January 2008

Escape IVR voicejail with profanity

Reader Martin writes:

Many IVR (interactive voice response) systems are programmed to recognize key words. Among those keywords are frequently a list of swear words, like the FCC's dirty 7. When asked to respond, use on of those epithets and you will likely be transferred directly to a live human being.

It certainly doesn't have the relaxed sophistication of GetHuman, but if it gets the job done... as they say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. I gave it a try this morning, and I'll let you know how it went after the jump.

After calling a couple phone numbers with IVR systems and not having too much luck (I could have been saying anything, as long as it wasn't on their menu they were confused). But my third try did the trick. The IVR operator gave me a list of options, I said, "F*@#!" and he said: "I think you said you want to talk to a customer service agent. Is this correct?"

Customer Service: Skip straight to the operator with your dirty mouth (Lifehacker)

GetHuman really is the bomb, by the way, if you don't want to try the above technique, say, at work where colleagues are listening.

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