This page lists dozens of ways to bypass voice response systems, and it reminded me of a trick my friend Jeff shared with me a while ago. It doesn’t work for every system, but when it does, it’s glorious. It goes like this:
Robot: Please press one to access your account, press two to
Robot: I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. Can you repeat what you just said?
Robot: I think you said you want to talk to an agent. Is this correct?
Agent: Hello! May I have your account number please?
Of course, I’m extra polite once the operator gets on the line, as he or she presumably knows that I got aggressive at the phone. Yet another example of how nastiness is rewarded. Unfortunately, until someone designs a system that reacts similarly when I say Please and Thank You, I’m sticking with the program.