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Shortcuts to get a human operator

Posted at 10:11 AM, Nov 19, 2014

Ever try to call a company for help, and all you got was a phone tree that took you right back to where you started?

Debbie Manning is frustrated. For weeks, she's been trying to get phone help.

"They go through 4 prompts, at the 5th prompt they tell you to push a number, and then they give you 6 more prompts," she said.

Even then, Manning says, reaching a live agent is tough.

The troubles started when she bought a fax machine. "They set it up," she said, "but every time someone would call my home phone they would get the fax line."

But when she tried to call for help, she says, "you would get somebody out of the country, you could not understand them, there was so much static so that if you could hear them, you could not hear through the static or they would drop the phone call."

Many companies these days use call centers outside the US to keep costs down.

How to get results

So what can you do to get through to someone who will help?

First, check a great website called "Get,"  ( which lists inside numbers at hundreds of companies.

Still no luck?

Then, take to social media: If you Tweet a company or post on their Facebook page, you may get results, fast.  Companies monitor these sites, and don't want negative posts staying up unanswered.

Debbie Manning's going to try that next time.

That way you don't waste your money.

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