How to Bypass Recorded Answering Services to Get a Live Operator

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Nearly everyone knows the frustration of calling an organization for customer assistance. Whether you've had a lost bank card, purchased a defective product, or had a billing issue with a utility or service, you've probably had to call a customer service line at one time or another. Many of these lines use interactive voice recognition systems to automate the customer service process, leaving the caller stuck navigating a series of programmed menus. With a little help, you can bypass these impersonal and often unhelpful menus to get straight to a real person.

Open a web browser on your computer such as Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer.

Navigate to a website such as that hosts a list of instructions for how to bypass phone menu systems for various companies. Several such sites are available online.

Type the name of the organization you want to call into the website's search function or look it up on the list of companies the site has numbers for. Click the search button or the company name to access available numbers or the phone key or spoken word sequence to get to a live phone operator.

Place your call and follow the instructions from the web page.


  • If the organization you’re calling isn’t on any online list, try pressing “0” at every menu -- this will often take you to an operator.


About the Author

Ryan VanSickle has worked in the transportation industry for over five years and holds a special interest in public transit. His writings have covered urban theory and public housing as well as reports about bus and rail transit projects. Ryan has a Bachelor of Science in urban policy studies with a concentration in planning and economic development from Georgia State University.

Photo Credits

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