Last Updated Aug 30, 2011 10:04 AM EDT
In another new study, STELLAService, which evaluates customer service among online retailers, picked the top Internet retailers that connect callers directly to live operators -- no elevator music; no "press 9 to hear this menu again."
Here are the top 10 from that list, followed by ways to circumvent other customer service lines with automated responses:
- LL Bean.com
- Neiman Marcus
- Urban Outfitters
Press "#" at the Prompt. According to GetHuman.com this trick also works in some cases when trying to desperately get through to a live operator. It works, for example, when calling Comcast.
Pretend You Have a Rotary Phone. Sometimes you're asked to hold if you have a rotary phone and that may get you to a live customer service rep faster than following the menu and pressing buttons (and waiting and waiting and ...)
Pretend You're a Foreign Caller. Some companies have special phone lines for international callers, which usually aren't as clogged up as their domestic lines. If you need to reach a live rep as soon as possible, try this trick. It's worked for me with Pottery Barn, which has a special number for international callers: After failing to get through the domestic line for more than 15 minutes once, I tried the international line and got through within a couple of minutes.
Farnoosh Torabi is a personal finance journalist and commentator. She is the author of the new bookPsych Yourself Rich, Get the Mindset and Discipline You Need to Build Your Financial Life. Follow her at www.farnoosh.tv and on Twitter/farnoosh
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