Try this: Call your phone company, tell the menu you are not calling from the number you need serviced. It will ask you to put in your account number or phone number. Hit ten totally random digits and see if the customer service rep can tell you what you put in. It will even say it is looking your information up (Pro-Tip: It usually isn’t). For most companies (AT&T excluded) you’ll be asked AGAIN what number you’re calling about and everything else you entered. They aren’t validating, the auto-attendant didn’t record anything. Heck, even if you are calling from the number you need help with, and the computer tells you that number, it won’t even pass the Caller ID to the rep!
Of the many things I do as an IT guy is dealing with warranties and customer service representatives whose job it is to make sure only legit claims are serviced. This is something that I’ve done on a near monthly basis for the past fifteen years. I’ve learned a lot of tricks, and I’ve got a pretty good database of phone numbers to call when I need help or to get a part serviced.
One thing I’ve found is that the menus are long and complicated to prevent you from thinking you’re really on hold. On top of that many companies will ask you to enter account information (sometimes your social security number!). This is a stupid delaying tactic as there are very few companies that actually record this information.You’re going to go to the same set of first level customer support agents no matter what you do.
Now personally, I’m not a fan of services like GetHuman because there might be some valid reasons they need you to go through a menu system. They are stupid reasons, but the company might think they are valid. Nothing is more irritating to a customer service rep than someone cheating and getting through quicker because they knew a special service number or something. For companies that make their numbers easy to find, do record your information and truly use their menu system to make life easier on you, please use that menu system. Those companies are good companies.
For all those companies who make it almost impossible to find a customer service number, put fake BS menus on their phone system, don’t record anything they ask you to enter, and their agents make you repeat it out loud: SCREW THEM! Use GetHuman, cheat the system, bypass it entirely if you can, and generally voice your complaints about it to their management team. Maybe they’ll fix the problem.
I post links to GetHuman for good companies because it puts what number you need to dial for what department you need right on the page. You don’t have to look through a long table of specific phone numbers to find what you are looking for. This just makes it easier than posting some dynamic link that might not show the same information to everyone who clicks on it. Any links you find on my blog will for the most part be things I’ve either been given by customer support agents, or verified with the company’s website.
If I note that I found information only on GetHuman or some similar service you can expect it’s a crappy company that hides their contact information to avoid dealing with their customers. They either get so many complaints they just took their number down and are ignoring the problem, or they are too cheap to hire more customer service agents. Either way you’re probably going to get lied to a lot when you contact them.