Tools for automatically navigating call centre hell
We all know the nightmare of most phone calls to a big company - only after you've worn the buttons out on your handset do you get placed on hold listening to a synth remix of George Michael. We probably all are aware of saynoto0870 by now which will get you around paying the 0870 cost but here are some more tools to help you navigate the phone menu system with less pain.
Fonolo is still in private beta but you can sign up for an invite. Fonolo works by storing navigation menus and going through them automatically for you. It listens through the tree in case there's a mistake and once it's through it dials your number to instantly connect you in. The one big advantage of Fonolo over the following options is that it will also record calls for you automatically and store your call history. That can be a huge help if you ever end up in a dispute with a call centre and need some proof of what was said.
Bringo is another option similar to Fonolo except that it seems to only have US companies listed.
GetHuman.com lists information on how to navigate to a human but doesn't do the dialing automatically for you. It does have several UK companies listed but it is not nearly comprehensive.
Last on the list is Direct Line (iTunes link) which is an iPhone only app which automatically navigates through the phone trees for listed companies. I haven't downloaded this app so I cannot vouch for how many UK phone trees are listed (the cost is $0.99).
The most promising tool definitely appears to be Fonolo. As long as they support UK companies and get out of private beta it looks to be a must-have for any consumers anti-call centre arsenal.
Thanks to pinkmoose for the pic