Today, when you call Big Corp to get a little customer service, you’re often confronted with that tiresome (and lengthy) âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â‰ˆÃ¬automatedâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨Â¬Ã¹ attendant on the phone. You know, the one that drones on and on about âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â‰ˆÃ¬optionsâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨Â¬Ã¹ from the phone menu. There’s usually so many that you forget them before they’re all read off to you. Plus, if you’re like me, this lame phone call for customer service is seriously beginning to eat into your cell minutes.
ContactHelp.com is a corporate contacts information wiki. Unlike others out there, though, it focuses mainly on customer service or helpdesk numbersâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ„Ã¹the ones that go directly to someone’s desk, not through some automated nightmare.
So far, ContactHelp boasts that their list of direct-contact numbers for customer service and tech support covers more than 500 of the world’s largest companies. And it’s growing daily.
Looking for a direct number to a real, live person at Amazon? They’ve got it. AOL? Yep. UPS? Uh huh. All there.
Michael Goldfarb, the co-creator of ContactHelp, says that the site started out as a database being shared amongst friends and the people using it just sort of grew. Eventually, they made it into a website and ContactHelp was born.
Here’s an example of how the site can work. I tried using it to call America OnlineâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ„Ã¹definitely one of the worst places to try to call for tech support on the planet. Trust me, even the Dell Computer support rep that barely speaks English is better than AOL.
The site doesn’t have a direct-to-a-person number, but they have a quick guide for hopping through the automated system to get to one quickly. Close enough.
So, I called on a Wednesday afternoon and here’s what I got without using the guide. It took 18 minutes to weed through the menus, listening to every option before hitting a button. Then another four minutes on hold to get to someone. I tried again with the guide. It took 3 minutes to weed through and another 5 minutes on hold to get a person.
The best part is that even if AOL decides to change their system to thwart ContactHelp users, anyone who learns of this can update the database to reflect the changes. Gotta love the wiki!
This site is definitely a winner in my book.