How To Get A Customer Service Phone Number, Fast!

By Paul Michael on 14 April 2009 3 comments

So, you've ordered a product or service and something goes wrong. You need to speak to a customer service rep as soon as possible, so you pop onto the website and start searching. And continue searching. And search some more. You'll notice that a lot of companies have buried that information, or don't even have it on the website at all. What now? Well, you can do an online search for the phone number, or you can keep two handy sites bookmarked.

I stumbled across recently after an order I placed at went very wrong. (See also: How to Get a Refund When Something Is Non-Refundable)

First, the product they sent was faulty. So, I was prompted to go into my account and process my own return to get a refund. Great, except my account showed no record of the purchase. I trawled the internet for a while and found a number, which I called to get an RMA# and a UPS label. I was expecting a refund, but guess, I got a replacement. I didn't want it so I had to repeat the process all over again. Luckily, got me the contact info immediately.

Not unlike the original, gets you the information you need to get to a customer service rep immediately. Both sites have a search engine and instructions on how to reach an actual human, but has the advantage of a more user-friendly interface and extended information, incuding email addresses, hours of operation, Top 50 lists for easier access, and a very handy User Comments section. This is a place where you can recount your own experience with the company and see how other people have faired. However, if you prefer your sites with the raw simplicity of Craigslist, is for you.

Now, the reason these sites are even necessary is down to pure cost-cutting. Even though many US companies have farmed out their customer service operations to India, they still want to keep the call volume down to an absolute minimum. So, first they'll put measures in place for you to try and solve the problem on your own. Next will be a customer service email form. Only after all these roadblocks have failed will the option of a phone call be offered up. And as you know, finding that phone number on a website is more tricky than finding Waldo.

So, keep and in your bookmarks. When you do encounter a problem (and you will...sorry) these are invaluable resources for you.

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Fred Lee's picture

I have a hard time getting through to customer service for a lot of the same reasons. Once I make contact to a human voice, it usually works out fine, but it's the whole rigmarole of getting that voice that drives me crazy. It really does seem like they're trying to make it as difficult as possible to take up their time.

On the other hand, if you're making a purchase and want to give them your money, I think service changes markedly. Funny how that works, not unlike special promotions for new customers only.

Guest's picture

I had a serious problem getting hold of "a human" to complain to at priceline. When I finally tracked down the number and called it, the process through their recorded messages was interminable. The last one was a speil about how there was NO WAY anyone could ever get a refund from priceline for any reason. Being unemployed, I invested the time it took to talk to a human. She proceeded to read me more disclaimer scripts. When I finally got her to put the script down, I realized she was speaking from far-away India. I wrote a long email, elaborating on my complaints, and received a series of replies, all from different outsource employees, which all "misunderstood" what I meant. Finally, I was told that my complaint was being sent for review, and I would hear back within five days. Five weeks have passed, and I never heard back from them.