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1-800 Number Lookup Help

by Dave on July 21, 2011

1-800 phone problemsDon’t you hate getting caught in an automated answering system? I do.

An automated answering system is known as an IVR – Interactive Voice Response system. They attempt to automate phone answering by speaking to you in a (usually) fairly human voice and can accept input from you by either voice or from the numeric keypad.

According to a Wikipedia article ( http://ow.ly/5JMna) IVR technology is currently being introduced into automobile systems for hands-free operation of satellite navigation, audio and mobile phones.

I don’t blame businesses for using IVR systems to save a few bucks. But typically when I call these systems I don’t want to check my balance or hear instructions on how to something simple. By the time I call, I’ve exhausted my other options. I have a problem that needs to be heard and understood, and acted upon by a human.

If you occasionally need to find customer support 800 numbers, there are dozens of websites that can help, including:

GetHuman.com – http://gethuman.com/customer-service.html
Hard to Find 800 Numbers – http://www.hardtofind800numbers.com/Contact Help – http://www.contacthelp.com/

Some sites offer a simple lookup, but some, like the GetHuman site also list e-mail addresses, list company help pages, allow users to rate businesses for their customer service and allow users to share tips on how to contact help and receive better service.

It’s not just the 800 area code that is toll free – 855, 866, 877 and 888 are also toll free numbers currently available or in use. Area codes 844, 833, 822, and 880 through 887, plus 889 are reserved for future expansion.

Pay attention to that area code! Scammers are out to deceive you. According to Wikipedia (http://ow.ly/5JNaQ):

Some regular area codes may be deceptively similar to toll-free prefixes (e.g., 801, 818, 860, etc.). These similarities have also been exploited by fraudsters in international locations that can be direct-dialed with what appear at first glance to be domestic area codes, including 809, 829, and 849, which are official prefixes for the Dominican Republic and 876 which is the area code for Jamaica. Toll-free numbers are also sometimes confused with 900-numbers, for which the telephone company bills the callers at rates far in excess of long-distance service rates for services such as recorded information or live chat.”

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