FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

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  1. Why should enterprises avoid making it hard to reach a human?
    The basic reason is that it is costing the enterprises more when they do this.  The only reason that enterprises make it difficult for a caller to reach a customer service representative (CSR) is that they believe that this is saving them money.  It turns out they are wrong on this.  Attempting to force a caller to use self-service actually ends up costing the call center more money.  Most callers know before they pick up the phone if they would need to talk to a human or can use self-service.   Attempting to force these callers that know that they need to talk to a CSR to use self-service is a waste of time, since they keep insisting until they finally are successful in reaching a human.  The only thing that putting barriers between the caller and the CSR accomplishes is to irritate and frustrate the caller and make the cost of providing service to these callers much higher.  The slight cost saving obtained from the forcing a few callers to use self-service is totally swamped by attempting to force people to use self-service when it is not appropriate for what they are trying to do.  Studies have shown that forcing callers to use self-service ends up costing the enterprise more.  A free gethuman ROI/Payback Period Calculator is available for download that shows just how much this is costing the enterprises that make it difficult to reach a CSR. (please enter your name in the text of the email message when clicking on the link).


  2. How do you find out if your telephone self-service is good or not?
    Most telephone self-service implementations are disliked by callers.  The primary reason for this is that they are implemented badly.  Compliance to the gethuman standard is a reasonable measure of how well a particular telephone self-service is implemented.  For an quick assessment of your telephone self-service implementation and specific recommendations on how to quickly make it gethuman compliant go to Get Human Consulting Services.


  3. Can I republish information from
    Absolutely.  The gethuman™ logo, website and content are Copyright 2006-2008 by Paul M. English.  If you would like your online readers to have access to this information, please just include a blurb or article on your site, with a link to (vs. copying this information onto your website), since the information on this website is constantly updated based on active use by millions of consumers per month. Note also that this website is already hosted on high performance, fault resistant servers, and as such it does not need to be "mirrored" for reliability.

    For printed copies: you are not allowed to sell any information obtained from the website, since I would like this information to remain free. For distributing your own free printed copies of this list, please include the following copyright notice: gethuman database Copyright 2006-2008 by Paul M. English, all rights reserved.  For info about copyright law, see articles by and links from Erik Heels.

  4. How do I join your mailing list and will I receive spam?
    We are a free, consumer advocacy site. We hate spam. You do not have to give us any information to use our free site.

    At your discretion, you can decide to rate a company, to help us build, maintain and publish statistics as to the best and worst companies for customer service. We might ask you to provide an email address and to accept a cookie. You can decline, but if you do confirm your email and/or accept a cookie, we can use that info to cut down on "ballot stuffing". Thus, we give authenticated votes higher weights than totally anonymous ratings.

    At your discretion, you can join our mailing list. We will periodically send out emails announcing companies recently added to the gethuman  data base as well as other tips and information related to gethuman. To join, simply enter your email address and click submit below.  We do not sell email lists.

    We will never give your email address to any third party.


  5. How can I purchase gethuman merchandise?
    The volunteers put together an online shop so you can help us spread the word. We do not make any profit from these items, but instead list them at cost from our storefront provider (cafepress).


  6. How were the grades in the gethuman database obtained: 

    The grades that are shown in the gethuman database when you rate a customer service line are totally based on an assessment of how well the customer service line met the gethuman standard.  To obtain the grades, we called each of the numbers shown a number of times.  We assessed whether or not they met the 10 gethuman standards.  They were scored with a 10 or 0 for each item.  If they received a total score of 59 or less, they were given an F score, 60-69 received a D, 70-79 received a C, 80-89 received a B and 90-100 received an A score.   The get human compliance for each of the 10 standards is pretty easy to determine so the results are quite quantitative.  It has little to do with being fair.  They meet the gethuman standards or they do not.  Note that an F meant that they did not meet at least half of the gethuman standards.


  7. How does this site operate for free?

    All employees of gethuman are volunteers.    Here's how we cover our costs of running this free service:

    • We allow Google to place ads on the site to help us defray the costs of running this free service. Google decides which ads to display based user interest, i.e., which ones our visitors click.  When users of click on these ads, it generates revenue for us.  Google also displays a search box on our page. When users search using this search, we receive revenue.


    • We also have affiliate arrangements through many companies that provide us with commission for products people buy when they link to that company from the gethuman site.  Any company with a logo displayed is one in which we have an affiliate arrangement with.

      If you like the service we provide, please support us by clicking on one of the google ads or by purchasing items through one of our affiliate links.   As long as we generate enough revenue from affiliate sales and ads, we'll keep volunteering our time keeping the website up-to-date!


  8. Are all of the up-front statements really necessary when I reach an automated telephone service?
    The only up-front greeting that is necessary is one that identifies the name of the organization.  Virtually all of the others just irritate and waste the callers time.  They waste additional company money by increasing telephone toll charges and having callers hang up when they get tired of listening to these mindless and unnecessary messages.  A human would never say any of them.  Why would you have a machine say them?   Click  to view the
    Translation guide for some of the common IVR messages.

    If you have any questions, contact us.


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