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This three minute video was created by Wicked Indie Productions, a team of students at Boston's Emerson College.


view the video

gethuman gives Commerce Bank an "A" rating for its call center! 


Paul English (gethuman) has been featured as a consumer advocate in hundreds of media outlets, everywhere from People Magazine to the Today Show with Katie Couric. Here is a partial list of our press:


This is just but a small sample of some of the messages we have received. If you want to send us love letters (or hate mail)

I just called and thanked you, but I wanted to email as well....I've seen your site before but havent used it untill today. It works!!

After spending 5 minutes on the phone trying to reach a live person at Countrywide, I was put on hold (never reaching a live person) and then disconnected!!
I went to your site, looked up Countrywide and followed the instructions and got a human right away!
Thanks again!
There is hope in this hi tech world!!



Just wanted to say THANK YOU!!!  You are so incredible for doing something like this.
I have used your site 5 x's in the last week since I found your site.  There are so many things I've needed to do but they all entailed calling companies regarding customer service of some kind, but I continually put them off cuz of the amount of time each one would take. 
But with your help, i've managed to get ahold of Virgin Mobile, DHL, Compaq and more within minutes.
All cuz of you!!
Thank you thank you thank you!
Charlie L
Woodside, NY


Just want to say… your website is a LIFESAVER.

We just called US BANK and spent 15 minutes with a represenative to get the SAME PHONE NUMBER that you already had on your website.
Kindest regards,
Tricia (3/13/08)

Dear Walt,

I cannot thank you enough for your Get Human database. Many times you have helped me to bypass automated phone systems and speak directly to a customer service representative. The time and effort you have put into creating and updating the database is appreciated. Thanks again.
Liz (3/12/08)

I just used your service to contact a live person (Bank of America) and all I can think of to say is "Great Job" and thanks again.respectfully,bob (2/27/08)


Just wanted to thank you for your website. I switched to Comcast (much more expensive) over the automated system at Verizon DSL. It took 45 min to get a human. I was always always on phone one and half hours to get int working. Hate them like you wouldn't believe! So many people complained of their system & they always lied saying they were changing it. I do not have Verizon DSL because of their automated system - (plus no one speaks English). Your website is fantastic. A shame companies can't figure out why it's needed so today. If my mother were alive she'd throw her phone out the window. Thank you so much - a true lifesaver!!!! Keep adding to your list. Sarah  [feb 25 2008]

Feb 22 2008

I've passed on your site to EVERYONE I KNOW.
I can feel my blood pressure going down already. :)
Very grateful,
Christi S

From: Cheryl K
Date: Nov 15, 2005 11:55 PM
Subject: You were awesome tonight on MSNBC!

Just wanted to thank you for sharing this info about the Human side of
the phone, and your "cheat sheet" You were great tonight!
I am going to pass this on to a few friends, thanks again for all your work.
I love you!
From: Brian B.
Date: Nov 23, 2005 1:34 PM
Subject: Greetings, IVR/NPR

I just wanted to say that you have a remarkable website.

I've been perusing (and sending email links to friends, actually...)
some of your posts/pages. One of the best websites I've ever visited I
think... I'll keep skulking around the site, but just wanted to say
"Great job!"

For now,
Brian B

From: bob.laurence
Date: Nov 23, 2005 2:56 PM
Subject: tivoli audio

heard you on NPR this morning. you should get the nobel prize.

just want to plug one company, tivoli Audio.  Had a problem with one
of their radios. their 800 number is printed on the back of the radio,
and when you call, a person answers. when i described the problem i
was having, they sent me a new one, no problem.

Naturally, i'm a loyal customer for life.  what a concept.

From: Lily
Date: Nov 23, 2005 9:30 PM
Subject: I saw your site on Channel 7

I think it's totally awesome how you found out all those ways to
bypass the stupid machines.  I know I'll be using your IVR cheat sheet
pretty often.

From: Sue S
Date: Nov 23, 2005 8:39 PM
Subject: Thank You!!

I saw you on the news tonight, while visiting my parents, regarding
your IVR list. Just want to say a BIG "thank you"! You have performed
a wonderful service for all humanity, and I think you ought to be
nominated for a Nobel prize!! Will bookmark your page from my home
computer & follow your progress.

From: otto a.
Date: Nov 26, 2005 2:18 PM
Subject: IVR List

I used your system for a local power outage this morning . Got the
standard requests for endless numbers. Just kept hitting O and got a
people person. Also results.
I am nominating you for the Noble "Peace of Mind" prize.
Thank You..

From: sandy s
Date: Nov 28, 2005 8:15 AM
Subject: ivr sheet

Just wanted to say I love your ivr site.  Like most people, there are
times when you just have to have human contact - like with yahoo that
isn't going to cost me the earth to call but gee, do they even HAVE
humans working there?

Thank you - you are a godsend :-)

From: Tammy P
Date: Nov 28, 2005 9:56 PM
Subject: You're a genius!

Heard about your website on NPR last week.  Your website is pure
genius - you should win the Nobel Peace Prize.

From: Dede S
Date: Dec 1, 2005 4:50 PM
Subject: awesome.

my sister sent me a link to your article about how to get around
IVR nonsense. another great item. you are a good person, paul
english. thank you!

From: Sandi E
Date: Nov 30, 2005 1:02 PM
Subject: Thanks for the IVR cheat sheet

You are a wonderful person, Paul!

From: cjny
Date: Nov 26, 2005 7:56 PM
Subject: Thanks for the IVR list.

What a God-send.

From: jack
Date: Nov 27, 2005 12:49 PM
Subject: thanks

I will now use because of your Cheat Sheet website.
Thanks! You've done a real service.

From: anonymous
Date: Nov 25, 2005 13:31 PM
Subject: cheat sheet ('customer service')

can you feel the love?! (-smile thanx smile thanx smile thanks
smile thanx smile thanx-)

From: anonymous
Date: Nov 29, 2005 7:29 PM


From: Betty S
Date: Nov 30, 2005 10:48 PM

Paul - I know I am not the first to tell you that you are a genius.

Thank you so much for sharing this information.  You have done us all
a great service.

From: Sherry
Date: Dec 1, 2005 4:49 AM

I am SOOOOOOO grateful for your cheat sheet!!! If there's anything I
hate, its telephone automation...I hope whomever invented it spends
their eternity on hold.

From: Jeffrey B
Date: Dec 1, 12:02 PM

Paul, good work on the IVR cheat sheet.  I work in customer service and
know first hand the issues behind awful IVRs
.  I just read your
article in People and that subject is near and dear to me everyday,
anyways, I just thought I would drop you a line and say very
interesting stuff.

From: Thai B
Date: Dec 2, 2005 2:12 PM are the man!!!!!!!  Your site was featured on one of Los
Angeles' news casts.  Thank you!

From: Lee S
Date: Dec 8, 2005 8:53 AM

This could be the all time greatest public service ever offered,
please don't give it up

From: Beth S
Date: Dec 8, 2005 11:19 AM

This is quite possibly the best tip I've ever received.

From: Michael W
Date: Dec 8, 2005 11:28 AM

Thank you Paul for the list,it will help me out. I'm a disabled vet
from the Vietam war so anything that makes my life easier really helps!

From: Marlene P
Date: Dec 8, 2005 11:27 AM

Just heard about you on the Today Show.  I have been trying to reach a
real person at Dell for a month.  Thanks to you I did in seconds.
what a wonderful service.

From: Lynda Rowney
Date: Dec 8, 2005 11:37 AM

I saw your segment on the Today Show this morning and the first thing
did when I got to work was to bring up your web-page with your IVR
cheat sheet on it.  This e-mail is to tell you what a BRILLIANT idea I
think this is - NOTHING is more annoying/infuriating/aggravating than
the maze of options one is forced to endure when trying to contact any
of these companies
.  Your idea to put a cheat sheet on the internet is
nothing short of BRILLIANT, and I thank you for it.

From: Ann A
Date: Dec 8, 2005 11:45 AM

Oh me what a sad place to work that has more need for a machine rather
than a person

From: Mary Lynn
Date: Dec 8, 2005 12:07 PM

I just want to say THANK YOU for doing this great service.  It's nice
to have a little frustration taken out of one's day.  Also, thanks for
recognizing the businesses that continue to acknowledge the importance
of customer service.
  Thanks again.

From: Denise K
Date: Dec 8, 2005 12:53 PM

You r awesome Thanks!!!

From: Cameron O
Date: Dec 8, 2005 1:14 PM

hey paul, you are swell for sharing all this with the public.

From: Douglas H
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 10:32

Thank-you so much for all of this information, and I will try and
contribute whenever I run into a company that is not reported on your
site.  I, like so many others, am sick to death of the lack of
one-on-one, personal, human contact with a company, after you have
spent your hard earned money to buy one of their products and need
help with it!  This world is changing in so many ways, and this is
just one more example of how we are going down hill, so fast!  Anyway,
thanks again for that, and I will help.  Just maybe, we can get this
message to Corporate America . "Your Personal Contact is Important!"

From: Gabriella
Date: Dec 8, 2005 1:40 PM

heard your interview on a talk radio program.  I think it is an
admirable step towards an issue in which most of us feel helpless and
"out of the loop"
.  I have told many friends about your work and your
website.  Thank you for being a humane human who is giving something
significant to our lives.

From: Nancy L
Date: Dec 8, 2005 4:24 PM

I heard you on NPR last week & saw a spot on the Today Show this
morning.  Please run for president.  The world needs more people like

From: Paul H
Date: Dec 8, 2005 4:40 PM

I saw your piece on the Today show.  I must say I love the work you've
done here.. Well done.  From a grateful consumer.

From: Sallie R
Date: Dec 8, 2005 5:08 PM

Paul - thank you SO MUCH for this IVR cheat sheet information.  I saw
information about it on our local news broadcast (Channel 5 out of
Seattle).  I have been complaining about this very thing for the last
five years and my husband thinks I'm developing galloping paranoia -
but you've freed me from the stigma! I've maintained that many
companies have completely lost the concept of customer service, don't
want to talk to customers and make it as difficult as possible to
reach them
.  Only the persistent survive.  This is one of the most
valuable and nicest things I have ever found on the web - a big hug
and profound thanks for putting it together for the thousands of
frustrated individuals who are now your biggest fans!!

From: Janice L
Date: Dec 8, 2005 5:49 PM

Paul, thank you for the effort you put into the IVR Cheat Sheet!  I
know millions of people appreciate it and you as I do!

From: Doris V
Date: Dec 8, 2005 6:17 PM

Hi Paul ...GREAT work on your website ...I just talked to a human at
MNBA and she cleared up my issue in seconds ...wanted you to know your
hard work creating the cheat sheet is appreciated! Doris

From: Gerald R
Date: Dec 8, 2005 6:24 PM

Your cheat sheet is magnificent and should be given greater

From: imtwirl
Date: Dec 8, 2005 8:01 PM

How did we ever allow this to happen?

From: Tim
Date: Dec 8, 2005 8:08 PM

I've never spoken to anyone outside of marketing that likes these
systems and the bad ones make you say and think bad things about the
company to say nothing of your blood pressure.

Keep it up. Praise the good ones and bash the bad.  Terrific idea.

From: Robert S
Date: Dec 8, 2005 8:37 PM


From: Montie K
Date: Dec 8, 2005 9:47 PM

My mother is 82 years old and is so frustrated with the IVR systems.
She usually just hangs up.  When it is really important, she has
called me crying and has asked me to do the calling for her.  She is
hard of hearing and has difficulty following all the instructions.  It
makes her feel stupid and not capable to take care of business
anymore.  It has taken away her independence and dignity.

From: Lelani T
Date: Dec 8, 2005 9:50 PM

THANK YOU for the inside track to avoiding the dreaded computer voice.

Sincerely grateful,

Lelani T.  (To close this e-mail, press #1 then click your heels
together three times while chanting "There's No Place Like Home")

From: Joseph T
Date: Dec 9, 2005 10:05 AM

Not since the invention of the electric light bulb has anything
come along as important as your IVR Sheet.

Not only have you saved be from a nervous breakdown and
endless hours in therapy, but you have made it possible for
me to control my blood pressure and lessen the risk of a

Thank you , Thank you, Thank you

From: JRW
Date: Dec 9, 2005 10:50 AM

God Bless you Paul! Nothing more frustrating than voicemail jail.
Saw a little story about your website on DC's NBC station.  Great

From: Susan D
Date: Dec 9, 2005 11:04 AM

I read an article about your web site in the Wall Street Journal and
cut it out in case I ever needed it. Well, I just used it to contact
Bank of America because all the numbers they give you on their credit
cards and web site are all automated. As soon as I called the number
listed on your web site I spoke with a human who further directed me
to the correct person.

Thank you so much for all your hard work. I appreciate it.

From: Mark S
Date: Dec 9, 2005 11:09 AM

Thank you for your great service to humanity! The IVR Cheat Sheet is
Nobel Prize material. This is right up there with E=MC2 and the Bell
Labs transistor...

From: Michael F
Date: Dec 9, 2005 11:51 AM

"Geek-man-do" Paul...
I just wanted to say that you have a killer website.

I'll be sending emails from my address book to contact your
site...very kool info!  One of the best and most informative websites
I've visited. Great job!...geek-on and thanks!

From: Sue L
Date: Dec 9, 2005 1:39 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is the best Web site ever!!  I
have been know to scream into the phone "I WANT TO TALK TO A REAL
PERSON" to no effect, of course. Now I can save my voice and my
sanity.  Well done!

From: Suzanne C
Date: Dec 9, 2005 3:35 PM

Thanks for the great IVR Cheat Sheet and Kayak, too. You are a
wonderful human being! Merry Christmas.

From: Rick V
Date: Dec 9, 2005 8:53 PM

Just saw you one MSNBC.
Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet! Web site. Way to go.

From: Mary M
Date: Dec 9, 2005 8:56 PM

Oh how I loathe them. You're sitting there in your cubicle at work
calling up the pharmacy and the automated voice says, Tell us the
nature of your call. So you whisper Prescription because you don't
want anyone else to hear you in your quiet office. But the voice says,
I'm sorry, I didn't hear you. So you say it louder and feel like an
idiot. I hate it. I hate them. They suck and are evil but depending on
who's paying my paycheck at the time I'm stuck with 'em. They need to
be on your website.

From: Maria W
Date: Dec 9, 2005 8:58 PM

Thank you, merci beaucoup, danke, gracias, gracie, dziejuje.

From: Suzanne T
Date: Dec 9, 2005 9:01 PM

You are a GOD!!!
I can't tell you what you've done for folks like me!!!
Thank you sooooooo much for this list!!!

From: Eric L
Date: Dec 9, 2005 9:09 PM


Were there only more red tape renegades like yourself, the world would
be a better place!

From: Barbara E
Date: Dec 9, 2005 9:35 PM

Thank you so very much for your cheat sheet. I have spent half my life
on hold or playing the transfer game.

From: Laura B
Date: Dec 9, 2005 10:01 PM

You ROCK!!!

From: Maurice R
Date: Dec 9, 2005 10:29 PM

You should get a Nobel Prize!

From: Gail J
Date: Dec 10, 2005 1:41 AM

Thank you, Paul, for taking the time to compile this astonishing
list. You cannot imagine (of course you can . . . !) the frustration
of being whirled through the labyrinthine rat mazes of these
corporations, the wasted time, the infuriating way the system "chats"
with you like some goofy buddy. It's creepy and obscene

Recently I read in the business pages that "many" companies are taking
the liberty of recording while we are actually on "hold." Their
ostensible rationale for it is that they want to "improve customer
service," by having an idea of what we do while we are waiting for
service. Talk about creepy. Although this "secret" recording practice
was challenged in court as an invasion of privacy directly targeting
us in our homes, as I remember, the final court ruling was that, by
telephoning a company, we relinquish our "expectation of privacy." I
mention this to you because it never occurred to me--nor do I believe
that it would occur to most Americans--that corporations are actually
recording us during the silences--what we are saying, the
conversations we are having.

From: Sandra R
Date: Dec 10, 2005 2:53 AM

Thank you so much Paul for all your hard work in putting together the
IVR cheat sheet and for continuing to keep the process going.  You are
a person of talent and a benefit to all us people who are tired of
being stuck on the back burner by technology. Which technology is by
far a great benefit to people but when we loose the human side of a
company then the humanity of the company ends up being automated
robotics. Paul, you really do deserve some kind of recognition for
your dedicated work. You have my vote.

From: Charles B
Date: Dec 10, 2005 7:40 AM

Thousands thanx.

Related issue:  junk mail.  It's so obvious but missed by many.  In
addition to posting my "do not mail" on the official sites, whenever I
receive junk mail I don't want (oxymoron?), if there is a reply
envelope with postpaid, I return all their stuff, including the
envelope they mailed it in.  If there is no postpaid I sometimes
return it in their own return envelope without postage putting their
address on the to and the from.  Without sufficient postage, the USPS
returns it to "the sender."

MetroLife kept bugging me in another state even following up
unsolicited junk mail by phone calls.  I tried my earlier method.
Eventually I starting taping their return envelopes to larger and
larger pieces of scrap lumber.  When I sent an eight inch 2x4, they
went ballistic, threatened to sue, etc.  BUT I stopped getting the
junk mail.

From: Norman B
Date: Dec 10, 2005 9:56 AM

Paul, I just wanted to thank you, and I first heard you 2-3 weeks ago
on the "Don and Mike Show", I feel for you having to go on with some
of the people on TV who did no research, you were great on the radio
shows though, and again, cudos to you for offering something of use to
people just for the good of it.

From: Ed
Date: Dec 10, 2005 10:21 AM

Kudos to you, buddy.

From: Cheryl H
Date: Dec 10, 2005 10:23 AM

Hi Paul, just saw you on Fox News, so i went to your site, great
stuff, will tell all my friends, thanks SOOOOOOOOOO much, Cheryl

From: Elise S
Date: Dec 10, 2005 11:52 AM

Thanks Paul - saw you on Fox this morning and now have your website on
my desktop.  Great service and much appreciated!!!
I already got through to AA lickety split - yeah!!

From: LMD
Date: Dec 10, 2005 3:01 PM

Wow - thank you!

From: Marilyn S
Date: Dec 10, 2005 4:04 PM

Love your cheat sheet (though I think it's the organizations who
pretend to provide service who are the real cheats).<

Thank you again for your site. I sent it to one of my nephews and he
wrote back almost immediately that he'd been able to call
and resolve a long-standing problem. You are providing a really
beneficial public service.

From: Justin
Date: Dec 10, 2005 4:58 PM

Heard about IVT Cheat Sheet on MSNBC last night (12/9)... and it
solved a dead-end with Northwest Airlines' IVR today. Nice.

From: John S
Date: Dec 10, 2005 6:48 PM

My parents are elderly and get quite upset when they cannot reach a

Great work.

From: Vince O
Date: Dec 10, 2005 7:29 PM

A great website!

Another idea for a good IVR:

Don't tell me I can have my questions answered at their Web Site.
It's insulting. If I wanted to do that I would have. If I didn't
need to call, I wouldn't. Besides, we all know that everyone has a
website with FAQs.

From: Maxine L
Date: Dec 10, 2005 11:45 PM

Hi Paul!

I just found your cheat sheet discussed in People magazine! How
interesting and awesome! It is always so incredibly irritating not to
be able to talk to a live person!  I just wanted to say Hi and thanks!
What a great idea!

Take care,
a fan out in California!

From: Loreece
Date: Dec 11, 2005 1:12 AM

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for the IVR cheat sheet.

Thank you for generously sharing the IVR information.

I can't wait to tell my mother and friends about your IVR web site, we
are all totally sick of always calling major companies and never
getting to speak to a real live human being at the other end of the

Thank you once again and God bless you Mr. English

From: Helen
Date: Dec 11, 2005 7:38 AM


Saw you on tv the other night.

Just want to say THANK YOU!

What are these companies thinking?  It is such bad public relations to
do this to customers.  I hate these automated systems more than
anything I can think of
. I am convinced that they cause so much
cumulative stress and anger among us all.

Thank you for giving me an alternative.

From: Barbara D
Date: Dec 11, 2005 8:07 AM

Dear [Customer Support Rep],

Thank you for the 20 credit but you don't seem to have understood the
problem.  Please read my steps more carefully.  It has nothing at all
to do with volumes of calls.  Your system is badly designed and
severely deficient.  If you still don't understand my complaint, then
please pass it to someone more senior.

If I don't want a credit card application form, to report a card lost
or stolen, balance transfers, my account balance, to make a Switch or
Delta payment, to listen to my most recent transactions, to request a
replacement card, or to order a reminder of my current pin, then I
have to go through the 46 steps.

On one call, I just wanted to ask a question about something, went
through the 46 steps, and then your operator told me that I wanted
another telephone number.

Although I say at Step 14 that I don't want my account balance, you
still insist on giving it to me at Step 30 and offering it again at
Step 32.

From: Barbara S
Date: Dec 11, 2005 2:16 PM

Dear Paul,

It was such a pleasant surprise when you took my call and as I had
mentioned, I have been so angry and frustrated with voice mail for a
very long time.  Calling a company can be a full time job!

I saw you on TV the other day and got so excited that there was a
voice on television expressing thoughts on the subject of my own
personal fury and indignation.

Thanks for the cheat sheet.  Have you ever been told "I don't
recognize that command" and you are hung up on, or asked to spell a
name and when you do they tell you they don't know the

I hope I can contribute to eliminating or reducing this menace.

From: Melvin G
Date: Dec 11, 2005 2:34 PM


The info you provided last week on national TV was fantastic on the IVR
Cheat Sheet. After the program I went to my computer and downloaded the
information and made copies for family members, particularly the
elderly, who become frustrated with the corporate system.

I had the opportunity to try it out myself with Federal Express when a
package didn't arrive on Saturday. According to their own package
tracking web site, the package had arrived at my local Federal Express
terminal the day before had had plenty of time to be placed on their
delivery truck. 2:00 pm arrived and the package still had not been
delivered. This was especially frustrating because the Federal Express
truck had just made a delivery to my next door neighbor.

With the help of your cheat slip I was able to bypass their main menu
and reach someone in "Client Services".  This is an option not offered
on their main menu. I read this person the riot act. She tried to feel
me a line of B.S. about the weather causing a delay.

I told her that I lived in Northern California, slightly east of
Sacramento. I also told her that the package was a 2 lb. box being
shipped from Palm Spring. There was dead silence when I told her that
the weather has been perfect for the last 2-weeks throughout California
and that the package had arrived in Sacramento the day before thus
allowing from plenty of time to get on the truck.

She imputed my info in the computer system and guess what???---8:20 pm
Saturday night a truck pulled up very quietly to my home, the driver
walked briskly to my front door and left my package hoping not to
personally face me.

These automated systems do more than aggrevate the person attempting to
make contact. It actually covers up for the level of incompetency that
exists in both the private and public sectors that service the public.

Anyway, thanks for appearing on television with this information. I am
forever grateful. As a matter of fact I sent all my friends a link to
your web site for this information.

From: Toni S
Date: Dec 11, 2005 3:27 PM

You are my hero.  Many thanks for your time and effort in setting up
this cheat sheet!

From: Pam R
Date: Dec 12, 2005 1:59 AM

Dear Paul, THANKS A MILLION for this GIFT of time and decreased
frustration!  You are an angel - I am forwarding your cheat sheet to
all my loved ones - thank you again, Pam

From: Kenneth F
Date: Dec 12, 2005 8:38 AM

I'd like to string up whoever invented these dehumanizing machines.

From: Christine W
Date: Dec 12, 2005 9:35 AM

We are a 55+ community with 800+ residents and also run one of the
county's most popular, most requested newsletters.  We want to take
the cheat sheet information and put in our newsletter so folks can
look you up.  Is is okay if we also print the most updated list for
the January issue for those in our community who do not yet have a
computer?  If they like it and can see what you are offering, they'll
find someone with a computer to look up the updated lists we are sure.

This is a special thing you are doing...



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