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
called and thanked you, but I wanted to
email as well....I've seen your site
before but havent used it untill today.
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
I went to your site, looked up
Countrywide and followed the
instructions and got a human right away!
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
But with your help, i've managed
to get ahold of Virgin Mobile,
DHL, Compaq and more within
All cuz of you!!
Thank you thank you thank you!
want to say… your website is a
just called US BANK and spent 15
minutes with a represenative to get
the SAME PHONE NUMBER that you
already had on your website.
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.
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
HELLO, MY NAME IS DOROTHY AND I JUST
WANTED TO SEND YOU A HUGE TEXAS SIZE
THANK YOU FOR YOUR WEBSITE. EARLIER
TODAY, I CALLED CAPITOL ONE TO RESOLVE
AN ACCOUNT ISSUE THAT I HAD. AFTER
SPENDING 25 MINUTES ON THE PHONE, GOING
THROUGH ALL OF THE OPTIONS SEVERAL
TIMES, I STILL COULD NOT REACH A PERSON
TO TALK TO. I HAD EVEN PUNCHED IN ZERO,
BUT THAT ONLY ILLICITED A RESPONSE OF
"THAT WAS AN INVALID
ENTRY."....GRRRRR!!! THEN THIS
AFTERNOON, ON AOL, I SAW AN ARTICLE
TITLED "HOW TO CUT THROUGH VOICE MAIL
HELL." THIS ARTICLE GAVE YOUR WEBSITE
ADDRESS, WHICH I PROMPTLY WENT TO. I DID
A SEARCH FOR CAPITOL ONE, AND WAS GIVEN
A NUMBER FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE THAT ISN'T
EVEN LISTED ON MY STATEMENT. I CALLED,
PUNCHED IN ZERO AS DIRECTED BY YOUR
SITE, AND WAS REWARDED BY THE SWEET
SOUND OF A HUMANS' VOICE!! MY ACCOUNT
ISSUE WAS RESOLVED WITHIN 2 MINUTES
TIME. NEEDLESS TO SAY, YOUR SITE IS NOW
FRONT AND CENTER ON MY "FAVORITES"
TOOLBAR. AGAIN, I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU,
THANK YOU, THANK YOU! A BIG HUG AND TONS
OF KISSES... DOROTHY
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
I've passed on your site to
EVERYONE I KNOW.
I can feel my blood pressure
going down already. :)
Date: Nov 15, 2005 11:55 PM
Subject: You were awesome tonight on
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
I just wanted to say that you have a
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
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
Naturally, i'm a loyal customer for
life. what a concept.
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
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.
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
From: Dede S
Date: Dec 1, 2005 4:50 PM
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!
Date: Nov 26, 2005 7:56 PM
Subject: Thanks for the IVR list.
What a God-send.
Date: Nov 27, 2005 12:49 PM
I will now use
because of your Cheat Sheet website.
Thanks! You've done a real service.
Date: Nov 25, 2005 13:31 PM
Subject: cheat sheet ('customer
can you feel the love?! (-smile thanx
smile thanx smile thanks
smile thanx smile thanx-)
Date: Nov 29, 2005 7:29 PM
PAUL ENGLISH IS A LIVING INCARNATION OF
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.
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
From: Thai B
Date: Dec 2, 2005 2:12 PM
Dude....you 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
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
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
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!"
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
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
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
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
From: Gerald R
Date: Dec 8, 2005 6:24 PM
Your cheat sheet is magnificent and
should be given greater
Date: Dec 8, 2005 8:01 PM
How did we ever allow this to happen?
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
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.
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
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
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
From: Michael F
Date: Dec 9, 2005 11:51 AM
I just wanted to say that you have a
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
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
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
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
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
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
Related issue: junk mail.
It's so obvious but missed by many.
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
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.
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
I already got through to AA lickety
split - yeah!!
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
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 Amazon.com
and resolve a long-standing problem. You
are providing a really
beneficial public service.
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
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
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!
a fan out in California!
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
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
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
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
From: Barbara S
Date: Dec 11, 2005 2:16 PM
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
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
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...