In a recent post, 5 Free Online Answer Sites for Tech Questions, I discussed places you can go online for getting tech questions answered, and readers added some useful ones to my list, including the impressive Stack Overflow site. These kinds of sites can be very helpful for web-based answers, but what if you want to ask, say, a hardware question and you need to call a live support technician quickly? AltSearchEngines is calling out a very useful site to visit when you do: ContactHelp.
If ContactHelp just provided support phone numbers, it would be only mildly more useful than simply Googling (s goog) for numbers, but the site goes well beyond that. It’s designed to allow users to add tips on how to get support efficiently; supplies hours of operation for most support centers listed; often provides support email addresses and, in many cases, describes how to get support in multiple languages.
Have you ever called for support from a big company such as Sony or HP and gotten lost in the voice navigation loop or put endlessly on hold? Here’s the citation that ContactHelp has for questions specifically about Sony digital imaging products, found right underneath the correct phone number:
“How to reach a live person: Keep pressing 0 (3 times) and ignore the error messages.”
In other cases, users have posted similar tips such as: “Keep pressing # and ignore their messages until they say ‘Sorry but I’m having trouble helping you’ and then you’ll be transferred.” These are good tips! Who likes to listen to elevator music or get unhelpful responses from non-human attendants?
Users at ContactHelp can even upload recordings of unhelpful support calls, and there are a lot more tips on how to reach live attendants than the ones listed above. I also noticed that the site is good at providing phone numbers and tips for the many e-commerce sites that seem to deliberately make it difficult to get phone support. Amazon is the most searched-for company at ContactHelp, for example. Give it a try next time you need to get support on the phone.
Share your telephone support tips in the comments.