Monday, September 28, 2009

Telstra customers need to know this

ZERO is the hero which can give you back hours of your life by reducing time spent on hold by as much as 70 per cent.

Despite dwelling at the bottom of the keypad, it has been revealed that the humble 0 is at the top of the dial pile when it comes to fighting the dreaded automated phone "services".

It was in researching a cheat sheet to help readers beat interactive voice response (IVR) systems that The Daily Telegraph discovered the Power of None.

We found that when ringing Optus, pressing zero four times reduced the amount of time required to reach a real person to as little as 36 seconds.

By comparison, following the menu took more than two minutes. That's a time saving of 70 per cent.

The nought (dialled seven times) also stopped us getting caught on the line to St George, cutting the wait from over five minutes to 2 min 44 sec.

Whether it was AGL or the Commonwealth Bank, AAPT or Country Energy, "0" was the way to go if you simply wanted to speak to a human being.

The revelation is sure to anger big business and government, which have shelled out billions on systems seemingly designed to annoy the hell out of users.

But the real aim is to cut costs.

Minimising human contact keeps down customer service staff numbers, said Allan Asher, head of ACCAN, the telecommunications consumer organisation.

Cheat sheet

AGL: Press 0 three times

Centrelink: Press 0 at each prompt

Energy Australia: Press 0 then wait

Jetstar: Press 1 then 1

Telstra: Press 0 seven times


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