Sunday, June 20, 2010

Calling an 800 Number

Have you ever had the time, patience and sometimes enjoyment of calling an 800 number for a major company? First of all I have attached a link to a brief history of the 800 number and Roy Weber who in 1978 invented the modern toll free system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toll-free_telephone_number

Let's take a look at ten companies, many with Bay Area strongholds on their 800 number system and a rating based on five stars for getting to a live person without pushing too many buttons or delays.

1) PG& E 800-743- 5000. You can report an outage, check on your bill or open an account.

Rating: Four Stars

2) AT&T 800-288-2020 You plow through lots of questions, there are many products from basic phone to billing to tech support to new service to make it stretch out a bit..

Rating: Three and a half Stars

3) Comcast 800- 266-2278 At last they have the Shaq and Ben show opening the call taken off. If you press support, it still says as it has in the past we are experiencing an outage. This needs updated especially if there is nothing down in your area. Make sure you press the right key, as there are different choices.

Rating: Three and a half Stars.

4) Apple 800-275-2273 You get choices for which iproduct you have, including the "magical and revolutionary" iPad.

Rating: Four Stars

5) Chase Bank 800-432-3117 This is for credit cards. Asks way too many question, mentions you may be on hold awhile.

Rating: Three Stars

6) Wells Fargo 800-869-3557 Like Chase, lots of questions. Are you who we think you are? It does give a waiting time estimate for an agent. Mine was ten minutes.

Rating: Three Stars

7) Farmers 800-327-6869 This is for tow and roadside assistance. They do a good job right off the bat asking if your car is an a safe location. Pretty quick route to an agent.

Rating: Four and a half Stars

8) Dell 800-624-9896 Funniest opening with the song "lollipop,lollipop ohhhhh lollipop. Hope you are in a good mood when that plays. Even if you don't have your computer information, you can get to an agent quickly if you follow the prompts.

Rating Four Stars

9) IRS 800-829-1040 Very business like, because it deals with your money and hey it's the Government. It says you will be sent to an agent who will direct your call. Good luck.

Rating Three Stars

10) AOL 800-827-6364 After getting your information at least they say we are experiencing high call volumes. People still use dial up connections ?

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