Skip Call Centre Robots And Talk To People

Automation in call centres can be an efficient way to route a call, but it can equally be incredibly frustrating when you have a problem that falls outside the usual boundaries. Here's how to get to talk to a real person for a variety of Australian financial institutions.

The cheat sheet, prepared by Finder, lists most of the bigger financial providers. I'm not actually a customer of any of them, so I've not had the opportunity to test the entries to see how well they work. Still, if you're stuck and they don't work, it's only the cost of a phone call, and if they do work, it could save you a lot of stress.

The Australian Banking Cheat Sheet [Finder]


    Suncorp, HSBC and Macquarie win this round. Everyone else loses.

      I would say ME and RAMS "win" with those 3 coming second, as they seem to have a specific option of "press 3 (or 6) to speak with an operator". While I haven't actually rung them to confirm this, I would say that this is better than "hold the line" as it allows you to actively choose the option rather than passively ignoring them until they give you attention.

      The big bank ones with "push # 8/9 times" seem more like a debug option built into the software rather than an actual feature intended for customers to use. That is a major fail in my opinion.

        Nope, getting through to a human without any intervention is easily better.

    The trouble with that is you might just end up spending more time on hold than if you actually listened and followed the prompts in the first place. The "operator" you get put through to by default might not be able to handle your request, and they also might not know where to actually forward you to, so you could spend time on hold waiting for this original operator, only to discover they can't help you, get forwarded to another department, and after waiting on hold with them find out they can't help you either, then get forwarded to another department, who can help you, but only after being on hold first. Where if you had of just pressed 5 to begin with, you would have to through to the correct department in the first place.

      Indeed.. they didn't spend all that money on an automated phone directory system for the sake of it or to make life hell for their customers, they did it to get the right person on the phone the first time... circumventing this system could potentially cost you more time..

    and aussie should just have a warning under it saying - but you should never actually call aussie

    If anyone can tell me how to speak to a human at Ticketec, that would truly be an achievement to behold.

      I've spoken to someone when I called up to change the address on tickets I had purchased.

    This is true cameron, but at least the real person you talk to the first time "should" send you in the right direction straight away, so at least then you know you're probably waiting in the right queue, instead of hoping. I think this method would work out to be more efficient overall for sure.

    Pressing '5' is not a problem, except when the explanations of each menu option are all three paragraphs long.
    Being forced to talk to a machine is always a problem.

    Why are tech savvy people among the people who hate this automation the most?

    I'd rather just open up my listening ears and follow the prompts. As cameron noted, it's faster in the long run.

    If i miss the option I wanted or want to hear it again i'll just spend another 25c and call back. Doing it on a mobile is even better, particularly if you never go anywhere near your call cap limit.

      I think you miss the point - Often there is no suitable option and no option to talk to an operator.

    If you're trying to ring Telstra, just press random buttons ('#' probably works best so you don't accidentally choose an option) and it will eventually give up because it can't understand what you're requesting and just put you through to an operator.

    Practical or not, some of these are just hysterically funny.

      lol at the Bank of Melb!

      lol at the Bank of Melb!

    This website has worked for me for a number of phone numbers.

    I find that saying the word 'Operator' a few times works very well on the types that only accept voice input and not keyboard input.

    95% of the time there is an option relevant to what you are doing and you either haven't listened properly to the choices available or have a limited understanding of what you are trying to do.

    You guys.....Bank of Melbourne's contact number is not 13 22 26. It's 13 22 66.

    The NAB number is wrong as well - it is 132265

    I work on the other end of one of those automated systems and most of them have built in that if you do something it doesn't understand enough it will just put you through the worst part of that is when someone does that and is still spamming the keypad when your trying to do you greeting

    how about talking to somebody in australia from foxtel...

    took me an hour and a half of yelling to talk to someone in melbourne.
    now their customer service is the definition of SHIT.


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