The holiday season is here, and with it comes a whole bunch of fresh tech products that are about to find some loving homes. But not every ending will be a happy one. Laptops will inexplicably break, phones will drop calls, and plenty of shiny new gizmos will end up being fancy paperweights.
Customer Support is theoretically there to help, but it too can be a disappointingly unpleasant experience. Websites may bury the 800 number, automated systems at the other end of the phone mishear words, and you spend most of your time either pressing buttons or shouting "Yes" and "No" at the phone. All this keeps you from doing the only thing you really want to do: talk to an actual human being who can solve your problem.
To help you avoid all that frustration, we've compiled a list of customer support phone numbers and tips for navigating to an actual person. From retailers to wireless carriers to cable providers to manufacturers, calling these numbers and following a few easy steps will get a real person on the line before you know it.
While most numbers have automated front ends full of prompts to ignore, and different companies have different instructions for navigating their service hotlines, immediately asking for a representative or simply pressing 0 or as many times as needed tends to lead to faster human interaction. Also, different companies have different hours of operation, but calling during the week between typical work hours is a safe bet. Just be aware of differences in time zones. If you're interested in contacting a company not on the list, ContactHelp.com and GetHuman.com are also great resources to check out.
For services designed to help consumers when things go wrong, most technical support lines try their hardest to delay customers from speaking to a real person as long as they can. But, if you follow these tips and don't give up, living, breathing help will be on the phone in no time.