Brits could save around half an hour and £2.40 a year taking short-cuts through call centre phone menus provided by a dedicated explorer of tone-dial tedium.
Please Press 1 founder Nigel Clarke began mapping automated call centre phone systems after years of frustration dealing with major offenders like HMRC.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Service can deliver an astounding six-minute journey through rounds of push-button menus before you even get in the queue to speak to a human.
Clarke gave up his job to dedicate himself full-time to charting UK call centre hell, making more than 12,000 calls to turn them into a service which delivers a button-mashing map to the answer you want.
“Whether calling my phone, insurance or energy company, they each had a different and often worse way of trying to “help” me,” Clarke said.
“I could sit there for minutes that seemed like hours, trying to get through their phone menus only to end up at the wrong place and having to redial and start again.
The www.pleasepress1.com experience is pretty simple: search for the company you want to contact and look up the end result you’re after: it will give you a set of buttons to press.
Clarke has also rated each company’s phone menus for their number of options and levels, which can run to more than 100 options.
He’s calling on companies to send him maps of their phone menus so he can help customers to plan out the quickest route before they make a call.
The payback won’t just be happier customers, they’ll get an ‘officially verified’ flag on the site.
But the real aim is to improve automated call centres so there are fewer levels and options, especially if you really want to speak to a human being.