How to Bypass Recorded Answering Services to Get a Live Operator

Nearly everyone knows the frustration of calling an organization for customer assistance. Whether you've had a lost bank card, purchased a defective product, or had a billing issue with a utility or service, you've probably had to call a customer service line at one time or another. Many of these lines use interactive voice recognition (IVR) systems to automate the customer service process, leaving the caller stuck navigating a series of programmed menus. With a little help, you can bypass these impersonal and often unhelpful menus to get straight to a real person.

How to Bypass Recorded Answering Services to get a Live Operator

Open a web browser on your computer such as Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer.

Navigate to a website such as that hosts a list of instructions for how to bypass phone menu systems for various companies. Several such sites are available online.

Find the organization you want to call on the list. It will show you the phone key sequence or spoken word sequence to get to a live phone operator.

Place your call and follow the instructions from the web page.


  • If the organization you’re calling isn’t on the list, try pressing “0” at every menu – this will often take you to an operator. Send the site administrator an e-mail if the organization you want isn’t there - they may be able to add it on request.

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