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The average minutes a caller spends on hold or slogging through automated systems.
Few things are as annoying as calling a customer service line, having to speak out your choices like a robot, only to have the robotic voice on the other end say "Sorry ... I didn't get that." Frustrated, you just start jabbing at the 0 button hoping to make human contact. For that very reason, Fonolo, a site currently finishing up its initial beta period, has mapped out the automated phone paths of more than 300 companies. Your bank, cellphone carrier and favorite airlines are all there. Just sign-up, select the department you need and Fonolo navigates through the maze of options and then connects you (via landline, skype or cell) skipping any unnecessary crap. A call to Bank of America connected me with Brad, a representative in less than 30 seconds as opposed to the seven minutes it took calling directly. Plus, it will store your call history, and even keep a recording of the call for future reference. Just in case Brad doesn't reverse that fee.
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