Sick of Automation? Dial 0 for Human

By Bruce Mohl, Globe Staff

The frustration is all too familiar: Call a company's customer service line, and chances are you'll have a hard time reaching a human.

Paul English of Arlington got tired of dealing with computerized voice systems and decided there was only way around it: He would put together a cheat sheet. It started small, with the 10 companies that frustrated him the most.

But the list started growing after the 42-year-old software engineer posted it on his website earlier this year and invited readers to make their own contributions. He now has tips for quickly reaching an actual person at 108 companies.

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