Talk to a Real Person

Last Updated Mar 13, 2007 6:11 PM EDT

A giant source of frustration in dealing with most companies is that they have little incentive to provide efficient customer service. In fact, by obscuring their inner workings, they make it that much more difficult for you to complain, much less extract yourself from them as a customer. But there is help. One of the best hacks to come about recently is's 500 list, which tells you how to bypass the annoying automated menus of major corporations and talk to a real person who can help. Say you need to reach Comcast to complain about your recent internet outage; just call them up and mash the * button until someone comes on the line. Which certainly beats uttering a string of %$#*'s while smashing your phone on the table.