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Stuck on Hold

Q. Is there an easier way to reach a company’s customer service or other departments—and avoid being on hold for what seems forever?

A. Just trying to get the correct phone number can be time-consuming. Some companies prefer that you contact them via e-mail—especially after you’ve purchased their goods and services—so they don’t readily publicize their department numbers. Phone numbers are usually provided on invoices (check your credit card, utility or mortgage bills).

When looking specifically for customer service numbers, check out or for the most thorough instructions on how to cut through those annoying, lengthy automated prompts and reach a live person.

Sid Kirchheimer writes about consumer and health issues.

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