How to Bypass Phone Systems and Talk to a Human

If you’re a victim of identity theft, you will likely need to contact banks, credit card companies, and department stores. Most companies have what’s called an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) in place to “help” you.

These systems can be very frustrating, especially when you’re stressed out and just need to talk to a fellow human being to work out your problems. That’s where the IVR Cheat Sheet comes in handy.

Paul English, Boston resident and CTO of travel search engine company Kayak.com, decided to take matters into his own hands and create a cheat sheet for major institutions in the U.S. and the U.K.

Here are some examples of what you’ll find:

  • Trans Union – 800-916-8800. No cheat is necessary. Just press 2 and you’re connected directly to a real person.
  • Bank of America – 800-900-9000 and press 0.
  • MasterCard – 800-MC-ASSIST and then press 000 on each menu.
  • PayPal – 402-935-7733 and then say “agent.”
  • eBay – 800-322-9266 and then press 0,0.

Isn’t this fun! The list contains over 259 companies as well as a how-to guide for companies that aren’t listed.

Here’s the link: The IVR Cheat Sheet

Author: Dave Nielsen

I started using computers in 1978 on the Apple II and was first online (using my “high-speed” 1200 baud modem) in 1989. I’ve managed web sites for several Fortune 500 companies and for internet start-ups. Working for one of those start-ups is what brought me into the world of credit. I was part of the the executive team that ran QSpace, the first company to offer credit reports over the internet.

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50 Comments

  1. I have used goshoppingmall.com several times. I am disdabled and not able to go to stores to buy gifts for people. I find it very handy to have the items shipped directly to my friends and family.

  2. I also have had problems with this site.I can’t get in and I ordred 4 products on a 500.00 gift card and only got 2 products sent to me.I’m still missing some items.I want people to know this site is suspect.

  3. this has to be a scam, i went to a toyota dealer and they gave it to me and the guy next door won one also, i have tried several times to talk to some one tried the number on the back of the card and the number on the web site to no avail, as many e-mails. live and learn

  4. Sometimes the site doesn’t work but even though you get a gift certificate you still have to pay for shipping and handling. They hike the cost of S & H up so much you’re still actually paying for the product. It’s obsolutely ridiculous. I saw the same product in Kmart for less than their shipping and handling fee. I hope everyone stays away. The people giving you this gift certificate should also get in trouble. They lie.. there’s no “shopping spree.”

  5. I received a 1000 shopping card and went to register and it said “free Bahama vacation” for registering.I register and NOTHING about a vacatin and the produts that I saw were not even worth the shipping and handling. A big waste of time and a big rip off

  6. Goshoppingmall.com is registered with the Better Business Bureau. Please make a report with the BBB so that the BBB can eventually remove them from their reliabily program.

  7. I also recieved a $1000 “shopping spree” from a car dealership. The products they have on their web site are not worth the shipping and handleing. I believe they are ripping people off.

  8. YOU ARE ALL CORRECT. THEY’RE BAD TO DEAL WITH. SHAME ON THOSE CAR DEALERS.

  9. I also received a $ 100.00 dlls certificate from transwest to use in this web site http://www.goshoppingmall.com and i never get to use it because the web site did not work. I think is a scam.

  10. I got a sale paper from Program cars out of Dothan Alabama and said THAT I had won a $1,000.00 shopping spree. The people that are behind this scam should be prosecuted. What a rip off.

  11. I received a $100.00 certificate from Trend West at Oceanside California. I was leery when I discovered that GOSHOPPING demanded that a person register before any information or look at their products is released! I did not intend to give my information to them, and now, after reading everyone’s comments my suspicions are confirmed and I will look into them to get reembursement. I called the phone number on the coupon once today but a recording said they were closed. It looks like there is no point in calling them next week or wasting time on their web! I am very supprised and thankfull for this link and I will come back to look at new postings and add to the information available when I find our more.

  12. I knew something was up! My ex-husband gave me a $500 card for goshoppingmall. I asked why and he said – can’t I just be nice??? Now I get it! The place is a big rip off. On the back of the card they even print out – The shipping and processing charge is designed to compensate goshoppingmall for the services we provide that enable our members to enjoy the convenience of home shopping and delivery of our products as well as overhead costs associated with those services. Believe me………….by the time you pay for shipping, you are paying for the item at least once over. You are paying for the item yourself and you are paying the salary of the person shipping it for the company, and a profit for the company to stay in business ripping more people off! If companies are buying these cards from this place to use as prizes, the companies and prize winners are being ripped off. If companies are getting them from this place for “free” to give out as prizes, then they are just as guilty as goshoppingmall in ripping people off!

  13. I keep gettimg email from people from other country’s that want me to help them get money over here. I delete the mail & block the sended, but I think this must be illeagle. I need to find out who to notfy before I get in trouble. Can any one help me.

  14. i recieved a 1000 dollar shopping spree from a car dealarship and i cant even register boy am i nieve i thought it was too good to be true they kept telling me that my e-mail address was wrong. i guess i am wrong, you dont get anything for nothing dah

  15. IM SO GLAD I READ EVERYONE’S COMMENTS. I JUST RECEIVED A $500.00 CARD FOR LISTENING TO A RIPOFF COMPANY TRYING TO SELL HOTEL PACKAGES (SUNDANCE CO.) I THOUGHT THE S&H WAS DEDUCTED FROM THE CARD BUT I GUESS NOT. NOW THANKS TO ALL I WONT EVEN LOG ONTO THIS SITE.

  16. Thanks everyone for your comments. I, too, got a flyer from a car dealership. Boy were my kids excited when they thought they were going to get a “$1,000 Internet Shopping Spree.” They will get a hard lesson in life when they come home from school this afternoon and I have to tell them that, basically, Franklin Pontiac in Franklin, TN is engaging in deceptive advertising to try to get us to come in to their business.

  17. We will add our comment to Kims, and thank this site for the warning about the “free shopping spree” scam…in addition, we think the advertising was deceptive as it said they were selling used/repo/demo cars at a “sacrifice” for “pennies on the dollar”…but we found that was not true. Franklin Pontiac/Buick/GMC would do better giving me a free pen than a scam in exchange for my time…when I am ready to purchase a vehicle, I would hesitate to return there! This is NOT building good customer relations.In addition,we are sending our “free Shopping Spree card” on to the Attorney General TN for investigation.

  18. Same deal with my local dealership…what a rip off. I hope someone with more money than I realizes that using a scam like this to get intrenet addresses and personal information that profits them is called “Theft By Deception” and sies their asses.

    Looked at the raw page data, and the SQL error code on the top; it was put there intentionally to make it seem like the error was on the page, when in fact they appeared to put the Country Code Blank on purpose, probably for ‘plausible deniability’ down the road. Note that it DOES keep your personal info…which allows telemarketers to call legally.

  19. I’m glad I found this website before trying to register and use my “free $500 shopping spree” card at goshoppingmall.com. I got the card from Sundance Vacations, another POS scam attempt. People should definitely look up information about this website before trying to use it. I think the site should be shut down. It has crappy products, and highly priced shipping charges. Good luck all…

  20. I also received A 500 dollar shopping spree from sundance vacations after sitting through a wasted hour and a half lecture. I was convinced that the 500 dollar shopping spree was legit. sundance was legit and how could a legitimate business be promoting a scam. Turns out goshoppingmall.com is either an actual business that is very unorganized…or…. ITS A SCAM!!! I ended up ordering an item, paying a ridiculous shipping fee and 2 mths later never recieving anything. I ended up calling the number on the back of the card which was just an electrinic voice promter who eventually hung up on you once you prssed an option. At this point I was pissed. My dad had been telling me this whole time that “this is a scam, people dont just give shopping sprees away” and I wanted to prove him wrong. I did some internet searches on the company and stumbled onto the direct phone number to the President of goshoppingmall.com from the better business bureau. William Roach is his name and he can be reached at 386-271-4545 ext.242). I spoke directly to him and he attempted to give me the same number I had called with no success but I refused to hang up with him until he either gave me what I payed for, gave me my money back, or transferred me directly to a live person that could help me. He chose to transfer me to a live person which you can reach directly by dialing the same phone number but chose ext. 237 or 226. To make this long story short, I argued with the customer service people who weren’t very helpful or sympathetic, got my money, an am now telling you all, hoping you will flood their customer service lines until they make some changes. Turns out my dad was right. “You can’t get something for nothing”…Darn!!!

  21. They are also at MAJOR sporting events getting people to attend their panels.

  22. Somehow my post was just removed. They stood outside a Major sporting event giving out forms to win a trip. They called and convinced us to attend a presentation. We got the $500 certificate which we cannot use because the ites on the site were cheap and the shipping was so high. I noticed on line they are going to be part of the Motivation Show in Chicago on September 26-28th. I guess their business is growing?

  23. Now get this…This is what u do u go to whoever you got the card from and you tell them that u owe me a howmuch the price is shopping spree becoust this web site does not work and its a scam and u should have checked it out berfor advertising it and so if i dont get a shopping spree i will and can sue tou for fauls advertisment that is what u do so tell them that they need to give you a shopping spree or loose thousands in court…Now that how you take care of that

  24. I have receive a massage with the promise of money and expected to pay so money. can you help me

  25. These emails are all from the same person but different email addresses because you can tell the way that they are written

    BEWARE!! He’s a scammer from Nigeria!!

    Information about inquiring person:
    Name:
    Email: bamii_white@yahoo.com
    ===================================================
    Hello seller, I saw the placement of your advert for Item for sale which i’m really interested to purchase and i will like to know your lowest price,present conditions also with pics if available,I will be waiting
    to read from you soon.

    Information about inquiring person:
    Name: vivian kelvin
    Email: vivianfabrics@yahoo.com
    ===================================================
    Good day,
    i saw your advert placement and wish to know if the plasted item is still avilable for sales kindly get back to me the details and the last asking price……..
    looking forward to read from you soonest………………………………..

    Information about inquiring person:
    Name: edward seen
    Email: edward_seen@yahoo.com
    ===================================================

    HELLO,
    I’M HIGHLY INTERESTED IN PURCHASING YOUR (2004 Honda GS-37) I WILL LIKE YOU TO GIVE ME THE LAST PRICE YOU ARE WILLING TO SELL IT AND I WILL LIKE YOU TO E-MAIL ME THE PIC’S AND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT IT ALONG WITH THE PRESENT CONDITION AS OF IT NOW AND DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE SHIPPMENT I HAVE A SHIPPING COMPANY THAT WILL CATER FOR THE SHIPPMENT AND I WILL LIKE YOU TO KNOW THAT MY TERMS OF PAYMENT WILL BE A CERTIFIED BANK CHECK DRAFT IN U.S FUNS..HOPING TO HEAR FROM YOU SOONEST..
    BEST REAGRDS

    Information about inquiring person:
    Name: Robert Bennett
    Email: robbennett00@yahoo.com
    ===================================================
    Hello,
    This is Mr Robert Bennett, i saw the above metion ads pasted for
    sale
    and i am interested in it that is why i mailed you.pls let me know if
    it is
    still available and if so kindly get back to me with the requested
    details
    below.

    Information about inquiring person:
    Name: mark ben
    Email: mark_ben004@yahoo.com
    ===================================================
    Good day seller,
    Am interested in your item for sale listed on internet to buy .
    Can you let me know if it still for sale.
    l will like to know the ……….
    PRESENT CONDITION………..
    LAST PRICE…………
    PICTURE IF AVAILABLE
    So that payment can be made out to you via certified bank chegue by
    my
    associate.
    Hope to hear from you ,my regards to you and your family.
    Thanks……
    Mark.

    Information about inquiring person:
    Name: Mr Larry
    Email: larry_woods2007@yahoo.co.uk
    ===================================================
    Hello
    How are you doing today.I saw your Advert on the internet about the 2004 Honda GS-37 you have for sale.I am interested in buying them.I need you to give me your last asking price and Pics so i could have a Clear View of what i am buying.I have an International Shpping Agent that will come over to you Location for Pickup. I await your vast reply.
    I am Located in Ireland(UK).
    Thanks and God Bless.
    Mr Larry Woods.

    OTHER EMAILS TO BE AWARE OF:

    Pastor Brian
    Andrew Nelson
    Charles Smith

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