It's safe to say that most people hate calling a company and wish that there was no waiting on hold for customer service. FastCustomer is the free must-have app for iPhone and Android that makes listening to elevator music a thing of the past as you'll never again have to wait for a company's operator, government department, or help line to answer the phone. I can't tell you how many times I had a problem with my cell phone company, and DirecTV, and had to spend literally hours waiting to reach someone to resolve the issue. Many companies have a recording that offer to "hold your place in line" and they call you back. FastCustomer is a better solution.
If you don't have an iPhone, or Android smart phone, but you can text, you can use FastCustomer. Send a text message to "936-CALL-PLS," write the name of the company you want to call and fast company will respond with details and options to complete the call. You can also use Siri on your iPhone 4s or 5, by saying "Text (company name) to FastCustomer.
If you use the Google Chrome web browser, you can get an extension (look for instructions soon), that tells you when you are visiting the page of a company that you can use FastCustomer to call.
Who Can You Call?
FastCustomer has a list of more than 3,000 companies from AT&T (my personal favorite) and Verizon, to the Social Security Administration, some Unemployment agencies, GoDaddy, insurance companies, and many more.
How it works
This is more than an app that will get you to the right department by telling you whether to press a #2 then a #3, it actually connects you with absolutely no waiting on hold.
- Choose the company you want to call and the department. Some companies have different departments. Chase bank has a number of departments from "auto finance" to "Personal banking." Others don't have options so you just call the company or organization.
- Wait for the company to call you back. You will see a FastCustomer icon when the call comes in. The agent at the company may be a little confused if you say "hello" when you answer the phone call because they don't know you haven't been holding for them.
FastCustomer sits on hold for you
When you tap on the department you want to call, you will see a checklist of FastCustomer's progress (see the photo). It dials the company, navigates the phone tree, waits on hold then connects the call to you. Basically, the company's computer sits on hold with the FastCustomer computer until the humans are ready to speak.
It works! I was able to reach Best Buy customer service, and my bank to take care of some business. My friend also used it to call Social Security. He received a callback but it was a recording saying there were unusually long wait times. Perhaps that was the recording that puts you in the Social Security Administration's callback queue. He hung up before we found out.
How FastCustomer began
Aaron Dragushan, a blah blah was waiting on hold in early 2011 and thought "Why am I waiting on hold? Why can't I just tap a button and get a call when someone's ready to talk to me?" After several late nights with Paul Singh and Steph Hay, Dragushan met his partners in the Bayou Bakery in Arlington, VA to make a test call to AT&T, and it worked.
FastCustomer is a free app, but you can support the company by purchasing FastCustomer Pro for $4.99. FastCustomer Pro gives you the benefit of sending them an email to request a company be added to the FastCustomer list of companies. I may never make a direct call to a company again.