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Fonolo: A Chainsaw for Phone Trees

Zach Epstein
August 1st, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Now this is a service we can get behind! Fonolo serves one purpose and one purpose alone: Kill phone trees. If you’re not familiar with the term “phone tree” you’ll certainly be familiar with the concept. When something you own isn’t working properly despite your best efforts, you get angry. You pride yourself in being a skilled gadgeteer so the fact that you can’t fix the problem yourself is a bit enraging. Now you have to swallow your pride, cowboy up and call the dreaded “customer care line”. After dialing, are you greeted with a knowledgeable human? Of course not. A digitized female voice simply makes matters worse by asking you all kinds of questions and requiring you to push various buttons for a few minutes before you have the pleasure of sitting on hold for half an hour. Ugh. There is hope though, and that hope is Fonolo provides you with flow charts for each company in its data base. The flow charts represent each and every option that you would have if you called the customer service line yourself. Simply select a point on the chart (likely “speak with a customer service rep” down near the bottom) and Fonolo will call the company for you. It will automatically navigate the menus and then ring your phone once it has reached the point you specified. Best of all, it’s free! There are also some other cool options such as the ability to record calls and publish them online to give others a taste of what they can expect should they need to call the same company. The catch? It’s currently in private beta. You can enter your email on the homepage to be notified as soon as they’re ready for you and we highly recommend doing so. This is the kind of service worth waiting for.

[Thanks Robby]


Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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