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A New Way to Bypass Automated Response Systems

by Christopher Null
I’ve long used the secret phone numbers and commands at GetHuman to figure out the quickest way to get a real, live operator on the line. (Example for Pontiac: Dial 800 762 2737. Press 4 4. Then don’t press or say anything.) It’s an invaluable service and one that deserves a permanent bookmark in your Favorites list.
But now there’s a new kid on the block, and it’s a killer: Bringo! (aka, which does GetHuman one better: Look up the company you want to call, click the appropriate link, input your phone number on the web form, and Bringo! calls the company you want to yell at for you. You get a quick “verify this phone number” call, then, when Bringo! has you in the queue, your phone rings, you hit the # key, and you’re in line for an operator.
I tried the service and works without fuss. The only problem is that the Bringo! database is fairly limited right now. You can dial Fujitsu and Texas Instruments for computer support, but not Hewlett-Packard. The two largest wireless carriers (Verizon and Cingular) are missing on the site, but TracFone and SunCom are listed. I’m sure the database will be expanded along with the service, but for now you might not find all the listings you need.
I also have no information about Bringo! the company (there’s not even a contact link on the website, and the domain is anonymously registered), so I have no idea what happens to the phone number you use to input into the Bringo! website. The service could theoretically record calls or capture any data you input over the touch tone connection, so you might be careful about entering your credit card number or SSN if you’re using the service. (Though these numbers should bypass any of those prompts.) I’ve seen other stories about the site’s Polish founder Marcin Musiolik, and I’ve asked him if the site has a privacy policy. More news as this story develops. Meanwhile, feel free to experiment with the site with the aforementioned caveats.

UPDATE:  I heard back from Bringo! founder Clement Wang with the following information.
A privacy policy is coming in about a week. No monitoring of phone calls is performed, and numbers are not resold or reused in any way.
The site is not intended as a money-maker but rather as a technology showcase for Bringo!’s underlying code (and other products that might come from it). The advertisements on the site help offset the cost of the phone calls.
Marcin Musiolik is not a founder of the site but is part of the team. The site founders are based in the U.S.

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