How do you break out of phone menu prison?

My column today about getting around automated phone systems set up by companies prompted Don to write:

“My wife, a hearing person, can become quite frustrated and confused when trying to contact some customer representatives via a phone menu. Tossing the matter to me can sometimes help. As a deafened person I use the Maryland Relay for the Deaf for telephonic communication and I find that the operators at the ' Relay are whiz kids at getting through to live representatives. Sometimes one can get instant service at a large company if it has a TTY connection for the Deaf. However, my speaking voice is better and quicker than my typing skills so I use the Voice Carry Over service of the ' Relay.

My bête noir is AARP. It might have a fine Congressional lobbying service but it seems to have a communication wall around it should you need personal attention.”

Any other successes at reaching a live representative?

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