Skip the voice prompts and avoid dialing numbers with our guide to hacking bank customer service phone lines
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Bypass the voice recognition system and dial prompts
While interactive voice response (IVR) telephone systems are a great way for banks to save time and money, they come with one disadvantage - they’re useless. Have a look at our banking cheat sheet, which gives you the back door to speak to a real person as quickly as possible.
The cheat sheet
- American Express (1300 736 659) - Press # and then 0
- ANZ (13 13 14) - press 0 five times after hearing menu options, then you’ll be transferred to an operator
- Aussie Home loans (13 13 33) - dial 0 four times to be put through to an operator
- Bankwest (13 17 18) - Press 0 twice, then *
- Bank of Melbourne (13 22 66) - Press 0 three times slowly, then press * slowly at least seven times
- bankmecu (now Bank Australia) (132 888) - press 0 four times
- Bendigo bank (1300 366 666) - press 0, then press 0 again
- Commonwealth bank (13 22 21) - dial # twice , wait for the prompt to start speaking again and then dial # twice again to get through to an operator
- HSBC (1300 308 880) - and hold the line, you’ll be put through to an operator
- ING Direct (13 34 64) - ignore the menu options, dial # three times and you’ll be put through to an operator
- Macquarie Bank (1800 806 310) - Simply hold the line to speak to an operator
- ME (13 15 63) - Press 3 to speak to an operator
- NAB (13 13 12) - Press # at least eight times until the prompt asks you for your identification number, then press # again slowly at least three times and it will transfer you
- RAMS (13 72 67) - Listen to the menu, then press 6 to be put onto an operator for enquiries
- Suncorp (13 11 34) - Simply hold the line and an operator will answer
- Virgin Money (13 37 39) - press * and 0 and then press 1 to speak to an operator
- Westpac (13 20 32) - Press # at least nine times slowly, wait for the prompt to ask you to say what you’re after, press # again and when it asks you for your identification number, press # twice
Tips for using an IVR system
Brent Jackson, CEO of Rubik, a supplier of some of the software and technology behind these systems, gives these tips for using IVR systems:
- Even if the system asks you to say your account number or pin out loud, most systems will still allow you to enter in any numbers on your keyboard, saving you time.
- If the system asks you to say something, make sure you have low background noise and speak in a natural voice.
- If you need to find out your account balance or any other standard request, sometimes its still quicker to follow the prompts rather than wait for an operator.