Reaching A Human Being

As you may know, those of you out there who are active on StackOverflow and other StackExchange sites, they’ve got a site called Area51 that lets people propose new sites for the StackExchange network.  Proposals that get enough support get launched as beta sites, and successful betas “graduate” to full-fledged SE sites.

Since the purpose of StackExchange has been explicitly stated as not being about discussions, debates, or other “forum chat” stuff but about establishing definitive, authoritative answers to questions that can be answered definitively, I came up with a proposal yesterday that fits that mission perfectly, and would provide a sorely-needed resource in today’s world.  The basic focus of the site would be “How do I cut through useless automated support and reach an actual human being at company X?”  Anyone who’s ever grappled with this problem will know exactly what I’m talking about and why a site like this would be a useful resource.

It’s off to a bit of a slow start at the moment, and unfortunately it seems the first person to take notice is an obnoxious troll who seems to have gotten it into his head that this would attract a bunch of useless answers like “visit this URL” or “call this phone number” and lead to a low-quality site.  While he’s correct that that would be a low-quality site, the guy’s obviously either nuts or malicious due to his continued insistence on this line of “reasoning.”  Anyone who’s ever struggled with obfuscated phone trees knows that such a simplistic answer would never be accepted because it just doesn’t work, but when this is pointed out he completely ignores it and just restates his original premise again.

So I’m asking for some help.  Anyone who realizes that this would be a useful thing to have around, and would like to see a resource like this become a reality, please go to and support it.


  1. John J says:

    Just an FYI; There is a website called that does supply telephone numbers for a lot of companies in which one can speak with a human being. You might already know about it, but again… ya never know!

  2. Doug Rudd says:

    This idea doesn’t make any sense. If you cant get to them its because the company doesn’t want you to. The answer to every Stack question would be, “its not possible”.

    • Mason Wheeler says:

      I have never yet encountered a company that it’s not possible to get through to a human being. They can obfuscate the system to the point where you need a ton of trial-and-error to work your way through it, (or a resource like this,) but there’s always an actual person at the end of the maze somewhere.

  3. Darkhog says:

    This is a bit off-topic, but do you still develop TURBU???

    • Mason Wheeler says:

      Yes. It’s kind of been on the back burner lately because of work and a few other projects, but I’m working on it and will hopefully have a release ready fairly soon.

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