Fonolo cuts phone trees down to size

Telephone callIf the seemingly endless phone menus you get when you call a company these days bother you as much as the problem you're trying to fix in the first place, than you're sure to love a cool new service called Fonolo. Fonolo is a website that can connect you directly to the department you are looking for at close to 500 companies, skipping the cumbersome menus and prompts that stand between you and a resolution.

The service also provides several other consumer friendly features, including a call history and the ability to record calls and add notes so you'll always know when you called, who you talked to and have proof of any promised solutions.

The service works by letting you search for companies on the website and showing you a text version of the, "press 1 for customer service, press 2 for a new account, press 3 to give up and just keep paying us." that you hear at so many companies.

When you find the option you want, Cancellation and Retention, for example, you simply click the call icon on the message and Fonolo will dial the company and handle all of the menu navigation for you so that the only thing standing between you and customer service is crappy hold music.

Call History for all companies you call with dates, recordings and notes.

Not only does Fonolo get you straight to a customer service rep, it lets you record the phone calls so that you have a record of every call made, who you spoke to and proof that they really did offer you 6 months of free service. This systems is leaps and bounds above any current methods and makes sure that companies keep their promises or risk being outed to the Internet in a humorous YouTube video; ending up in a Consumer Ally post at WalletPop.

Call detail with the ability to playback or download recordings.

One thing to consider before recording is that laws for recording vary from state to state. Fonolo provides you with some basic information and lets you make the call about legality. Thankfully, in many states, only one party, that's you, has to know that the recording is happening. This is really useful since some reps will refuse to continue a conversation if you tell them it will be recorded -- even though the company may be recording it themselves.

Fonolo is free to use and if you ever need to call a company for a warranty issue, refund or exchange you'd be a fool not to track your calls with Fonolo. The only downfall I found while using Fonolo is that it doesn't have my most dialed company, Time Warner Cable, listed, but I've already submitted a request to get its phone tree added.
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