The Checkout

Consumer Champion #1 Launches New Web Site

A month ago, I named Boston software entrepreneur Paul English as Consumer Champion #1. The reason: On his own, he developed a "cheat sheet" to help consumers avoid voice-mail hell after he got fed up trying to find live customer service agents at several different companies.

Well, his cheat sheet was so successful -- it got more than 1 million hits in January -- that his server kept crashing. So he had to close down his site. But the good news is that with the help of 16 volunteers, he has just opened a new Web site, running on five servers, to help anyone who is trying to get a hold of a real-live person when calling a company. still provides a handy company-by-company list to find out how to quickly find a customer-service agent, without having to punch in your account number, Zip code, etc. The site also has general tips, as well as a list of companies that have a strong-customer service component (currently that list includes Nordstrom, Lands End, Southwest Airlines and Tivoli Audio). Gethuman is also asking its visitors to evaluate their own experiences, with plans to post a monthly list of the best and worst companies. The reason: English says consumers should support the companies that offer live people to take customer phone calls.

By  |  February 9, 2006; 10:51 AM ET Consumer News
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