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A brief cheat sheet

Company Toll-free number Paul English's tips for reaching a human
Sprint/Nextel 800-639-6111 Hit 0 five times. Hitting it once just restarts menu options.
Compaq 800-652-6672 No easy escape; go through menu options first
Dell Customer Service 800-624-9897 Select option 1, dial ext. 7266966, select option 1, then 4, and 4 again
Southwest Airlines 800-435-9792 Calls answered directly by person after brief announcement
Sovereign Bank 877-768-2265 Press 1 for English, 1 for personal banking, 3 to talk to an agent, input Social Security number, followed by pound key, and password, followed by pound, then press 0 one to three times
US Postal Service 800-275-8777 Press 7 on first menu, then 3, then 2
Visa Assistance Center 800-847-2911 Hit 0 several times. Ignore prompts saying it's an invalid entry.

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