A guy named Paul English is getting a good bit of publicity for his IVR Cheat Sheet
web site, which gives shortcuts for avoiding corporate Interactive Voice Response systems and getting a live human on the phone instead.
A firm describing itself as "the market leader for on-demand call center and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solutions" tells you why wanting to speak to a live human is a bad idea in its critique
of the site. English (whose day job is running a travel site
) responds to that critique here