Skip Phone Menus and Record Customer Service Calls with Fonolo

Most of us loath having to call the customer service department of large companies. And phone menus are in no small way responsible for this loathing. Most large companies have multi-level automated phone menus. Navigating through them is not only time consuming but also extremely annoying. If you live in US or Canada the good news is that a smart little start-up called Fonolo is trying to make things better.

Fonolo is building a database of customer service numbers for all the companies which employ phone menus. It has already mapped out the phone menus for many large companies like Dell, T-Mobile and Apple. Fonolo allows you to deep dial directly to the department you want. This means that you don’t have to listen to instructions like “Press 1 for Sales Support, Press 2 for Enterprise Sales Support and Press 3 for Financial Services”.


All you need to do is enter the name of the company, select the appropriate department and enter your phone number. Fonolo will dial the selected phone number, navigate to the desired menu and then call you. When you pick up your phone, you will be directly connected to your destination. Fonolo doesn’t stop here. As an added bonus, it allows registered users to record all customer service calls. It also keeps a detailed record of all the companies you have called and allows you to note particulars like the name of the customer service representative you spoke with and the details of the conversation. So, if you ever intend to lodge a complaint in the consumer court for shabby customer service, you will have all the proof you need.


Techie Buzz Verdict

Techie-Buzz-Recommends-Fonolo Fonolo is a really cool service. The concept as well as execution is outstanding. The service is completely web based and doesn’t require installation of any additional software. The user interface is simple but efficient. The objective of this service is to make things simpler for you and it succeeds with flying colors. If you are looking to call customer care, do it the Fonolo way.

Techie Buzz Rating: 5/5 (Excellent)

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Pallab De

Pallab De is a blogger from India who has a soft spot for anything techie. He loves trying out new software and spends most of his day breaking and fixing his PC. Pallab loves participating in the social web; he has been active in technology forums since he was a teenager and is an active user of both twitter (@indyan) and facebook .

  • Cathy

    The idea of having a system to navigate an extensive IVR (interactive voice recording) is awsome. However, I must caution everyone reading this. In many states/countries, it is illegal to record a conversation without the consent of both parties. I work in a call center for a very large corporation. I have been instructed that if at any time a customer tells me that they are recording the call, I am to politely tell the customer that I am disconnecting the call and then hang up immediately and contact a supervisor. My husband also works in a call center for another large company (a different one than me) and his employer has also instructed them to inform a customer that it is illegal to record the conversation without both parties consent. And, given the laws covering recording of calls, if someone was to attempt to use the recording in a court of law that the company did not consent to, it would most likely be inadmissible at best, possible prosecution at worst. Companies do not take it lightly if customers are recording the calls.

    The fonolo website doesn’t mention anything about these points, but it is definitely something to think about.

    • Recording Telephone conversations is not outright illegal in USA. In fact there are precedents of people recording their customer service calls to get leverage. The most famous one being the Vincent Ferarri case.
      From Wikipedia:

      The Telephone recording laws in some U.S. states require only one party to be aware of the recording, while other states require both parties to be aware.

      So, Call recording without notifying the other person is illegal in these 12 states. In all other US states you can record calls without notifying the person at the other end.

      • Cathy

        Ah, I stand partially corrected. :) I apologize for not realizing that it didn’t apply everywhere. Because, as it turns out, I live in Maryland. In Maryland, it *is* illegal to tape a phone conversation without both parties consent, and for lots of reasons, our employers wouldn’t want to have their consent be implied. Our call centers record the calls “for quality and training purposes”; if the customer does not consent, then they have the option to hang up and contact our businesses in person at the local office.