App of the Week: ‘FastCustomer’ Saves You from Being On Hold

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The premise of FastCustomer is astonishingly simple: You select from one of over 2,500 companies (including all of the Fortune 500), and the app calls the company and waits on hold. When a customer service representative finally picks up on the other end, the app calls you back and you’re free to complain chat as you will. It works kind of similarly to LucyPhone, but you don’t need to look up the company’s number yourself. Choices are made through a scrollable database.

Previously, FastCustomer was only available for the iPhone, but now Android users can get it too.

To test it out, I called JetBlue to confirm some upcoming travel plans. Within 10 short minutes, I was on the line with a nice young lady who helped me confirm my trip.

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In theory, this could mean that no one would unwillingly have to listen to 30-minutes of Kenny G. ever again. But even with over 20,000 downloads, FastCustomer isn’t without its hiccups.

Ann Carrns of the New York Times, for example, had this little problem:

The Netflix call didn’t go as well. It started out the same way. I got a quick call back. But the voice on the phone was automated. The recorded voice asked me if I was satisfied with Netflix’s service, and directed me to press 1 if I was. I thought that it wasn’t Netflix’s fault that lightning zapped our router, so I pressed 1. Big mistake. “Thank you for your feedback,” the voice said. “Goodbye.” Then it hung up.

Also, the Times reports that some hard-to-get-to companies like Comcast actually vet 800-numbers, which FastCustomer utilizes to place calls.

Still, the app is free, and I’d imagine that the more people who begin using it, the more companies will familiarize their employees with the service and jump onboard. Unless, of course, they’re particularly hellbent on making their customers’ lives miserable. And what company does that? (Kidding.)

Learn more about FastCustomer here.

MORE: See All “Apps of the Week”

Chris Gayomali is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @chrigz, on Facebook, or on Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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