If you’ve tried to get help from AT&T, Comcast or another cable or internet provider lately, you probably know that getting decent customer service can sometimes be difficult. The key is to get a human being on the line.
In this article, I’ll give you some tips on how to reach a real person at AT&T, Comcast/Xfinity and other major cable and internet providers.
One thing to note is that many providers keep you on hold for a long time, and sometimes you may have to hang up and call again to reach someone.
Here’s How to Reach a Real Person at AT&T, Xfinity, Cox and More
I researched phone numbers for all the major cable companies, called each of them multiple times and documented how long it took to talk to a human being. Here’s what I found:
How to Reach a Real Person at AT&T
Phone: AT&T’s official customer service number is 800-331-0500 and that’s what I called to talk to a person.
When I called: I was greeted with a recording that said, “Thank you for being an AT&T customer.” I then heard some prompts, including instructions to hang up and be called back or schedule a call.
How I got through: I ignored all that and pressed 0. When the automated voice said, “What is the reason for your call today?” I pressed 0 again. It then said: “One moment while we connect you to a customer service professional.”
I was eventually connected to a real person.
Wait time: Over 9 minutes
How to Reach a Real Person at Comcast/Xfinity
Phone: Comcast’s official customer service number is 800-945-2288, but I called a different number, 800-266-2278. You may have to enter a lot of personal information to get connected, including your ZIP code.
When I called: The automated voice gave options to enter either my phone number or account number — or to indicate that I was a new customer. I chose the “new customer” option.
The automated voice may also ask you if you want to apply for Xfinity’s special rates for low-income households. I just replied “no.”
How I got through: When it gave me more prompts, I hit 000. It eventually said, “To speak to a Comcast agent, press 0 now.” And that’s what I did.
Total wait time: 2 minutes 11 seconds
How to Reach a Real Person at Cox Communications
Phone: Cox’s official customer service number is 855-680-3750 and that’s what I called to talk to a human.
When I called: An automated voice gave me a choice of pressing 1 to order new service or 2 if I was an existing customer or had recently placed an order. I pressed 1.
How I got through: After two more prompts, I pressed 1 twice more (to tell the system I was calling about home service and to decline an offer to hear about current promotions). Then I was told to “stay on the line while we transfer you to customer service.” I was soon talking to a live person.
Total wait time: More than 6 minutes
How to Reach a Real Person at Spectrum/Charter Communications
Phone: Spectrum’s official customer service number is 1-855-855-4575. But I dialed 888-615-0301 to talk to a human.
When I called: The automated voice told me to choose an option for a new service or to indicate that I was an existing customer. I pressed 2. For all other prompts, I pressed 0.
How I got through: After listening to the options of choosing technical support or billing, I pressed 2, then had to enter my ZIP code.
Note: You may get an option to schedule a callback, along with a projected wait time. I declined this option, but you may want to consider it.
Total wait time: 46 seconds
Try to call earlier in the day rather than waiting until the afternoon or evening when wait times may be longer.
If you find that waiting on the phone is not something you have time for, you might want to consider reaching out to the company via its website or on social media.
If you need help with a money problem, contact Clark’s free Consumer Action Center and a volunteer will call you as soon as possible.