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ConsumerWatch: Free Web Service Takes Frustration Out Of Being Put On Hold

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A man uses two smartphones. (Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images)

A man uses two smartphones. (Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images)

Julie-Watts_BIO-HEAD Julie Watts
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(CBS 5) – A free web service founded two brothers is helping consumers avoid the frustration of being placed on hold for customer service.

LucyPhone is a service that waits on hold so that the caller doesn’t have to. It is described as a personal assistant.

Mike Oristian and his brother Tom Oristian, both graduates from Stanford University, created LucyPhone.

Users start by selecting the company they wish to contact. They then enter the phone number they wish to be reached at. So instead of waiting, the caller lets Lucy take over.

The user’s phone is disconnected while LucyPhone remains connected to customer service. When a representative answers the phone call, Lucy then patches the caller through.

Disconnections do happen from time to time because some customer service agents hang up when they connect to a recorded voice saying to dial ‘1’ to connect to the customer.

LucyPhone also offers iPhone and Android apps and hopes to earn revenue from advertising and from companies willing to pay to feature a LucyPhone widget on their own sites.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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