The F-bomb: A fine way to skip the AppleCare line?

It seems the technology in Apple's automated phone system is primed to sense when the caller is in despair. Will swearing get you serviced quicker?

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read
I just love the concept of a Periodic Table of Swearing. HerrApfelHund/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

There is nothing good about automated phone systems.

Really. Nothing. They only exist to save companies money. Oh, and, of course, to annoy customers.

Sometimes, you know that if you keep pressing "0" you'll get through to a human being. However, it seems that, when it comes to Apple's phone system, cursing down the phone might be of help too.

The Next Web seems to swear by it. It reports that once it hears you cursing or sounding angry, Apple's phone system ceases to offer you any more (often useless) options.

A contributor to Reddit, FloppyButton, offered that once he began to swear at Apple's machine, it "cut itself off in mid-sentence, apologized, and in about 10 more seconds I was talking to an Apple tech."

It turns out that FloppyButton couldn't get the keyboard he was craving, because they weren't sold anymore. But at least he found out in a way that was human and swift, rather than turgid and impersonal.

I ought to be in two minds about suggesting that the whole world begins to scream obscenities at these machines. I ought to be, but I am not.

Not once have these things proved to be anything other than annoying, insulting, patronizing, and pointless.

So, speaking entirely personally, please choose your words carefully and then let fly.

I might add, though, that this tactic might not work as well as it did for FloppyButton.

For another Reddit contributor, Rob79, offers that, after cursing, you might only get to speak to a so-called call director. This person will merely try to calm you down and shove you back in line -- even further back, perhaps.

Should you be shy about cursing -- because you have children in the house or your live-in lover is especially religious -- you could always try the Apple support website. At least then you won't be sitting on the phone half the day.

However, might I also suggest GetHuman.com?

I haven't used this site myself. But it promises to offer direct numbers to customer service departments in companies such as Verizon Wireless, Comcast, and even the usually impenetrable Facebook.

What revolutionary fun it would be if you could call humans directly in order to ask them to fix the product that their company sold you in the first place.