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Better Customer Service

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GetHuman.com reveals companies' phone number short cuts and live chat options.

Fast Customer (free download) allows consumers to click on an individual company, enter their complaint and contact information, then the company calls them. So you effectively never have to wait on hold.

The time of day is also important in effectively communicating your problem, particularly if you insist on using the phone.

It's actually the easiest to get a live representative when you call first thing in the morning -- anywhere from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

These are the best e-tailers and service companies for getting a live person, according to STELLAService.com:

Amazon.com

Grainger

LL Bean.com

SportsmanGuide.com

Nordstrom

Neiman Marcus

Cabelas.com

Urban Outfitters

BlueNile.com

MarketAmerica.com

OrientalTrading.com

YOOX.com

RalphLauren.com

DisneyStore.com

FreshDirect.com

RueLaLa.com

SierraTradingPost.com

Net-A-Porter.com

ColdwaterCreek.com

GreenMountainCoffee.com

Etronics.com

1-800 Contacts

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