New Google Feature Will Wait on Hold for You

Estimated read time 2 min read

A toy robot using a phone

Photo: charles taylor / (Shutterstock)

Google’s testing a new feature called “Talk to a Live Representative” that will contact businesses for you, navigate their phone trees, wait on hold, and then call you when a real human being is ready to chat. It could solve one of the more frustrating parts of dealing with corporations, and it brings us one step closer to a world where we all have our own weird little personal robots that to talk each other on our behalf.

The feature, first spotted by a user on X/Twitter, is an experimental tool rolling out to users on iOS and Android. Google Pixel phones already have a similar feature called “Hold For Me,” but the new option expands it to all phones and adds greater functionality. Hold For Me requires users to place the calls themselves and sort through the company’s phone systems until they get to the point where they’re on hold, but Talk to a Live Representative does that legwork for you.

For now, it’s only available to certain businesses. According to 9to5Google, that includes:

  • Airlines: Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United
  • Phone Providers: Assurance Wireless, Boost Mobile, Charter Communications, Cricket Wireless, Samsung, Sprint (presumably T-Mobile)
  • Retail: Best Buy, Costco, Gamestop, The Home Depot, Walmart, Services
  • Shipping and Delivery Services: ADT, DHL, Fedex, Grubhub, Instacart, Securus Technologies, Stubhub, UPS, Zelle
  • Insurance: Esurance, State Farm

When the option is enabled you first hit the “Talk to a Live Representative” button, and then select the reason for your call.

The feature is available to certain users who opt-in through Google’s Search Labs on Chrome and the Google app. For more instructions on how to turn on Search Labs experiments, check out Google’s help page.

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