If you have ever tried to call Citibank's hotline 995-9999, you have most likely been frustrated also with navigating through its endless Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. But unlike the other bank's phone system (ex. Standard Chartered), Citibank's IVR menu has no opt-out to talk to a human operator. You just endlessly go from one menu to another.
Industry-standard IVR menus have a press '0' or '9' for operator. But not Citibank. Since I was calling to ask for a waiver of my annual fee, I had to talk to a human. In frustration, I eventually chose an option that I knew had to be answered by a human -- "reporting a lost card". Once the operator answered the call, she had no choice but to entertain my inquiry which actually had nothing to do with losing a card.
From my conversation with the operator, she told me that one can hit the "*0" in the IVR menu to talk to an operator. Now, isn't that just plain brilliant? The intentionally do not say that in the IVR spiel, and yet that "secret key" actually exist. So next time I called, I tried "*0" during one of the long prompts, and what do you know, I did get transferred to a human operator!