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Smart Buying

3 Apps to Get Better Customer Service

The Gethuman Application is an extension of www.gethuman.com, a Web site that helps customers reach a live rep quickly at specified businesses by allowing users to post phone numbers and tips. The app pulls up the phone number for the business you want to call (if available) and, before you dial, offers advice on which buttons to punch to reach a person.

If a customer-service line puts you on hold, the LucyPhone app disconnects your call but keeps a spot for you in the queue until an agent answers. Then the app immediately calls you and connects you to the rep.

Need to get something off your chest? Submit your complaint -- or praise -- about a business using the Gripe app. It sends your message to the business and connects to your Twitter or Facebook account so that you can share your "gripe." All apps listed here are free and available for the iPhone and for Android devices.