Want to call Frontier Airlines to fix a problem with your flight? Well, you can’t—the airline recently stopped using its customer-­service phone line. It can be reached only via e-mail, chat on its website or via social-media channels such as Twitter.

Want to call Facebook to report that your account has been hacked? Don’t bother—the social-media giant doesn’t take customer calls.

Currently there are only a small number of big companies that don’t offer any phone-based customer support, but many more make their phone numbers intentionally frustrating to find, even when you click the “support” or “customer service” tab on corporate websites. Examples: The phone numbers for Amazon.com (888-280-4331), Microsoft (800-642-7676) and Roku (816-272-8106) are not easy to find on their websites.

That’s certainly no accident! Companies are trying to shift their interactions with customers away from call centers and toward text and online chat. Those options are more cost-effective because the responses can be provided by artificial intelligence (AI) rather than human employees.

Problem: While AI might be reasonably effective at answering common questions, it frequently fails when faced with complex or unusual questions…and it lacks the authority to offer customer-friendly solutions, such as ­issuing refunds or sending replacement products.

What to do: If you want to call a large company but can’t find its customer-­service number on its website, search for that number on the website of the nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, Elliott.org (choose “Company Contacts,” then enter the company name)…and/or on GetHuman.com (this website can be used to look up corporate ­customer-service phone numbers, though it also offers related services.)

Warning: Don’t use a search engine to find corporate customer-service phone numbers—the numbers that appear in the results sometimes belong to scammers.

If a company’s customer service department fails to provide satisfaction with your problem, Elliott.org also lists contact info for key executives at many corporations. Send a polite e-mail describing your problem to an appropriate executive, such as the head of the customer-service department.

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