zero out
v. To exit a phone menu or voice mail system by pressing 0, particularly when that option transfers the call to a live agent or operator. Also: zero-out.
zero-out adj.

Example Citations:
Today, Sprint is streamlining its IVR system so that when people try to “zero out,” or press 0 until they get a live service rep, they’re asked one more question in an effort to better route their calls.
—Monica Alleven, “Competing in Customer Care,” Wireless Week, June 15, 2006

When speech recognition is added to self-service operations, it is common for there to be a reduction in the number of “zero-out” transfers to live agents by customers, an increase in calls completed in self-service and a decrease in overall call handling time by die system in well-executed speech applications.
—Tracey E. Schelmetic and Mike Chapman, “Transforming The IVR With Speech Technology,” Customer Interaction Solutions, July 1, 2007

Earliest Citation:
Dear Pam: The main result of the voice mail/answering machine craze seems to be that you exhaust time leaving messages for people with whom you can’t speak because they&lrquo;re too busy leaving messages for somebody else. Any tips on how to stop these highly annoying games of electronic tag? — Old Fashioned

Dear Old Fashioned: Here’s a menu of options from two business owners, a market researcher, a law professor, a manager and an etiquette consultant: ...

5. “Zero-out.” If the voice mail allows you to, press zero and plead with a Live Human Being.
—Pamela Mendels, “Some Ways to Get Around Telephone Tag.” Newsday, February 28, 1993

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