Fun With Department Store Phones

Department Store Phones. They’re everywhere. Well, okay, not everywhere but they’re in department stores, right? Like K-Mart, Target, Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer, etc. These phones can provide an individual with hours upon hours of good clean-cut entertainment if you know how to use them. You can talk to different departments in the store, you can dial out of the store and you can even yell anything you want over the intercom. Next time you’re in a store, find yourself a phone in a secluded isle and prepare to have lots of fun with it.

In some stores, such as Target, they encourage their guests to use the courtesy phones so you don’t even have to hide yourself so well. But in just about any other store, store phones are never meant for customer use. Most employees that see someone using their phones will think nothing of it, but other employees like to pretend that they’re important and will ask you what the hell you’re doing. The correct response is a swift kick in the employees groin.

All-Store Paging

In most stores, the “all store page” button is marked clearly on the phone because store managers know that nobody in their right mind would pick up a store phone and say anything rude for the whole store to hear. Or would they? This is actually a useful thing to know because if you’re with a friend and you get separated, you just pick up a store phone, hit “PAGE” and tell your friend to get his ass to the department that you’re in.

But even more importantly, you can say anything you want to the entire store. From making up your own in-store specials to reading poetry, the audience of the entire store is at your mercy. And guess what happens when the employee or manager finally catches you? They tell you to cut it out. Especially if you’re bigger than them, which I usually am. At the very worst, you’ll be asked to leave the store. Which really isn’t that terrible of a punishment, is it?

In the mid-90’s, we even figured out how to get on the overhead paging system from our house at Fred Meyer. We simply called the store and asked them to transfer us to the extension for paging. Once we were on, they couldn’t seem to kick us off and we remained on their intercom for hours at a time. Keep in mind, we were miles away from the store so it was impossible for them to know who was responsible. You can read the details of our remote hijacking by clicking here.

Answering Calls

If you hang out in a store long enough, you’ll hear a voice overhead asking certain departments to pick up certain lines for customers. Such as “Housewares, you have a call on 230.” Whenever you hear this, you should immediately race to the nearest phone and dial the extension that was announced. Usually it’s not too hard to pick up a line before an employee gets to it. Once your connected, the customer on the other end thinks that you’re an employee. Using your best employee voice, say something like, “This is Jake from Housewares, can I help you?” If you’re unsure which department they’re on hold for, pick up and say, “Which department are you holding for? Hardware? Well that’s me! What can I do for you?” But that should be the extent of your friendliness. Use the conversations below to help guide you in the art of customer service…

Me: Who are you holding for?
XX: Electronics.
Me: Oh, that’s me. What do you need?
XX: I just need to see if my film is ready. The last name is-
Me: Uh, listen, I’m really swamped back here right now so you’re just going to have to wait. Can I put you on hold for about 20 minutes?
XX: Welllll, I could just call back I suppose.
Me: (acting pissed) Well, you don’t have to be a fucking smartass about it. All I said was that I’m in the middle of playing Super Mario Kart and I don’t have time to walk across the fucking counter and check on your film so just deal with it, you stupid bitch. Okay? (slam down the phone.)

An interesting phenomenon here is that as soon as you hang up, about two seconds later another line will light up… Weird. So you pick up the phone.

Me: (in a different voice) K-Mart, this is Big Bob.
XX: (very irritated) Yes, I just called Electronics at your store there and the boy who answered the phone was extrememly rude to me and I’d like to talk to the manager there.
Me: Well, I’m Bob the assistant manager. The real manager is asleep right now. Would you like me to go to his office and wake him up?
XX: Well, I think somebody needs to talk to the person in electronics. I asked if my film was there and he started screaming at me and using foul language.
Me: Ma’am, that’s just the way our employees are. In order to cut down on stress in the workplace, we encourage them to relieve their frustrations on the customers. If you don’t like it, you can take your fucking film somewhere else. (slam)

The trick is never to let them have the last word. You’d probably have a good laugh now by going to the Service Desk or operator’s desk (aka fitting rooms) and listening to her call back and yell at the operator for a bit.

Me: Thanks for calling Wal-Mart, how can I help you?
XX: I need the toy department.
Me: Hold on… (different voice) …Toys.
XX: Do you guys carry the new Christmas Barbie?
Me: Which one? There’s two of them. One of them she’s got a Christmas wreath stuck up her butt and the other one she’s holding a penis in one hand and a whip in the other hand. Anyway, yeah, we got ’em both but they’re going quick. They’re both $17.99 apiece.
XX: Uhhhh…
Me: Would you like me to hold one for you? I can take your name and hold it for 24 hours.
XX: (click)
Me: How rude…

Me: Hardware, how can I help you?
XX: I need the housewares department.
Me: Well, you got hardware. So how can I help you?
XX: Well, I doubt that you can help me because I asked for housewares.
Me: WELL, obviously the lady at the service desk is hard of hearing because you’ve been transferred to the hardware department so how can I help you?
XX: …Okay. I need to know if you have any of those blenders left that were advertised in Sunday’s paper.
Me: How the hell should I know anything about blenders. You’ve got hardware here.
XX: Could you please transfer me to housewares?
Me: No, I can’t. Maybe instead of a blender you’d like to buy a nice circular saw or some acrylic paint.

Me: Garden Center.
XX: Yes, do you have any of tho-
Me: No, we don’t.
XX: You didn’t let me fini-
Me: (click)

If you’d like to hear some actual calls of our customer service hijinks, visit our Fun at Wal-Mart page. You can listen to about a dozen sound clips of us being as rude as possible to customers.

Secret Departments

If you have the time, you can sit at a store’s phone and manually scan for other “departments” that aren’t listed on the phone or even known to most employees and managers. In the past, I’ve found the extensions to different phones in store rooms and offices around the store, I’ve been magically transferred to other offices in different states (speed dial?) and I’ve gotten lots of weird sounding noises and computer carriers and fax tones. I’ve also been thrown out of alot of stores.

Figure out what the extensions are for most of the departments in the store. Most stores have them written on the phone or next to the phone. If not, just call the operator and ask for the extensions. Using all the extensions you’ve gathered as sort of a template, start making up similar extensions and see what you can find. Then start dialing totally random numbers and see what you get. Continue to do this until you see an angry store manager standing behind you.

In some stores, the operator will notice that the phone you’re using keeps going on and off. This will either make her suspicious or drive her crazy and in both cases, she’ll send someone over to investigate. Really, though, the worst thing that could happen is that you’ll get kicked out of the store. Oh darn. But even that’s pretty unlikely. Just tell them you were trying to figure out how to get some help in that department, then ask if they have any Tickle Me Elmo dolls left.

Fred Meyer Store Phones

Fred Meyer Store Phone

In the mid-90’s, we figured out how to get on Fred Meyer’s overhead paging system from our home phone. We simply called the store and asked them to transfer us to the extension for paging. Once we were on, they couldn’t seem to kick us off and we remained on their intercom for hours at a time. Keep in mind, we were miles away from the store so it was impossible for them to know who was responsible. You can read the details of our remote hijacking by reading our Fred Meyer Hijacking page.

When we did this, the overhead paging extension was 1800. After awhile, Fred Meyer changed the extension in all of their stores to 1810. We’ve checked the extension in many stores in recent years and it seems to be 1810 everywhere we’ve tried now. Unfortunately it can’t be done remotely anymore. You have to be in the store to get on the paging extension, as far as we know.

Wal-Mart Store Phones

Wal-Mart always seems to have a combinations of regular phones and fancy electronic phones throughout their stores. The electronic phones will usually have a paging button on them. But if you come across a regular phone with no speed dials or anything on it, you’ll have to dial the paging extension manually. The extension is #96. Just dial that extension and listen to your voice echo throughout the store.

#980* picks up lines, * being the line number.

Target Store Phones

Target Store Phone

250 – Photo
241 – Food Ave.
229 – Jewelry
255, 256 – Electronics

Staples Store Phones

Staples Store Phone

Matt from Canada says, “To page its (Feature button) 630, manager is 641, and that was about all the good ones the rest were to different phones which will vary. Usually start with 23x.”

Home Depot Store Phones

Home Depot uses a Lucent phone system, plus mobile phones for the employees to carry around. The operator can be reached at extensions 452 and 453. The paging extension is 7#80. You can also dial directly into other Home Depots by dialing 1-700-888 and then the store number of the Home Depot you want to reach.

Office Max Store Phones

More information coming on this one….I SWEAR.

Office Depot Store Phones

More information coming on this one….


86 thoughts on “Fun With Department Store Phones

  • December 13, 2008 at 4:41 am

    OK, here is a fun one but you need to find the number for the Wal-mart headquarters in Bentonville (I cannot remember it). Temperature is controlled by numbered sensors throughout the store and set by the central headquarters. Call headquarters and tell them it is too hot/cood at sensor number(pick a number) ant to adjust it X degrees.

  • December 13, 2008 at 4:42 am

    Oops. you’ll also need the store number to get the thermostat adjusted.

  • December 23, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Walmart security and intercom codes:

    CODE 1: This code is used for SHOPLIFTING!

    CODE 10: Dry Spill.

    CODE 20: Wet Spill.

    CODE 90: Management Needed. That sounds useless.

    CODE 99: This code implies that there is an emergency and all male employees are to immediately stop what they are doing and move to the announced location.

    CODE 300: Security Needed. For grins, call Code 300 to the location you are currently at.

    CODE ADAM: Code Adam is used to report a lost child. Technically, the store is supposed to shut all doors until the lost child is found. This sounds like fun until you realize that you are going to be trapped in a Wal-Mart for hours while they attempt to locate a missing child.

    CODE BLACK: This code is used for severe weather. It’s only used if something severe is happening such as tornadoes are bearing down on the store. All employees are supposed to immediately head to the fitting rooms at the center of the store. Wal-Mart doesn’t like to use this code because it quite frankly, when the employees all leave, it leads to looting.

    CODE BLUE A bomb scare.

    CODE C: Customer service. A customer needs help in a location like housewares.

    CODE GREEN: This code is used when there is a hostage in the store. Ask yourself, do you really want to shop at a store that needs to have a special code for a hostage situation?

    CODE ORANGE: This is for a chemical spill. Water is a chemical.

    CODE RED: This is used in case of a fire!

    CODE WHITE: is used for an injury.

  • February 8, 2009 at 12:26 am

    has anyone tried in-store remote calling
    all you need to do is grab 2 2-way radios
    and make a audio jack convert to a 4-pin phone plug
    and the plug it in, dail the codes and bob’s your uncle

  • February 10, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Meijer, only located in like four states, uses wireless phones and phones. You can dial in from an outside line, but they no longer allow people to connect through the intercom through the outside line. Plus the wireless phones only ring twice when it’s an outside call. Usually the employee answers on the first ring.

    I think it’s #79 for the overhead or else it’s *79 from a wireless and probably the corded phones too. To transfer, hit start then #2 (three-digit) department number. I don’t know on the corded phones. Also, be careful with the corded phones because sometimes there are two or three coded the same one. So someone may pick up a phone in the back and listen in. Red phones don’t work for dialing. An outside line is four digits, but usually service will page “X, call on #xxxx. It’s like 6626 or something. Wireless phones can’t access outside lines anymore except service coordinator or manager phones. Hit 9 or is it (#9) for outside line if the phone can. Many department numbers no longer exist and some are the corded phones.

    A hint to finding the department numbers if there is an outdated list is to look at the shelf tags. If it’s toys, the department number is 770 or 77 so the phone is 477. However, departments are combined so some phones don’t exist. I’ve looked at the list they have next to the phones and wondered how the hell they managed all those phone numbers.

    Stores also group different departments together. Hardgoods: 488, 477, 449. (Sort of a large department. It entails toys, sporting goods, automotive, pets, hardware, paint.) Seasonal – 459 (sometimes pets and automotive too). Media 474. Photo 426 (not wireless). Home 487. Fashion (main) 431. Jewelry/fashion 481. Shoes 491. Grocery 401 and I think 403. Customer service 216. Store director 611. Lost prevention 610 I think. Managers are usually 6 instead of the 4 for their respective departments like photo manager is 626. 614 is service. Some departments are grouped together. 611 is the store director or acting store director. Lanes are grouped together by five or something so like 301 will get you about five lanes. It’s weird. 491 is a corded phone I think. Bakery and deli have corded phones. I think it’s 47 something for the bakery. Service coordinator is 401 if I remember correctly.

    (Hint: There is a corded phone outside in seasonal usually. If you can sneak out there, you can wreck some havoc. I don’t think it’s coded to another phone in the store. Plus some stores don’t turn off their PA systems during the winter or when seasonal closes for the night.)

    You can also plug in a normal phone into an empty jack and access the phones that way. Just don’t get caught.

    You can also usually find wireless phones in employee return carts. Sometimes they will also set them down. Christmas is a great time to steal their phones. Be careful of employees calling the phone frantically. Then dump the phone in a blender so the employee isn’t charged for losing the phone.

  • March 17, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Sams club is #96 but when i tried it in walmart-nothing maybe it is Either #03 #96 #9611

  • January 25, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    How do you find the page extension for a store. Today I wast trying to find it on the phone in wal mart and it didnt have any on there so instead I call and asked to be transfered to that phone and put it on speaker and I stood a couple of isles over but to where I could still see if people were walking by it. Then when some one came I yelled ” your a faggot”

  • March 23, 2010 at 5:33 am

    There’s a lot of stores using Cisco VOIP phones these days (Best Buy, etc.), if you get access to their configuration files you can setup a SOAP push function to page every phone in the store… unfortunately it’s more complicated than many of these other phones. There’s also a reset code (123456789*0#), and unlock code (**#). Using the unlock code (**#), changing the configuration file to point to your home server’s configuration file, and then resetting with the reset code (123456789*0#), you can configure the phones to display any monochrome graphic you program in as the home image (E.g. make BEST BUY phones display WORST BUY, etc.) Unfortunately a lot of times entering the RESET code simply makes the phones stop working. Funny thing.

  • January 16, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    The best one i can think of is go to a walmart and do overhead intercom and make inapropriate comments about employees that you saw earlier. Be sure to include their names

  • July 3, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    My Winn-Dixie store’s extension for overhead paging is 700, not sure if it’s the same for all Winn-Dixies or not. Have fun!

  • July 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Another one that’s loads of fun is hospital codes. It’s helpful to know the codes in the particular hospital, but code blue is the norm for cardiac arrest. Try calling the operator at a hospital and say code blue to somewhere like the gift shop or the cafeteria, maybe even the parking garage. You might even be able to get by with doing it remotely, otherwise there’s often a courtesy phone in the lobby.

  • January 9, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Walmart is now starting to install CISCO IP Phones in their stores, replacing the old AT&T / AVAYA / LUCENT systems that were formerly there. In my store, the page code is #968 or 4444. I’ve seen in my store and other stores that there are CISCO 7960 phones at all the registers / service desks in the store, but the phones on the walls are different (and plenty of them have been removed for some reason). On the CISCO phones you can dial #968 but the wall phones you’ll have to dial 4444 to get on, the PAGING button on the wall phones will not work.

    Final note, some stores still have the AT&T / AVAYA / LUCENT systems in place. The page code for those is still #96 I believe as it was when my store had that system.

  • March 30, 2012 at 8:19 am

    For Ross Department Stores (Toshiba System): #30, or #35 for all-store page. Newer systems have this User Guide above each phone:
    To Page: Lift handset, press the envelope buttonī€Ē, Make page, Hang up.
    To Pickup Held Call: Lift handset. Press Flex button. Enter line number (001,002,003)

    Some helpful extensions:
    200- Customer Service/Register 9.
    201- Register 1/Register 2
    202- Register 3/Register 4
    203-Register 5/Register 6
    204- Register 7
    205- Front Left Column
    206- Back Left Column
    207- Front Right Column
    208- Back Right Column
    209- Fitting Room
    210- Stock Room
    211- Equipment Room
    212- Cash Office
    213- Assistant Manager
    214- Manager

  • May 27, 2012 at 5:01 am

    what if you could just spoof the transfer code remotely and transfer yourself? just an idea.

  • September 24, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Kohl’s stores will have either a Panasonic or Nortel phone system, and usually they will have a marked PAGE button. If this is not the case, for their Panasonic system dial #03 for all-store page, or Feature 630 for Nortel systems.

  • April 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Home Depot is in the process of installing Cisco IP phones in place of their former Avaya system. Depending on the store, the paging override code is still 676, and recorded paging is still 7, when prompted 000 is zone code. I’ve heard some stores the paging override is just 7. In my local store however, paging override is 7, then 80. Have fun!

  • April 2, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    So can someone tell me how to get into the loudspeaker (intercom) at kmart, walmart, safeway

  • July 19, 2014 at 8:15 am

    How can i get on the intercom at dicks good sporting at the firewell mall please help me because I don’t know the code for dicks at firewell mall please help me

  • July 19, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Does 260 intercom code works for dicks at firewell mall please leave a comment how to intercom at dicks at firewell mall

  • August 24, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    HEY!!! i know only 2 of the HomeDepots in California that you can actually hack their PA via home or cell phone and stating your from TechSupport and have them transfer you to the PA…Tell them to hit transfer 7 and transfer again then hit “00” and have fun….

    here are thier numbers :

    (209) 722 2600

    (559) 431 9860

  • May 18, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    This is what guys do when they can’t get laid.

    Try losing a few pounds and getting out some, it’s just a thought holmes.

  • September 15, 2015 at 6:11 am

    Hi, if anyone still reads this page, I found something about the target store wall courtesy phones. Normally, at least in my target, when you pick up the phone it will start ringing and it will say “Press one to page a team member to this location, press 2 to talk to a team member”. Instead of doing one of those, after you pick the phone up, while it is ringing, hold down pound (#) for a second or so and do a hook flash (press and release the switchhook quickly). You will have a dial tone! I tried dialing a 9 for outside line, but I got no second dial tone (it may still work or try 8 for outside line). I tried also dialing a local phone number (with the area code that may be why it didn’t work) and it said something along the lines of “no routes available”. However, you should be able to dial local store extensions (the extension of the phone is written on it). The only extensions I know are 52# (all store page) and 0 (operator).btw, I accept no responsibility for what you do or not do with this information.

  • December 14, 2016 at 2:38 am

    Has anyone tried getting on a cruise ship intercom. I herd it can be done. It would make for some really funny times!

  • April 14, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Safeway store loud speaker is #, 9, then say what you want. I work there in northern CA and they treated me like crap today and I hope this is a bit of revenge. Maybe ask for ” Mike Hunt” in produce.Hell if you wanna just hear what your own voice sounds like give it a try. It usually takes a few seconds for the speaker system to kick in, but pick up intercom phone at any checkstand and, type #,9 I usually tap the bottom of the hand set to make sure it’s on, then tell em there’s a blue light special, anything you want. Fuck em I busted my balls breaking down a 11 board load myself,walked 36,500 steps equalling about 20 miles in an 8 hour shift,according to my S health app, Then got bitched at by manager that my work did not get finished.Fuck facing.They took my helper to help face. Fuck Safeway today! Maybe tomorrow will be better,but hope this helps someone else make some anacharcy on an overworked employees behalf. Hope you enjoy this tidbit of info. Thanks Over worked and underhelped.

  • April 19, 2017 at 10:15 am

    I worked at a Kmart as a kid, way back in the 70’s. They had a “Grill Restaurant” in the back of the store. On one side of the Grill, out of sight of the customers, there were two phones. One was a tan in-house wall phone (with #5 for store paging). The other phone on the wall next to it, was a black 5-line outside telephone. On the OTHER side of the Grill area was a public payphone for customer’s use. So,,,, you’d pick up the house phone, dial paging, and then get an outside line on the black phone and dial the number of the nearby payphone, (the # used to be posted on the dial of every payphone). Then we would hold the tan phone and black phone backwards against each other – microphones to earpieces – and wait. Human nature never failed. A curious customer would never fail to answer that payphone. And then proceed to, in rapidly increasing volume and temper, yell into that payphone “HELLO?,, HELLO!,, WHO IS THIS ?!?!,,, HELLO !?? WHAT THE HELL?!! ,,,,, HELLO,,,, WHO’S THERE?!? “. This tirade, of course, blasting along with feedback,, ALL over the store! Ah, the good old days …..

  • August 18, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Any information on the newer Cisco phones? I read upthread about forcing them to ‘update’ to what you want, has anyone done this? I’d love to give an old job some much deserved payback.

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