Phone companies are charging us $1.00 or more for 411 directory assistance calls. Rather than paying this, simply dial 1-800-FREE-411 (800 373 3411), and find phone numbers without incurring any charge, except for the minutes required to make a mobile call. Jingle Networks provides the free directory assistance to any phone user or internet user. Here’s how it works:
Callers dial the toll-free number 1-800-FREE 411 and navigate through an automated voice recognition system that asks for a location (city and state), type of listing (business, government, or residential), and name.
Once the service has located an entry for the requested number, it reads the information aloud and also offers the caller the option of connecting immediately by pressing a number on the telephone keypad.
So who pays for the service, you ask? Their advertisers do.
Businesses sponsor short ads (about 12 seconds long) that are played to callers who request a business phone number. It is often a competitor of the business originally requested. But chances are also good that no advertisement is played at all — if no advertisers have signed up that match your requested business.
Snopes.com made three separate trial calls to 1-800-FREE411 asking for information on different local businesses: "In each case the voice recognition system smoothly processed all our spoken information and correctly identified the businesses of interest. In only one trial out of the three were we presented with an audio advertisement."
If you are in the car trying to finish your holiday shopping, 1-800-FREE 411 is a great way to find information about stores in your area, without spending a wad of dollars on the effort. (Thanks to GNN supporter, Dale-Grateful in Texas, for submitting the story idea!)