Free 411 service

We have T-Mobile as our wireless carrier, and it bothers me to no end that we must pay $1.49 every time we dial 411 for directory assistance. They say there are extra perks with their service:


First, they allow you to check for up to three numbers per call. Second, they will automatically connect you at no extra charge (I should hope so). But, really, how practical is that three-for-one 411 deal when you’re driving? Not that any of you drive while talking on the cellphone. Plus, they can’t connect you to the first number or you’re out of luck on asking for the next two freebies…”Yes, please…Hey, no, wait — Dang!”.

And unless you have an extraordinary memory for phone numbers, you’re going to have to write ’em down if you do ask for three. Connecting you to the last of three numbers doesn’t help too much if you’re already swerving all over the road while trying to jot down the first two numbers on a McDonald’s napkin in your lap. Not that you eat McDonald’s. And not that you use your cellphone while driving.

A friend e-mailed me about the Free 411 directory assistance number. This is different than the toll-free directory assistance found at 1-800-555-1212, for that only lets you find toll-free numbers. This service, found at 1-800-FREE411 (for those keypad-challenged, like me, that’s 1-800-373-3411), is a regular directory assistance for both white and yellow pages.

Yes, it’s for real. Snopes.com, my favorite hoax-busting website, confirms this. There’s no trick, no hidden nastiness. Advertisers pay the service to play short audio ads for callers. I can deal with that.

One caveat: It will save you money, but it doesn’t solve the swerving-all-over-the-road problem. It may, in fact, add to the problem since you must now dial ten digits instead of three. Not that you would attempt this while driving. Just add it to your contacts list and assign a speed dial number to it.

This entry was posted in Techie.

4 thoughts on “Free 411 service

  1. Lordy no. I would never eat McDonalds, or talk on my cell phone while driving, or try to call a ten digit number. No way!

    Come to think of it, I’ve probably done all three at the same time – eat a bite of fish sandwich, dial the ten digit number, and then talk away! Oh, I am bad!

  2. I have several free 411 numbers on my speed dial for when I am NOT making phonecalls and eating frenchfries while I drive. The first one is the number at work where there is a phone book in the top drawer and always someone there to look up a number for me….that is their job isn’t it? LOL (Hey, they do it to me too!)

    The second is my husbands cell phone so he can look up a number for me if he is not with me.

    The third is my Mom but I try not to use her because her lecture about talking on the phone while driving lasts longer than any advertisement.

    So maybe this should become my new option number three and make Mom option number four….for those times when I am Not driving, eating and talking on the phone at the same time…

  3. It also works from the Home Phone where they ALSO charge you to find that number for the Pizza Hut that moved last Tuesday & didn’t change the Sunday ad. Not that any of us eat at Pizza Hut …….

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