Even with the wonders of smartphones, VoIP software, satellite broadband and transoceanic fiber optic cables, finding the correct phone number for a business or individual can be a huge bottleneck in communication.
For wired folks, entering “phonebook: name, city, state” in Google’s search field answers this need, but, in our experience, dialing “411″ from a phone has long been the most dependable means of getting directory assistance, albeit a costly one.
Just dial 1-800-FREE411 (1-800-373-3411) or visit the Web site and follow the computer-assisted directions.
How does it work? In our experience, pretty well. While Jingle Networks (the company that owns and operates the service) indicates that in the future advertising will preface the service, for now many calls go ad-free while the company signs up advertisers. Of course, if the number isn’t listed, you’ll need to look beyond 411 services entirely.
You can hear more about Free411 in this podcast at TalkCrunch, where Michael Arrington speaks to CEO George Garrick and early investor Josh Kopelman about Jingle Network’s financing and the Free-411 business in general.