February 4, 2006
Free Directory Assistance (411)
1-800-FREE411 (1-800-373-3411) really works, and it's free to you.
The catch: a 12 second advertisement of a local business that plays before you get assistance -- if it competes with the number you've requested. You then get to choose whether to stay with the business you've originally requested, or opt to call its advertising competitor.
Not calling a business? No ad.
The service also provides the option of connecting by pressing a single number on your keypad, rather than writing the number down or holding it in short-term memory.
When I called, there was a number of rings before the call connected. However, I got a real human being on the line. Big plus. And, I asked for a friend's residence number. The automated number immediately popped up; it was correct; and it repeated twice, so I had more than enough time to get the number in my head and dial it myself.
Why is it free? The advertisers are paying for it. Good for them.
Source: Snopes.com, mercola.com