If you're near a PC, you can use 411.com for free, but a call to Directory Assistance to get a phone number can cost as much as $2.00.
Google is offering a free phone-based service that should win some friends, and make some enemies. Google Voice Local Search is Google’s experimental service to make local-business search accessible over the phone.
To try this service, just dial 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411) from any phone.
Using this service, you can:
(1) Search for a local business by name or category. You can say "Giovanni's Pizzeria" or just "pizza".
(2) Get connected to the business, free of charge.
(3) Get the details by SMS if you’re using a cellphone. Just say "text message".
Google doesn’t charge you a thing for the call or for connecting you to the business. Regular phone charges may apply, based on your telephone service provider.
Google Voice Local Search is still in its experimental stage. It may not be available at all times and may not work for all users. The Googlers are fine-tuning the service to get better at recognizing your requests. It’s currently only available in English, in the US, for US business listings.
I tried to find the listing for my own company, and was offered a choice of several other companies in my city, with names nothing at all like my company's name.
When I tried to get the number for Sally's -- a famous pizza place in New Haven, I got good results...but the robot doesn't know that in New Haven pizza is spelled apizza and pronounced uh-beetz. The GoogleBot says "ay-piece-uh." Anyway, the number was right and free is a good price.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
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