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Have you noticed that phone companies charge an arm and a leg for directory inquiries? Last I checked it was well over a dollar at AT&T and the other big boys. I couldn’t just stand around throwing my money away on frivolous things like information. Money should be spent on fun things like alcohol, partying and the such (unless my wife is reading this then lets replace those with Baby Formula, Gucci Bags and Car Payments).

For my first MakeUseOf post I will be taking you through the wonder that is Goog-411. You dial up 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411) from any (US) phone. After you get a friendly Google hello you follow the voice prompts which are extremely intuitive.

GOOG411 - Free directory Inquiries from Google

Start by saying your city and state. You hear the Google engines spinning in the background and then you will be prompted to say what business listing you want (pizzeria, repair shop, Burger King, etc.). They understood me every time even when I put on various accents. I had previously tried out 800-free-411 and they never understood me – it was infuriating!

Now Goog411 will also complete your call for you FOR FREE or send you a text message FOR FREE with your listing, a link to their website, a link to a map and directions or any other information they have. For a list of all the commands check out this page here. This is all easily save-able on your mobile. The service is still in its beta stages and currently has NO ads! Suck it up while you can this is the way most services will be going in the near future. If you are interested in seeing a video demo go to GOOG411 on MUO Directory.

Goog411 currently only works from the US and we got mad love for our international readers so we have Google SMS for you. Well, for most of you. :-)

google-sms.gif Just save 466453 “Google” into your phone and text it with your query and Google will hit you back with all sorts of free information. How about dictionary definitions, calculations, curency exchange rates or movie listings (Google SMS -All Features). Give it a shot – its free minus the cost of the text messages of course.

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Got to love the Google!

For other similar alternatives you can also check out Free411, Dial Directions, and TellMe.

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  1. Las Vegas Escort Services
    December 17, 2009 at 5:37 am

    Google 411 service is a great service and its a simple way to get everything you want.

  2. New Technology Site
    July 25, 2009 at 6:25 am

    it is my first time visiting here, it’s a great site with a great articles, thanks for share.

  3. Tech talks
    July 15, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Great web site. Solid, helpful advice that you can benefit from and for free, it does not get much better than that. The web needs more sites like this one, please keep it up.

    • Elaine Tankersley
      October 13, 2016 at 8:37 pm

      What the previous responder said! Ditto.

  4. Bruce
    August 14, 2008 at 2:35 am

    It's great you use 1-800-411SAVE, guys. I personally wanna commend this service also... the live operators are way too cool versus dumb machines! I love it to pieces!

  5. courtney2011
    August 14, 2008 at 12:30 am

    I’ve experienced several directory assistance services and I just discovered 1-800-411-save. I’ve splurge so much money on getting phone numbers but there are times that I get wrong numbers. Ive just dialled 1-800-411 save a couple of minutes ago and I got a human being on the other end of the line. She got my request very fast and gave me a correct phone number. That is simply amazing, without any charge I will definitely use it again

  6. kevin2970
    August 12, 2008 at 2:31 am

    Just not sure what difference the other has with 1-800-411 SAVE. i have just tried thier service and its FANTASTIC. It's really free. You cant get fast and accurate information thru thier live and friendly operator, may it be business, residential or government listing. They even assisted me with the directions when I got lost yesterday while looking for a restaurant.That was absolutely awesome!..You should give it a try.

  7. PhilSavior
    August 6, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    I just got home the other night from a concert and I was really starving . Unfortunately, most Dominos branches that I tried to call were far from my place. My friend advised me to try using this free 411 service, 1-800-411-SAVE and I the servince was overwhelming. The friendly operators actually found the closest Dominos that I can call and they even send the info thru the SMS in my phone. Talk about convenience!

  8. phillip jackson
    June 17, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    hey guys.... if you are really after free 411 that does business as well as residential numbers.. y'all should try this... dial 1-800-411 7283....it works!!!! fast and friendly operators..go ahead!!! you have nothing to lose... :-)

    • James
      June 27, 2008 at 11:36 am

      This is my favorite of them all except I remember the number as 800-411-SAVE. I love this service, its free, handled by LIVE PEOPLE NOT MACHINES, and its an easy number to remember that can be called from any phone

  9. poleswinger
    February 28, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Personally I preferred 800free411 myself. I like the residential feature as I have so much trouble remembering that stuff. I also never experienced speech recognition problems, maybe it was the background noise for that other guy.

  10. pinetrees10
    February 22, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    I see lots of reference to the GOOG-411 service, which is cool. But I also wanted to point out that there are a growing number of free directory assistance services. There are probably about 8 of them out there now. They offer a variety of features. All except for the one I just read above utilize quite a bit of speech recognition and automation. Some don't offer operators at all; others offer operator back up in some places; others offer operator back-up on every call, in case automation can't find the caller's request. Some play audio ads; some change the listings they'll offer you based on payment from businesses; some do not play any audio ads; some offer SMS ads. Some are better at targeting the ads to what you're actually looking for than others. Some offer mostly on ads that can be played on all calls, regardless of what you're looking for. Some offer call completion on some calls; others do not offer completion. Some focus on business requests, while others allow you to ask for all types of numbers (business, government, or people). Most offer "category" searches (similar to looking in your yellow pages for a listing by category) as well as more traditional directory assistance searches where you know exactly what you want, but just need the phone number for that specific person or business.

    So far, my favorite is 1-800-YellowPages (1-800-935-5697). I think the automation is pretty cool, but I also love the fact that I can always reach an operator when I need one. I have used both the traditional directory assistance search and also the category search. Both have worked well for me. I mostly use this service when I'm out and about - rarely from home. I'll keep trying all of them, because with more competition, they will all need pay attention to being the best at finding what I want as fast as possible - and I am SURE that there will be some really creative, cool new things offered on a bunch of them over time. :-)

    Which free directory assistance phone services have you tried and what things do you like best about each? Do you have more than one free directory assistance service in your mobile phone address book?

    • Leslie
      February 24, 2008 at 7:18 pm

      Have any of you ever tried Microsoft's service ... 1-800-CALL-411 (1-800-225-5411). They also call it Live Search 411. It is, by far, the best Free 411 service out there. The recognition is fantastic, the user interface is natural, they CONNECT you, and they provide OTHER information like Weather, Cheap Gas, Movies and Traffic. IMO, definitely the BEST free 411 service out there. Give it try and let me know if you agree!

  11. J
    February 12, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    I prefer 1-800-INFO-FAST cause it has LIVE OPERATORS and it's FREE!!!! Try it!!!!!

    that's 1-800-463-6327

    The operators are friendly and are based out of Idaho not India

    They offer business, residential, and government listings, and they'll connect you to any business for free!!!

  12. AskTheAdmin
    December 17, 2007 at 10:28 am

    Hi Paul,

    I have tried both and I prefer Goog411. My main reason was your service did not understand me most of the time (maybe due to background noise) but Goog411 got it right almost every time. I would be willing to give it another go - any tips?

    As for residential and live operator support - most of the time this is NOT what I need. I need business information and quickly.

    Karl L. Gechlik
    http://www.askTheAdmin.com

  13. Paul
    December 14, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Hi all - I'd just like to stand up for 1-800-Free411 here. We've actually got two key advantages over Google: 1) business, residential and government listings (as opposed to just business); 2) live operator support in most locations (google doesn't offer this to my knowledge). Why not give both a try and see for yourself?

  14. Karl L. Gechlik
    December 14, 2007 at 8:06 am

    Thanks Brainiac the whole MUO crew is great! I feel right at home here :)

  15. Brainiac
    December 12, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    Congrats on your first MUO article. GOOG411 is awesome, it saved me tons of cash. Not sure about other services though, never tried them.

  16. Mark O'Neill
    December 12, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    Just a heads up for our German readers - I tried accessing Google SMS through their German page - http://www.google.com/intl/de_de/mobile/index.html - it seems that Google SMS in Germany operates differently from other countries. In Germany, you have to navigate to the Google SMS page on your mobile phone and click on a link you see there!

    Doesn't this kind of defeat the whole purpose of Google SMS? If you had an internet connection on your phone, why would you need to use Google SMS?

    So don't do this unless you have a special plan with the phone company to surf the web on your phone! Personally if I access the web on my phone, it costs the equivalent of $2 a minute!

    • Aibek
      December 12, 2007 at 8:44 pm

      I agree, if it says SMS it should be via SMS. :-)

      Although, I am quite sure that they offered an SMS access number before. :?

  17. Frango
    December 12, 2007 at 8:46 am

    Great post Karl!! It's great that you've joined makeuseof.com. Now I am getting more and more of my great time savers and kewl apps, ideas and software all in one spot. Great website by the way. Lookin forward to reading whatcha got to say!!

    Welcome!!

  18. Mike
    December 12, 2007 at 7:37 am

    Great post Karl. Keep up the good work. The Goog411 line has been spreading around my office pretty deeply, people are starting to use this service. I'll be sure to send them this way for some enlightenment.

  19. Karl Gechlik
    December 12, 2007 at 7:25 am

    Thank you for the kind words Linda! And I loved the comment you left on http://www.askTheAdmin.com it's going in the next AtA PR Kit!

  20. Linda Martin-Peoples
    December 12, 2007 at 4:59 am

    Welcome Karl!
    It's great to see you here!
    And thanks for the heads-up...great post!
    ~Linda~
    Love your site by the way!