411, also known as Information, is a service provided by telephone service providers. The exact services provided vary according to service provider, but generally a call to 411 can connect callers with the numbers of private citizens or businesses that are publicly available through directory assistance or through the phone book. 411 is a paid service and the cost to utilize the service varies depending on the individual customer’s phone service plan, the number of calls to 411 in a billing period, and the customer’s phone service provider. At this time, it does not appear that any service providers provide unlimited 411 plans or bundle a certain number of 411 calls into other paid service plans. In fact, it is important to keep in mind that each call to 411 incurs a fee; it is not a flat-rate service, so that a regular user of 411 could easily incur fees that exceed the amount of their normal monthly cellular or landline service bills.
To access 411, a person dials 411 from a mobile or home phone number. Some people in some service areas may need to dial 1411 to access the service from the home phones or other landlines. Furthermore, the ability to access 411 is not considered an option or an upgrade; it is a basic part of phone service, though there are fees associated with calling 411.
Calling 411 permits you to access certain information. This information varies by provider but can include: local and national directory assistance, yellow pages searches by category, international directory assistance for locations that have 411 service including Canada and Puerto Rico, and reverse directory searches. In addition, some service providers allow you to find out movie listings when you call 411, including what is playing, theater locations, show times, and ratings.
Each 411 call lets the caller select multiple different searches from the menu of services, but the number of searches per caller varies by service provider. For example, AT&T customers can access two services per call, while Verizon customers can access three services per call. You can check with your service provider to find out how many services you can access per single 411 call. In addition, when you call 411, you can choose to be connected to a provided number. However, it is important to keep in mind that if you ask to be connected to a phone number after receiving it from 411, you will be automatically connected and may not receive all three services. In addition, most service providers will not refund the cost of a 411 call if you receive incorrect information from them or if they connect you to the wrong number.
Furthermore, because the services vary by provider not all 411 callers can get the same information. Even customers of the same service provider may receive different information depending on the geographic location of the caller. However, dialing 411 will always get the caller connected with local directory assistance information.
In addition to providing you with the verbal response to your information request, 411 can also text the information to you, provided that you are accessing 411 through a mobile phone.
While undoubtedly convenient, using 411 can become extremely expensive. While various providers charge different rates, you can expect to pay approximately $2 for every call to 411. Furthermore, this charge is in addition to any minutes that you use while on the 411 call. Routine calls to 411 for information can become very expensive. It is possible to block the ability to call 411 from phones, which must be coordinated through your cellular service provider.
Furthermore, while 411 can provide you with basic information, they may not be able to provide the information that you really need. For example, a number of 411 callers are using the reverse directory lookup service to try to find the information for mystery calls received on their phones. While 411’s reverse directory lookup service can provide you with the listed name of the caller, the shady business practices of some of these callers render that information virtually useless. Furthermore, for unlisted numbers, a simple reverse number lookup might not be able to provide the caller with any information.
At Numberguru.com, our reverse directory assistance program provides you with the name and listed address for the number, just like a call to 411. However, we also provide additional information to you by using crowdsourcing to provide information. At Numberguru.com, you can search numbers, but you can also provide information about the number to other callers. Our users have searched almost 30 million phone numbers and have submitted almost 2 million comments about phone numbers.
What does this mean for you? It means that looking up a number of Numberguru.com helps you discover if the person trying to reach you is a telemarketer, a bill collector, or trying to scam you. Furthermore, the comments other users leave may help you learn what type of tactics and pressure the caller will try to use, as well as inform you if the same caller is associated with different phone numbers. That information gives you the power to transform your phone into a tool that serves you, while keeping unwanted callers from connecting with you.
Checking numbers on Numberguru.com also helps ensure that you get the calls you want to receive. So many people are used to letting unfamiliar numbers go to voicemail and refuse to actually answer calls on their phone because of the high percentage of solicitation calls and scams. This problem is only going to increase since telemarketers now have access to cell phone numbers. However, this can mean that you miss out on phone calls that you actually want to receive, simply because you do not recognize the number. Numberguru.com lets you check on the calls you are receiving and determine which ones you want to answer, turning your phone back into a tool that works to make your life easier and better.