By Peter J. Howe, Globe Staff | March 28, 2005
As Verizon prepares to nearly quadruple the price for calling 411
Friday, to $1.25, a North Carolina company that sells a discount
directory-assistance alternative plans a big promotion: free calls for
everyone in Massachusetts for the day.
Starting Friday, barring a highly unlikely last-minute intervention by
state regulators, Verizon is raising the price for calling 411 to
$1.25 from 34 cents. Customers will, however, continue to get 10 free
calls a month before they start paying the fee.
In response, 411Saver, a company based in Maggie Valley, N.C., plans
to offer unlimited free directory assistance calls to Bay State
residents between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday. It is setting up a special
number for the day: 1-866-MASS-411 (1-866-627-7411).
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Here at the Digest, we offer a
directory assistance alternative which is quite affordable and easy
to use. Plus which, the Digest benefits from your use of the service.
DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE JUST 65 CENTS ONE OR TWO INQUIRIES CHARGED TO
YOUR CREDIT CARD! REAL TIME, UP TO DATE! SPONSORED BY TELECOM DIGEST
AND EASY411.COM SIGN UP AT http://www.easy411.com/telecomdigest !
Just as an example of how it works, at the above link, you register
the telephone number or numbers you normally call from. Then ANI is
used to capture that number each time you use the toll free number.
It is a real, live, up to date service bureau, meaning changes and new
additions are updated at least once per day. To hear a sample
directory assistance call, listen to
http://www.easy411.com/Easy411_call.wav. You just dial the 800 number
(maybe assign it to a speed dial position) then give your one or two
requests. Your credit card (based on the information you give them
when you register for the service) gets billed 65 cents each time
around, in reasonable billing increments with no minimum charges of
any kind. Instead of dialing '411' for directory, you use our 800
number. And, the Digest gets a few cents 'commission' on each call
you make. No equipment or any changes needed to your phone system,
except you may with to put it on a speed dial entry. Let me know how
it works for you if you choose to use it. PAT]