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The Free 411 Hack: Free Calls to the USA!

This is a cool hack that’s been discussed in some techie circles recently: (i.e., DIGG, and even mentioned here at PTB).

You can dial the 1-800-FREE-411 toll-free directory assistance number, which will then connect you to the party you intend to call.

The service is driven a speech-assisted prompt system, which falls back into a human-operated directory service when all else fails. Very cool, if you ask me.

Your only limitation is that you can only connect to people whose telephone numbers are listed. And some local telcos may have already blocked this toll-free number, with knowledge that users can bypass the usual IDD (read:expensive) route.

I tried calling a relative this morning via Skype. Yes, you can dial 1-800 numbers using SkypeOut–for free! So I key in +18003733411, and I was greeted by these prompts below. I was calling a residential number, so go figure what my responses probably were.

  1. Please speak the city and state of the person you are calling.
  2. Are you calling a business, residence or a government office?
  3. Please speak the last name of the person you are calling.
  4. I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get that … Please speak the last name and spell out the first three letters of the name.
  5. I only have one listing for that name, and it is [speaks the Filipino name with an American twang]. Is this correct?

Then the computer speaks out the number and tells me I will be connected to the party if I wait a while. All for free.

Cool, huh?

The service is actually ad-supported, and that’s what makes it free. Sometimes a few seconds’ advert would be played before the call is connected. But if you’re calling from outside of the US, I think it’s well worth it.

Use Skype! It’s clear even thru dialup connections. Beat that, PLDT!

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  • Can I use to call mobile phone numbers in the US?

  • I believe so. But I haven’t tried it myself. And the likelihood of listed mobile numbers is less than that of landlines.

    But it’s worth a try.

  • Ad support may well become traditional telephony’s last stand before VoIP kills it. =D

  • if i am not mistaken, i think they got that idea from a company in canada, i forgot the name of the company but i believe they are canadas # 1 position holder in canada’s profit 100 year 2004 (i read it because the person i work for is the # 3 position holder).. or probably its the same company..

    if you havent noticed (or probably you do) the latest trend in business in america today is that, they will give you something free, but not ad-free, i.e, website, domain, chat privilleges, email, phone calls, television, radio, cable networks, and just recently, movies (sunsilk touch flick, but i guess me bayad d2 sa phil)..

  • Kevin

    It WORKS….I have been using it from home and my cell……NO ads yet and I actually got a person twice today……Let’s hope it lasts because this is saving me a TON of $$$$$!!!!!

  • super_piyok

    hey angelo, pwede din ba sa canada? pano po ag gagawin ko, pls help me.. because my gf lives in ontario canada… der tita’s number is +19057926690.. pano po ang gagawin ko? +1800 muna before the 7926690? ganun po ba? thanks.. GODBLESS bro pls reply nmn po.

  • jade

    guys.. i am working in a company and i have good news for you.. we have this unlimited call service.. from u.s.a. to Philippines… we have monthly plans, $45/month (you can call from 9p.m-7a.m u.s. time). we also have a $65/month plan that will give your u.s relatives full access 24 hours a day.. as in unlimited calling!!

    if you are interested email me at [email protected] or you can contact me at +639283091094

    hope i can help, but if you think you don’t consume as much as $45/ month on calls… then it’s ok… you have all the right to reject this offer.. get me? if it will help you, why not? if it won’t, then why yes? =)


  • i trided to skype out it didnt work for me im trying to call the philppines in binan laguna it did not let me make the call is there a nother way to do ot thank howard gill

  • Tom

    I use it all the time and I also found a new Interantional one called Talkitup, they are letting you call internationally for free
    take a look at talkitup.50megs.com

    I love this place.


  • Just received my Verizon Cell Phone Bill and had been charged $2.98 for two calls I made to the supposedly free information number 800 373-3411! Verizon said these calls are not always free and it is a third party from them. I said if I was going to pay why would I have been willing to listen to the ads! Verizion did credit the charges but, could not assist me in understanding or finding out more information about this “toll free assistance”. Is this a scam?

  • neomace

    When I connect it doesn’t offer to connect, apparently it sends the number to my mobile phone O.o

    What am I doing wrong T.T need help guys
    (P.S calling from UK)

  • mark

    meron po bang libreng tawag sa internet to phone? kung meron po paki email sa akin, salamat…

  • Paul

    I’ve got a callback hack! Just ring 4 times this number: 00423697497094 and they will call you back. You type the number you want to reach and the connaction is done! The only thing is that no more than 4 minutes, they cut the connaction after 4 minutes, but it works for mobile also!

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  • hasan

    Not workin’ with me,
    when i get there it jst say, “read it or repeat it” (the number)
    how to make call to that US number>?

    please help!

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  • pls i have been tyring it and is not going through although am not in us..pls can you help me out plllllssssss

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