Convenience costs Americans big-time, from bagged salad at the grocery store to automatic carwashes to house-cleaning services.
Another convenience is dialing directory assistance whenever you need a phone number. It can be incredibly expensive for what you get. Some directory-assistance services cost nearly $2.50 per request.
And many Americans are using the services, according to research firm TNS Telecoms. A survey showed 41 percent of customers used some kind of directory assistance on their home or wireless phone over the past month. And, clearly, many of those lookups were not free.
The good news is that spending on directory assistance can be virtually eliminated because there are so many other ways -- some old, some very new -- to get phone numbers.
Here's the 411 on reducing directory-assistance calls on your home and wireless phones:[Comment: This article makes a number of good suggestions including a few I didn't know about, and I can honestly say that in my entire lifetime I have never once paid for a directory assistance call, so I thought I already knew most of the ways to get free telephone number lookups. At the same time, they do miss a fairly obvious way to get a number when you are calling a company -- go to the company's web site and look for a "Contact" or "About us" type of link. Very often there will be one or more contact telephones posted right on the company's web site. And if you don't need to make the call right away and have an e-mail address for the person you want to call (or a friend or business associate), using e-mail to request the number is another option.]
Full story at:[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: One very inexpensive directory service is a sponsor here at this Digest:
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!
After you sign up with them, then your telephone number (or a few different numbers under your control go on their records. Then you dial an 800 number for directory assistance. ANI allows them to charge that phone number for your call; after a few dollars in calls or at least once per month, your credit card is charged at 65 cents per one or two inquiries. No set up charges of any kind, and the 65 cent rate is the least expensive rate for directory assistance anywhere. Plus which, a portion of that 65 cents comes back to this Digest as a donation. Please consider signing up; no set up fees and no minimum use requirements. PAT]