A new sponsor for the Digest are the people who provide _free_ directory assistance in exchange for you listening to one or more ten second audio commercial messages. I say 'one or more' since you get one commercial message played to you in exchange for a free directory assistance listing. After hearing the message, and receiving the requested number, if you stay on the line and listen to a _second_ message of equal length (another ten-second blurb) then the call is completed for you at no additional charge. At the present time, there is no limit on teh length of the call, which means you first dial in on their toll-free 800 number, listen to the message, pass the request, receive the information, _then remain on the line_ hear a second message, and your call is completed at no charge. I am not positive, but I think the outgoing call is completed via VOIP; there is no way they could give out 'more expensive' calls (via landline) in this program.
A special promotion for readers of the Digest:
To show you how it works, and how simple it is, for the indefinite future you can make calls _directly from this web site_. You need to have either a computer audio card (i.e. Skype software installed) -or- you need to have a landline phone nearby for your convenience. For example, I have a phone and a headset right here on my desk next to the copmputer. You go toand look in the far right-hand column where the advertisers/sponsors are listed. Look at the item marked 'no cost 411' and you will see two 'hot links' as part of the message, one marked 'more information', the other marked to 'make a call'.
Click on 'make a call' and a pop-up window will appear asking you to fill in the phone number you wish to be called back on. Fill it in, and hit the 'GO' button. Your nearby phone (or VOIP phone attached to the computer) will ring instantly. Pick it up or turn it on. You will hear chimes and the 'free 411 metro' announcement. Respond to the robot as requested ('business or personal listing?';'what city and state?' and 'what listing?')You may be asked to 'hold for an operator' if the robot does not know what to do. After the human operator (or the 'bot) gives the desired number and exits the line, just stay put ... in two or three seconds (after a pause to see if you are going to hang up or not) another ten second advertising message is played out, and the number you were calling begins to ring. Talk as long as you wish, hang up when you are finished with the call. No charge!
The first part of this (give your phone number, get a call back and such) is only needed because you are using a 'direct line' (i.e. java script) connection to infreeda.com. You can leave that part out if you dial direct from your own phone 1-800-411-METRO. If you press the second button (more information) or the 'Thinking Voice' logo at the botton of the first button then you will get information on how to install one of these 'direct connect' buttons for your own web site. As it is configured, the 'direct connect' button rings back to the number you gave it and you are speaking to.
Here is the script used to implement all this: (everything between the XMP (example) and /XMP (/example) marks)
Now if you want to have a 'phone booth' sort of thing for your web site users, just copy the above. You will need to copy the 'TELECOM-banner.jpg' over to your own directory somewhere where your script can find it.
Of course, do not let this fancy 'call from a web page' thing keep you from programming your own phone dialer with 1-800-411-METRO (6387) or getting one of the intercept devices Mike Sandman sells through his catalogespecially if you have a large number of users calling '411' on your money. (Hook Mike's interceptor devices at the head of your PBX, etc so they will catch all the outbound traffic to 411.