Monday, October 29, 2007

The 411 on Free Directory Assistance!

October 29, 2007

"I can't believe this!"

Do you call 411 from your cell phone? If so, have I got an idea for you!
This may seem more like a "Saving You Money" idea, but frankly, we're all family here at News 3, and I think this also qualifies under the "Watching Out For You" umbrella. As the Watchdog, I'm always thinking about our viewers. Plus, I just wanted to tell people about it because I think it's so cool.
When I call 411 from my cell phone, it costs me $1.79. (I have AT&T service) I was reading the Chicago Tribune this weekend and noticed this article:,0,5337402.column
In a nutshell, here's how it works:
Use your phone to send a text message to this number: 466453
Before you send it, in the "text" portion of the message, type the words "set location" and then enter your zip code. (Example: set location 89114)
Send the text message.
You should receive a text that says "your default location has been set to Las Vegas", or wherever your zip code is.
I entered Google into my address book as a contact so I don't have to keep typing the number in. (466453 spells out Google-at least it does here on the work phone at my desk.)
Now, you can search on the name of your favorite eatery.
Again, put 466453 as the number you want to text message.
Then enter, say, Chipotle in the area where you write the message.
Hit Send.
It should show you a couple of options and it didn't cost a thing! Plus if you scroll down to the phone number, hit the send key, it should connect you. I have no idea of Google is keeping track of this information, but if they really want to know where I eat ... have at it.
This also works for sports scores. Same number, 466453, then enter a team name (where you normally would write the message) and hit send.
Try typing in the word "weather"
Try typing the word "movies"
Try typing in the name of a stock.
You can also get flight information. If you're flying USAIR, flight #320, you would type this: US 320. If it's Delta 320, DL 320.
If you're charged for each text message, this will cost you. 10 cents maybe, versus $1.79.
The news isn't all good. Mark, the watchdog investigative producer, who has T Mobile phone service, says he can't access the service!

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