Google has launched an experimental service called Google Voice Local Search which makes local-business searches accessible over the phone.
And it’s free. Google doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t charge you a thing for the call or for connecting you to the business. So stop dialing 411 and paying those astronomical Cell phone charges!
Here is a sample call I made to demonstrate:
Sample 800-GOOG-411 Call
To try it yourself, just dial 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411) from any phone.
Here are a few of the features:
- You can find a business listing by category. Just say “pizza,” for example.
- You can send the listing details to your mobile phone via SMS.
- The service is fully automated, so it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t rely on human operators.
- It connects you directly to the business, free of charge. However, your telephone company may apply regular charges for making a phone call or receiving an SMS.
Here is how to use it:
When you are asked for city and state, you can:
- say the city and state like “beverly hills california”.
- say the zip, e.g. “nine-oh-two-one-oh”.
- type the zip code using the key pad, e.g. “9-0-2-1-0”.
When you are asked for a business name or category, you can:
- say a business name, like “Giovanni’s pizzeria”.
- say a category name, like “hardware stores”.
- say “go back” to change city and state.
When browsing through results, you can:
- say the listing number (e.g. “number two”) or press the corresponding key (e.g. “2”) to choose a listing or navigate between results.
- say “text message” or press “9” to receive a text message, when you are calling from a mobile phone.
- say “details” to get more information about the current listing.
- say “start over” or press “*” to start from the main menu.
- say “go back” to change business or category.