I was just wondering if anyone has tried this yet and if there's any catch - it sounds like the type of thing that would have some strings attached.
I believe the catch lies in forced advertising... it goes something like this:
Let's say you need the number of a restaurant because you want to call ahead and put your name on the waiting list. We'll use Applebee's as our example.
You call up 1-800-FREE-411 and ask for the number of the Applebee's restaurant nearest you. The FREE-411 operator says, "sure - one moment please." The operator then cues up an advertisement for Chili's restaurant. At the end of the advertisement, the FREE-411 operator asks you if you'd rather be connected to Chili's instead.
If you say, "no- just give me the dang Applebee's number" then the FREE-411 operator will point out that Chili's has a similar menu and ask again if you want Chili's instead. If you reject Chili's a second time, then they will put you through to Applebee's like you wanted.
So, if you're willing to be inconvienenced by listening to a 45second comercial folllowed by a hard sell while waiting for them to look up the number you want, then it's an OK service. If you'd rather just get the number you wanted in the first place, you are better off with the regular 411 service.