verizon wireless 411 directory assistance stinks

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First i dont have a smart phone and really dont want one.
i have kept verizon all these years because directory assistance worked great.....
untill recently. they have tried to automate it. making it nearly useless.
i complained at a verizon store the manager said and I quote. that service is provided by a contractor and verizon has no control over it..... yeah sure. I pay 2 bucks per 411 call so why make it unusable?
I asked the idiot store manager for a verizon CEOs complaint contact number. the gal said there isnt one.
the gal added if you want to complain futher contact your congressman...
so i am shopping for a new cell phone provider. or a paid 411 service that has humans and really works
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On 1/20/2016 9:04 PM, bob haller wrote:

Get a smart phone and the Yellow Pages app and look up the number yourself. I've not used 411 in 20 years.
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here's bit of useful info for cells that most people don't know
For all the folks with cell phones. (This should be printed and kept in your car, purse, and wallet. Good information to have with you.)
There are a few things that can be done in times of grave emergencies. Your mobile phone can actually be a life saver or an emergency tool for survival. Check out the things that you can do with it: FIRST (Emergency) The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile network and there is an Emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly, this number 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked. Try it out. SECOND (Hidden Battery Power) Imagine your cell battery is very low. To activate, press the keys *3370#. Your cell phone will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery. This reserve will get charged when you charge your cell phone next time. THIRD (How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone? ) To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following Digits on your phone: *#06# A 15-digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe. If your phone is stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.
And Finally.... FOURTH (Free Directory Service for Cells) Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or more for 411 information calls when they don't have to. Most of us do not carry a telephone directory in our vehicle, which makes this situation even more of a problem. When you need to use the 411 information option, simply dial: (800) FREE411 or (800) 373-3411 without incurring any charge at all. Program this into your cell phone now. This is sponsored by McDonalds.
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On 1/21/2016 12:15 AM, ChairMan wrote:

http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/household/cellphones.asp
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I just called 112 on a smart phone without a sim card and it works, I got an emergency operator.
*3370# doesn't do anything.
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On Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 9:22:53 PM UTC-5, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

My last call the Verizon 411 was probably 15 years ago too. I'm pretty sure it was the last one. I only used it maybe a couple times a year even then. But the last call was memorable because I got a $100+ charge for airtime for that call. Somehow the call didn't disconnect properly and they billed me for the airtime minutes for like an hour and a half.
So, I call up Verizon and the CSR tells me it's not their problem, I should take it up with whoever I made the call to. Duh! It's Verizon that I made the call to. Even worse, I was left wondering what happened, is my phone defective, will it happen again and be $1000, etc. Explaining all that, I said I guess I have no choice but to turn off this phone and get rid of Verizon. CSR: I'll be happy to help you with that...
Finally I asked for supervisor. He immediately understood that an hour and a half call to 411 made no sense. He had me on hold for about 15 mins while he got a hold of engineering to find out what had happened and make sure it didn't happen again. Then he took the charge off.
I finally got rid of Verizon, switched to Virgin Mobile and got a smartphone. Should have done that a long time ago. When I switched, it would have cost me $80 for the lowest cost smartphone plan at Verizon. I went over to Zact, which became VM, and paid ~$12 a month.
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| Get a smart phone and the Yellow Pages app and look up the number | yourself. I've not used 411 in 20 years.
Or he can save the $80/month for a computer phone *and* $2/per call on his phone by just looking up numbers online. (Re-read his post. The first line said he doesn't want a computer phone.)
On the other hand, anyone who's willing to pay $2 to get someone else to look up a phone number for them is someone I want to talk to about the bridge I'm putting on sale next week. :)
However one does it, phone number lookup just isn't what it used to be. With most people using computer phones and most of those unlisted, there are not a lot of numbers that can be looked up. And the Yellow Pages gets smaller every year. Why pay them for ads when potential customers are going to Yelp or doing an online search? Likewise with YP online. They're often not much help.
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I am the OP, and have a small business fixing office equiptement.
so the customer calls, leaves a long message, and rushes thru their actual call back number,
while driving to my next stop, i call 411 to get the number, which verizon texts to me, so i can add it to me phone book.
but since i drive all day stopping to use a smart phone isnt practical...
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On Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 11:10:17 AM UTC-5, bob haller wrote:

Why do you have to stop to use a smart phone?
Dialing is dialing. In fact, with a smart phone, you could even set it up for voice dialing, voice texting, voice just-about-everything. That's even safer than dialing your flip(?) phone.
What am I missing?
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On Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 2:26:47 PM UTC-5, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Not clear how one gets the call back number from 411 either. When someone leaves a voicemail mesg with a call back number, it could be any number, so what number do you ask 411 for? Even if it's all businesses you deal with, I would think some people would leave their cell phone # as the call back. And like you say, even with my old non-smart phone, the phone log had a list of missed calls. One would think between listening to the voicemail and then looking at the log, if the call is on there, you could easily figure out which one it was. Also there are apps like Youmail, that most carriers systems will support, that lets you see a list of all your voicemails, you can then tap on any one to listen to them in any order, see who they are from, what number, etc. Youmail also has voice to text, how well that works though, if it can accurately change the number left of voicemail into text, IDK.
I can't imagine being in a business, on the road, and not having a smartphone. Simple example, if you needed to pull up a data sheet, a manual, find a price, etc, you can do it on a smartphone. Not as convenient as on a PC or an iPad, but if you need to read one or two pages, it can easily save the day, save an additional trip, etc.
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On Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 2:58:47 PM UTC-5, trader_4 wrote:

I use my smartphone to search for webpages, products, info, etc. quite often, but if I know that I will need to do more than a quick lookup, I'll bring my iPad into the store/whatever and then use the Mobil Hotspot feature on my phone.
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I like to be able to record calls using a smart phone, especially when someone gives me messed up directions for how to get somewhere.
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On Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 11:10:17 AM UTC-5, bob haller wrote:

Whoops, forgot to mention this:
Most calls that I get to my smart phone display the number on the screen, and also save it in my call log. You could save both the call and the fee if you had a smart phone.
As an aside, have you tried 1-800 (888 or 866)-FREE411 [373-3411], instead of paying Verizon just to get a phone number. Yeah, you have to listen to a quick ad before you can get the number, but they're not that annoying. Better than paying for the number, IMO.
You may have to pay for a low-end data plan, so it would be up to you to run the numbers (no pun intended) and see if they work for your business. Perhaps you could write it (or part of it) off as a business expense.
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On 1/21/2016 2:34 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

I cannot imagine anyone on the road on a regular basis not having a smart phone and GPS. When I spent a few years in sales, I had to look for phone booths, call the office for messages, etc. So much easier now.
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On Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 3:33:13 PM UTC-5, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I bet if Bob tried one, he'd find that it's very useful. When the minimal plans were $100 a month, that was a barrier for many people. But now when you can get plans from the majors for $35 and from the not so majors for half that, it makes it a lot easier. I wonder how much those $2 411 calls plus his plan for a non-smartphone cost him a month? You also don't have to buy a brand new smartphone that costs $500 or go on a two year plan. Many carriers have refurbished phones, they are available on Ebay, etc and you can go with a prepaid, non-contract plan.
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| I cannot imagine anyone on the road on a regular basis not having a | smart phone and GPS. When I spent a few years in sales, I had to look | for phone booths, call the office for messages, etc. So much easier now. |
I'm surprised at how many people say that. All those years with map companies printing maps and it turns out very few of us actually knew how to read them.
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On 1/21/2016 6:51 PM, Mayayana wrote:

I carried state maps and street maps of all the major cities in my territory. Had a bunch of them. Now it is all in a 3 x 5 gadget that even tells you what side of the street.
I still look at the paper maps to get an overview of where I'm going. Sometimes I prefer a route that what the GPS is telling me to do. I often don't even turn it on until the last few miles.
I can drive from my home in CT to most any major city and never look at a map. The GPS is handy though, to find 21 Park Street once you are close.
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On Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 9:15:38 PM UTC-5, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

More importantly, a smartphone or GPS can quickly give you the best route to your desired destination and talk you through it while you're driving. You can't be reading maps and driving safely at the same time. Plus there's a detailed street level map for you wherever you happen to be. Just finding the correct map out of a whole book for the street area you wanted was a pain. And if you travel to any city, you'd have to have a map book for there too. With a SP, it's all there at your fingertips.
People who haven't actually used one don't realize how well and how seamless it works. You can google for a business, find it, then with one more tap, place a call to it or with a couple taps start the navigation with voice driving directions to it.
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| Most calls that I get to my smart phone display the number on the screen, | and also save it in my call log. You could save both the call and the fee | if you had a smart phone.
One doesn't need a computer phone to see who called. I have a $10 Tracphone (which I turn on when I absolutely must) and it displays numbers. So does my home phone.
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| so the customer calls, leaves a long message, and rushes thru their actual call back number, | | while driving to my next stop, i call 411 to get the number, which verizon texts to me, so i can add it to me phone book. | I don't get it. You don't know your customer's number? If they're leaving you a new number then how would you get it through 411? And why doesn't your phone show the number of the person who called.
I've been finding an increasing problem with people leaving messages I can't understand, too. They call from a cellphone while they're doing two other things. Half the time the call isn't even really making it through. But they don't know because they're not paying attention. So I call the number from CallerID and leave a message explaining that I couldn't make out their message. It's very ironic that so many people are constantly on phones but very few people are prepared to actually complete a phone call.
I almost never use a cellphone. As a contractor I'm not expecting -- and not interested in -- emergency calls. Even if I had a phone with me I wouldn't interrupt work to answer it. I'm working! :) People can call my home phone and I'll call back when I get home.
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