Free Directory Assistance Tips

Offering tips to save you money on your wireless service is just another great benefit you enjoy with Consumer Cellular. Here’s information that can help you avoid a fee you may not even know about: you can enjoy free directory assistance.

Directory assistance is offered nationwide by mobile carriers by dialing 4-1-1 on your cellphone. Through either a live operator or an automated system, directory assistance uses custom database software to locate listings, and connect you to the party you wish to reach.

Here’s How to Get Free 411

Many users probably don’t realize that dialing 4-1-1 for directory assistance on your cellphone accrues a service fee—and also uses valuable minutes on your monthly wireless plan.

But here’s the good news: you can actually reach directory assistance for free.

Just dial 1-800-FREE-411 (or 1-800-373-3411) from your phone instead. This version of directory assistance is advertiser sponsored, so you’ll have to listen to a 10-second ad before you reach an agent. But the service is easy to remember, simple to use, and best of all, free.

How to Use Free Directory Assistance

Save the number as a contact in your phone so it’s there whenever you need it! It’s an easy way to save money—and minutes—the next time you need to find a number but don’t have Internet access or a smartphone nearby. Using directory assistance is a real convenience—and using free 411 makes it even better.

140 Thoughts on "Free Directory Assistance Tips"

  1. Patsey says

    Great consumer tip, I’ve added this to my Contacts. Thanks!

    reply to Patsey

  2. Linda says

    Thank you for this tip. I paid for two directory assistance calls last month. This will come in handy in the future!

    reply to Linda

  3. Keith Johnson says

    Great tip! Thank you.

    reply to Keith

  4. Gloria Devine says

    Thanks for the tip, I made note of it.

    reply to Gloria

  5. Pat F. says

    Thanks for the tip, very helpful

    reply to Pat

  6. Merl Darnell says

    Thanks for the tip

    reply to Merl

  7. Michael Koshay says

    This Blog and this tip is good to know. Thank You

    reply to Michael

  8. Sharon Hopkins says

    Thanks for the tip. I did not know this. It will surely come in handy.

    reply to Sharon

  9. Kathleen says

    Thank you so much, this is a great service to have, I am adding number to my phonebook right away, and I will also give the number to my Mother, I assume it works with any cell phone. Thanks again Pat.

    reply to Kathleen

  10. KC Danahy says

    First day! Thank you for the tip.

    reply to KC

  11. Frances says

    Just added to my phone. Thanks..

    reply to Frances

  12. T McDaniel says

    Excellent information. Can it be used for a land line as well?

    reply to T

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      It can also be used for a land line! Thank you for the question!

      reply to Ashley

      • Janet says

        The site cannot understand the last name when I speak it. Wouldn’t it be better if last name is spelled out?

        reply to Janet

        • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

          You can certainly give that a try, Janet! Let us know if you this works better for you.

          reply to Ashley

          • Jackie says

            The service doesn’t “hear” and transpose the information correctly. There should be a way to enter the first and last name via key pad – otherwise this is a waste of time…welcome your suggestions.

          • Hi Jackie, thank you for your feedback on this. At this time, we actually use a third-party group for our directory assistance but I’m happy to pass along your feedback and suggestion on for the future. What I can suggest is making sure anything that is spoken on the phone to the automated system is done so slowly and clearly to make sure it’s understanding you correctly.

  13. Harold says

    The service is all recording and is terrible.

    reply to Harold

  14. Barry Karas says

    Free Directory Assistance (800-373-3411) is awful terrible.

    reply to Barry

  15. Dennis says

    This is the MOST FRUSTRATING call you will ever make. There is no live operator, and the computer you speak to cannot understand what you tell them, which means you spend 5 minutes trying to make the stupid thing understand whose number you want.

    reply to Dennis

    • LOU says

      I agree whole heartedly with your complaint. When they first started this service, there was a live person to help if the computer didn’t help. There is no one at this number to register a complaint.

      reply to LOU

      • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

        We apologize for any frustration, Lou. Our team is happy to assist customers over the phone at 888-345-5509, but we’re very sorry for any wait that you experienced while trying to reach us. If you would like to send an email regarding your experience or if you have some feedback for us, you can reach out to us at [email protected]. This is also a good option if you have any questions about your phone or account if a phone call is inconvenient. Thank you again for your patience, and for taking the time to comment.

        reply to Ashley

    • KATHY says

      you are right!

      reply to KATHY

      • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

        Thank you for taking the time to post, Kathy. We’re sorry to hear that the Free 411 service didn’t work well with you. We do offer a paid version of 411 that you can use as well. We appreciate you sharing your experience!

        reply to Ashley

    • Mildred Benton says


      You must be frustrated (I know I would be). It must have something to do with the time of the day that u reach out, however, it has been quite the
      Opposite for me. Someone always comes on the line. I wonder what’s happening? Hmm….

      reply to Mildred

    • Cindy says

      Almost 5 years later and it’s still crappy to say the least. It didn’t understand anything I said. I spoke as slow as I could. Should be a way to use the keypad to type in what you’re looking for.

      reply to Cindy

  16. Bob dale says

    This service stinks, the recorded operator kept mispronouncing the last name of the person for whom I wanted a phone number. After a dozen attempts i gave up. I’d rather pay $1.25 to look up the number than go through this frustration again.

    reply to Bob

  17. Joan says

    I used the 1800 Free411 service since they came aboard and do find that for SOME cities that have unusual pronounciation it can be frustrating. What I have found lately is that it gives you the option (supposedly) to have the number texted to your phone…It used to work and was so convenient, but lately even tho’ I press the key to indicate I want a text, I DON’T GET ONE. Tried to find a customer service # for them and can’t locate one…ANYONE?

    reply to Joan

  18. Kerrie says

    Does anyone know who to contact to correct the information? it keeps giving our a cell phone number for a business, not the business number.

    reply to Kerrie

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Kerrie. It looks like their support number is 1-800-840-1012. I would try giving them a call so they can correct your company’s information. Thank you!

      reply to Ashley

  19. Richard Miller says

    I’ve been able to get a local number from my library by phone. I only call when I really need the help.

    reply to Richard

  20. John says

    You would want to use this in your car. It sounds weird trying to “enunciate” your words so carefully so the computer can understand you. That’s why I dislike AT&T’s “voice recognition” menu.

    reply to John

  21. TammyB says

    Worthless! I tried 10 different names, and it always said “Sorry…I didn’t get that” or offered names that weren’t even in the ballpark.

    Unless you’re looking for Smith, Jones or Johnson, just pay the real directory assistance.

    reply to TammyB

  22. Linda says

    It’s strictly an automated system fraught with AI personality disorder. I spent 5 or so minutes repeating, repeating, repeating my query. Until at last I was told they were having too much trouble understanding me and that I should call back later. Not likely. Seems like a system rigged to draw in an audience for the ads.

    reply to Linda

  23. Dennis says

    Agree with the frustration. We do have voice recognition technology much better then is offered here. I have the address and name but lost a customers number. You would think this might be an easier problem to solve without subscribing to a special service, but how it is now. I get it.

    reply to Dennis

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We understand the frustration, Dennis. As more options become available in the marketplace, we’ll be sure to share them with you. As always, if you find a good app or other option, please share it with us here on the blog. Thank you for posting!

      reply to Ashley

  24. LOU says

    Who owns this service? Hey Pat , have you tried it ? If not, why are you endorsing it? If you have, why are you endorsing it?

    reply to LOU

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Lou. We don’t own the service, but many of our customers have found it to be a useful alternative to using 411, especially for those who don’t have a smartphone. 411 charges can be costly, and this allows our customers to find a number free of charge. We appreciate you taking the time to post!

      reply to Ashley

  25. Mary says

    On my cell phone, three digit numbers respond only to my wireless company. Is there any other number I can dial for information that does not contain the numbers 411; and in that order?

    reply to Mary

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Mary. At this time, this is the only free option that we would recommend. As for the dialing issue you are experiencing, it should be resolved by dialing the full number: 1-800-373-3411. If not, we’re happy to troubleshoot that for you over the phone at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you taking the time to comment today!

      reply to Ashley

  26. michael khan says

    Needed this 10 years ago

    reply to michael

  27. Joel says

    What a piece of crap. All automated and the voice system on their side must be very old technology. It can’t seem to recognize names and it becomes a loop that just takes you back to their same results of not understanding 3 simple English names. I miss the old pick up phone and dial operator for directory assistance. Now all the internet sites are trying to sign you up for monthly contracts to sell you address, phone, police records, court cases and other private information that I don’t care to know. All I want is a freaking phone number of a lost relative. Why can’t it be a simple task to find a phone number?

    reply to Joel

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re sorry to hear that Free 411 wasn’t the right fit for you, Joel. You can also try using the 411 feature, but please note that there is a charge. This may also only work if that person’s phone number is listed, and is not a private phone number. If we can assist you in any way, just give us a call at 888-345-5509 and we will be happy to help you. Thank you for posting today!

      reply to Ashley

  28. Susan Hart says

    Didn’t work for me

    reply to Susan

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re sorry to hear that, Susan. While this service works well for many listings, some maybe unavailable. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

      reply to Ashley

  29. Paula says

    Hi Ashley,
    Is there a way to look up a number on-line free of charge as opposed to dialing 1-800–373-3411?
    Thank You!

    reply to Paula

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Absolutely, Paula! You can search for a business or organization on Google, and the phone number, hours and address will appear at the top of the search results. You can also use the Yellow Pages online, and other similar sites. Thank you for asking!

      reply to Ashley

  30. Harold enlow says

    How to fined some ones cell phone number

    reply to Harold

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Harold! Many people choose to keep their cellphone number unlisted. Otherwise, we recommend trying your local listings or a directory assistance website to find someone. We appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us today!

      reply to Ashley

  31. Ken Gerecke says

    Free devices apps?

    reply to Ken

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for posting, Ken! There are a variety of free apps available for both iPhone and Android smartphones. You’ll find these in the App Store or Play Store, respectively. If you have any questions about using apps with your device, we’re happy to assist you at 888-345-5509. Thank you for taking the time to post, and we hope you have a wonderful day!

      reply to Ashley

  32. Stacey E. says

    Thank you for sharing the information about this free telephone number directory. I used it tonight, and it worked perfectly!

    reply to Stacey

  33. Sam says

    Terrible programe. I’ looking for a very simple name. It seems like the system is designed to not understand your voice. I do not have problems with any other voice recognition programs. what a waste of my time.

    reply to Sam

  34. Nick Galante says

    I called Consumer Cellular yesterday and the agent told me that dialing 411 from my CC cell phone is a free call. You just have to use your minutes as you would any phone call.

    reply to Nick

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We apologize for any incorrect information that has been provided, Nick. Calls made to 411 for directory assistance are not free of charge, there is an additional charge that will be added to your invoice. We’re happy to speak with you about this at 888-345-5509. Thank you for posting, and we hope you have a lovely day!

      reply to Ashley

  35. Jack says

    This was a complete waste of my time. The auto operator couldn’t recognize the name I stated very clearly MANY times. Won’t be wasting my time using this anymore!

    reply to Jack

  36. Warren Murphy says

    This was useless. Voice recon did not work.

    reply to Warren

  37. Bruce says

    Isn’t there a real human being out there that I can talk to and spell out the name? The auto service just doesn’t work.

    reply to Bruce

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for posting, Bruce. We do offer 411 services for a small fee if you like. Otherwise, we recommend trying Google Assistant if you have a smartphone. If you’d like more information on 411, we can assist you at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you reaching out today!

      reply to Ashley

  38. Jan says

    This service DOES NOT WORK! If you are not allowed to spell out the name your are requesting, they are NO HELP!

    reply to Jan

  39. Judith Bennett says

    How do I get International directory assistance?

    reply to Judith

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for asking, Judith. We don’t currently offer this feature, so we recommend using Google to search for people and places in international locations. We appreciate you posting today!

      reply to Ashley

  40. David Lear says

    Absolute garbage service. Does not understand anything

    reply to David

  41. Cindy says

    Terrible service. It doesn’t understand the easiest name pronunciation. I think it’s intentional so you’ll just buy the service. What a scam. I’d rather just have a phone book again.

    reply to Cindy

  42. khiem says

    Unless you are looking for someone with a VERY simple name, it’s WORTHLESS!

    reply to khiem

  43. Evie says

    The automated system is the worst ever. It cannot understand when you say last name. Never have gotten past that point.

    reply to Evie

  44. gogmr says

    I need sell phone number in Canada.

    reply to gogmr

  45. Gina Kenitzer says

    Is there a free website to search in instead of the frustration of not being able to get them to figure out how I’m pronouncing things!

    reply to Gina

  46. Grettzkye Tacc says

    Automated service can not understand the name of the person I was looking for! I tried numerous times with the same result, USELESS!

    reply to Grettzkye

  47. James Davis says

    Need automative service

    reply to James

  48. B Bear says

    this is nothing but a redirect to actual 411 – they are reselling ad service

    reply to B

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi B, the Free 411 number provides ads before connecting you with the 411 service so that you can use that service for free instead of paying $1.50 per call to 411 normally.

      reply to Nicole

  49. Renee J Sloan says

    Impossible! Electronic “person” couldn’t understand me

    reply to Renee

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi Renee, if you’re having trouble with the Free 411 service, you can use 411 instead. Please keep in mind that calling 411 directly is $1.25 per call.

      reply to Nicole

  50. Andrzej Kwiat says

    it is asking city and state, i’m in canada, this 411 info is NO GOOD for canadian search

    reply to Andrzej

  51. Ricardo says

    Complete garbage. Spent 20 minutes repeating the name and spelling the first three letters, every time it was way off base. Useless service. Just pay the 411 fee, it’s worth it compared to this mess.

    reply to Ricardo

  52. Babci says

    Worthless number to call. Only takes last name and finds nothing.

    reply to Babci

  53. Jamie says

    Absolutely useless

    reply to Jamie

  54. Cherie says

    Wasted my time. It simply asked to say was I looking for business, government, or residential. After replying residential, it said it couldn’t find any number for that person in the system. It never asked me for a name. So I tried by responding with the name I wanted instead of “residential” and got the same result.

    reply to Cherie

  55. Wilma judd says

    I tried that new number a hundred times for 411 and after it ask you is it for residential business it completely stops

    reply to Wilma

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      I’m sorry to hear that the free number isn’t working for you, Wilma. You can still use 411, but it will be $1.50 per call to use their service.

      reply to Nicole

  56. Dennis ODonnell says


    reply to Dennis

  57. Laura Kippley says

    Well, all of this information is just great but only if you actually have internet service. Except I don’t. Right now I’m using a friend’s phone but when I’m alone I can’t do that. So what am I supposed to do ??? I just can’t understand why they stopped making phone books that people can actually hold in their hands. Not happy!!!

    reply to Laura

    • Hi Laura, thanks for your post. In order to access the internet, you will need a smartphone with access to WiFi and data. If you need help with ordering a smartphone, or need help with your data connection, we’d be happy to help you with that. Give us a call at 800-686-4460 or chat with us here.

      reply to Jacob

  58. Neil kirby says

    l lot my friend on my phone today find my friend for me thanks

    reply to Neil

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Hi Neil, if you were speaking with your friend on the phone, you can find their number in your phone’s call log or call history. If you have any trouble with that, you can give us a call at 888-345-5509 or chat with us here.

      reply to Nicole

  59. Kevin M.Gannon says

    can you get live opperators for your directory-assistance

    reply to Kevin

  60. Chuck says

    I tried this for a residential number just now and it does not work.

    reply to Chuck

  61. carole green says

    I called the 800 number and could not get through!!! 2 times!!!!I am looking for the number of a Marilyn Coldwell in Vancouver,WA

    reply to carole

  62. Bob says

    Thanks, Just added the 1-800 #. Great to have if your out and about and need info quickly. Thanks Again Bob

    reply to Bob

  63. Ruthie Austin says

    I have paid AARP, but not until 5/29/2021

    reply to Ruthie

  64. Lurch says

    I tried calling 1 800 free 411 and it can never understand what you’re saying and after two or three attempts it just takes you back to the main menu. It isn’t able to understand a single thing that you say and there is absolutely no way to use your dial pad to enter and what you want or get a real life person or file a complaint

    reply to Lurch

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      That’s definitely frustrating, Lurch. Unfortunately, since Free 411 isn’t a service owned by us, we aren’t able to pass along feedback. This is just a third-party service that we recommend to avoid 411 charges.

      reply to Nicole

  65. devin says

    I’m with T mobile and i can’t get past the business, residental, part of the call it say the number cant be found and i have not given a name yet.

    reply to devin

    • Hi Devin, thanks for your post. I’m sorry to hear about the trouble you’re having with this. If you’re with T-Mobile’s service, I would recommend reaching out to them to see if they’re able to assist you with that further. If you’re using our service, the directory assistance that’s used is a separate group. With the automated system, make sure you’re giving information before it registers and thinks it’s missed part of something and thinks it’s something that isn’t found.

      reply to Jacob

  66. Thomas Geraghty says

    ” …. directory assistance is advertiser sponsored, so you’ll have to listen to a 10-second ad before you reach an agent. …. ” This is incorrect. There is an automated answering system on this line. There in NO agent. The system could not understand the name, although I said a dozen times, which is BONILLA – It’s Spanish, so maybe that’s the trouble. Pleas correct your text to reflect this reality. There in NO AGENT there.

    reply to Thomas

  67. Buy Anonymous Proxies says

    Hello there, You have done a fantastic job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this site.

    reply to Buy

  68. Geoff Vansickle says

    The Robo operator cannot understand anything you say no matter how clearly or slowly you say it. A complete waste of time and frustrating. But typical of today’s robot operators.

    reply to Geoff

  69. Kevin King says

    Not so good. When it asked me the city and state, it repeated the information correctly. So far so good, but when I requested the number of a plumbing business, it came back with a completely different business in a different city!

    reply to Kevin

  70. Tony brown says

    Tried it twice. It is a scam

    reply to Tony

  71. CJ says

    The 800-Free411 automated service did not understand the unusual name for which I was seeking a phone number. I spoke very clearly and slowly. I even tried spelling the name. I gave up and called 411 and spoke with an agent.

    reply to CJ

  72. Ronny Deroost says

    To whom it may concern I’ve tried to ring operator so I can obtain a phone number urgently all I get is a message saying number is unavailable can I get the correct number for us to contact thank you…

    reply to Ronny

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