In the United States, 1-800-FREE-411 (1-800-373-3411) provides free directory assistance. It is ad-supported and users may hear short advertisements during a call. Callers may still be subject to other charges depending on their phone plans.
1-800-FREE-411 uses an automated voice recognition system instead of human operators. Callers provide a location, type of listing and name. If requesting a business number, callers may first have to listen to a short advertisement from a competing business. They can then connect to either the requested business or the competitor.
Many free web-based phone directories are also available, such as YellowPages.com, 411.com and Whitepages.com.