For local telephone directory information in the same area code, “411” is often, but not always, the number. Out of your area code, dial the area code (usually with a “1” before it), then “555-1212.”
Directory assistance used to be free, but now most telephone companies charge a fee for it, sometimes substantial, based on the number of times a month you use the service. You might be allowed a certain number of free requests per month, depending on the telephone provider you use. When directory assistance is, in fact, free, this is often as part of a package of services that may well include unlimited domestic long distance calls.
With so much information being exchanged online now, often the best way to look up a telephone number without charge is to use an Internet search engine.
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Public Services I: Chapter Home
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