While it's not handing out free passes to dial 411, AT&T is trialing a free directory assistance program catering to folks looking for a business or service rather than a long-lost sibling. Essentially, users in dire straights, or as AT&T puts it, "at a critical moment in their purchasing decisions," can ring up 1-800-YellowPages to "request a listing for a specific business or type of business." Callers would then be forced to sit through "short audio ads" relevant to their request, or they can be directly connected if they know the specific firm they're looking to spend money with. The trial will present advertisers with several options of
harassing helping consumers, with the ability to deliver "category / redirect ads, requested ads, or sponsorship ads" depending on the nature of the call. Although details of the deal (read: how much coinage AT&T garners from each successful connection) weren't readily available, this has the makings of being a win-win scenario for businesses needing that extra allure, and folks in Bakersfield, CA, Oklahoma City, OK, and Columbus, OH can see what the buzz is all about right now.