It's never fun to call for information. Yes, I try to avoid paying the charge.
Nonetheless, it is a cash cow for the telecom world (which needs all the cash it can get). How big? Estimates range from $5 billion to $7 billion.
And, it is no surprise that, according to a survey from comScore Networks, more than 70% of consumers believe that 411 services should be free.
Well, there is an alternative: 1-800-FREE411.
That's right -- you pay nothing, so long as you are willing to listen to short ads, that is.
The company that provides the service is Jingle Networks. Basically, the company is growing like a weed as it has processed about 85 million calls this year.
But, might this be too good to be true? Is this another dot-com style company that will flame out?
Probably not anytime soon as this week, the company announced a $30 million financing with top notch firms the likes of Goldman Sachs, Hearst Corporation, Comcast Interactive Capital, First Round Capital, IDG Ventures Boston and Liberty Associated Partners.
Tom Taulli is the author of various books, including the Complete M&A Handbook and operates InvestorOffering.com.