Quick story. Yesterday evening I was driving out to a little island outside of Seattle and wanted to see what movies might be playing at the local theater. The theater has an automated recording that lists movie times, but I didn’t know the number off the top of my head. However, I recently read about Google’s free 411 service the other day on TechCrunch and thought I’d give it a try.
It’s a beta service, so I wasn’t expecting too much. I first tried giving it the name of the movie theater, but it couldn’t find it. So then I tried “movies” and it found the name of the theater I was looking for. They asked if I would like to be connected, it rang a few times, and then something unexpected happened. Instead of an automated recording, a person picked up.
“Hello?” – it was an older female voice
“Ummm…hi, I’m very sorry to disturb you, I was connected to this number by 411 on accident, I was trying to reach the theater.”
<long pause> “Well…they weren’t completely off. I’m the owner of the theater, this is my home number!”
She said that recently some phone service has been connecting people directly to her home number, and she sounded pissed! I told her it was GOOG-411 (sorry, Google!) and she’s going to have a word with them. However, she was very nice, and even gave me the movie times.
So how’s that for service?!? I know those guys at Google are smart, but this is ridiculous! Unlike the usual 411 services that direct you to some generic phone recording, Google does you one step better and connects you straight to the top.
Imagine the possibilities:
- Call GOOG-411, ask for the listing for the White House, and get connected right through to President Bush
- Look up Microsoft and get Bill G’s on his cell
- Call for reservations at the Hard Rock Cafe and Mick Jagger’s pager goes off
GOOG-411? Two thumbs WAY up! 🙂