Monday, October 27, 2008

Free 411 (& cell phone tips)

Today I went thru some old emails and was reminded of some great phone tips that are worth sharing.

One number I use religiously on my cell phone is 1-800-FREE-411. (1-800-373-3411). I use it especially when I'm scoping out a new area and want to learn what banks, health food stores, restaurants, fitness centers, and other businesses are in that city. It is a free directory assistance for cell phones, and it allows you to search by city & state, then by business or residential, and then by name or by type. Since sometimes I don't know where I'll end up, it is extremely handy. It can even send you a text message with mapquest directions on how to get to your destination.

Being a young lady in a van, I am definitely concerned with safety.
Here are a couple emergency cell phone tips:

311 and 911 can be used interchangeably. I've tried it. If you try it, don't just hang up - Tell them there is no emergency and you are just testing 311.

The Emergency Number world-wide for mobile phones is: 112
If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile network and there is an emergency, dial 112, and the phone will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you. Interestingly, this number can be dialed even if your keypad is locked. I swear. Try it out, but again, don't just hang up. Tell them what you are doing. You can read more about dialing 112 at and also

Also, in many areas, dialing *77 or #77 will call the highway patrol/state trooper in your area. For a list of the highway emergency numbers in every state, visit:

Another neat tip is how to find out the serial # to your phone, and that you can use it to disable your cell phone if it is stolen. To learn your mobile phone's unique serial number, key in the following 5 digits: * # 0 6 #
I thought that was pretty neat. Anyway, write down your serial number and give it to your service provider if your phone is ever stolen. Then they'll be able to block your handset, so the phone will be totally useless, even if the SIM card is replaced.

Hopefully you have just learned something new ~ Phone tips are always good, especially if they make you feel a little bit safer.

As a final note for the evening, I find Free 411 to be so extremely helpful that I don't even mind its brief advertisements anymore - I was recently driving with a friend in an unfamiliar city, and we really wanted to eat some Thai or Indian food. I called Free 411 and searched for "East Indian Cuisine" in the city we were entering. It gave me a list of places to choose from, their phone numbers, and their addresses. I picked the one I wanted, and Free 411 then texted me exact mapquest directions on how to get there from where I was. It was just incredible - Free 411 AND the Indian Cuisine.


Anonymous said...

hey :)

i'm afraid the "unlocking your car via cellphone" is an urban myth.

good blog otherwise!

Ron Bloomquist said...

I just read through you blog posts. You are off to a good start!!

I've been a Vanagon nut for years. I love my 1984 SubieWestie. They are the perfect camper.

I hope you got that water leak fixed. Water leaks are the death of VW engines.

You might check out my travels during a rainy stay-in-the-van day!

Onward and safe travles,

Unknown said...

Great information. Worked in phones and modding phones for many years but didn't know some of these tips.

Ryan Warren said...

The information in this blog is extremely useful for the people.