Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
When you call an operator to request a telephone number, you are using directory assistance. This service can be provided by your local phone company, your long-distance company or various independent providers. The accuracy, price and method of access depend on the service you use.
Free directory assistance has been trimmed back in recent years. Availability depends on your local phone company. Also, some companies extend free service to customers who are physically unable to use the printed telephone directory. Contact your local phone company or consult the front of your phone directory for directory assistance rates and policies.
Most phone companies allow you to access directory assistance service by dialing “411.” Other directory assistance services require a different dialing pattern such as 555-1212, a toll free number or a number that starts with “10-10.” Charges will vary significantly, check the rate before using any directory assistance service.
Your local phone company must provide you with a free published directory that covers all of your local calling area. For some areas, this may require that you receive more than one telephone directory. You can use the directory assistance provided by your long-distance provider, but check the price first. You can dial into directory assistance services provided by other carriers. Several Internet sites (anywho.com, infousa.com, att.com/directory, netscape.com) offer free access to telephone numbers.
If you have a problem with the service you received or the charge for the service, contact the company providing the directory service. Your bill for the directory assistance should include a toll-free number to call. If your contact with the company does not resolve the complaint, submit a complaint to the commission by filing out an online complaint form, e-mail email@example.com or call 1-888-333-WUTC (9882).
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