Social Question

DigitalBlue's avatar

Why is the reverse phone number lookup a paid service?

Asked by DigitalBlue (6658 points ) August 26th, 2012

I don’t understand why I get a phonebook with a ton of addresses and phone numbers for free on my front step, but trying to look the information up the other way is something that I have to pay for.

I seem to get a lot of prank phone calls, I think because my phone number is kind of an “easy” pattern on the dialpad. I got one last night at about 3am, and it scared me a little bit, and today they called again a few times, and also left me an odd voicemail. The number isn’t private… but I’d have to pay to find out who it is.

That makes no sense. If you have a name, but no number, you can freely obtain contact information. If someone contacts you, and you have contact info but no name… that costs money. Why?

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6 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

I guess the short answer to that question is that “it’s a paid service because someone has figured out a way to offer the service and charge for it.”

If you just enter the phone number itself in a Google search window, you might be pleasantly surprised to see how much can be found out in that free manner. At least, you should be able to find out something that way if it’s a land line. Probably no luck if it’s a cell phone.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@CWOTUS right, it’s a cell phone, I tried that. How frustrating.

2davidc8's avatar

800notes is a site where people report unwanted calls usually coming from 800 (including 888, 877, 866, etc) numbers, but also many using other prefixes. Many of those calls are scams. You can find out here if your prank caller is one of them.

Sometimes people have dug further and managed to find out who the caller is. That will be reported on this site.

SpatzieLover's avatar

www.whitepages.com has a free reverse phone # search.

blueiiznh's avatar

Because it would take you a bit to do the search in that book for a specific number. It is not sorted that way, sothe paid service provider has done that for you. As noted, there are plenty of reverse search sites available.
You can always just dial the number and say:
” I am creating my own phone book and you are in it!!!, who are you?”

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