Not-So-Fast411

FastCall411, a start-up that will "soon" introduce a service that adds currency to search-initiated, pay-per-call connections to local merchants, has completed a "survey" of 5,000 local businesses showing that two-thirds of those listed in local Internet-based or mobile directories are not available for immediate response to queries.

FastCall411 made mid-day calls that essentially delivered "live leads" to local service businesses. An automated message explained that it offered a service free of charge and was ready to put the business in touch with a local customer in need of immediate service. According to a company-issued press release, 36% of those surveyed said they they would accept such a call, the other 64% were disconnected or busy-no-answer.

Fast411 will introduce a search service that supports location-aware category search for shoppers, then "refines" the search so that results include only those service providers that are prepared to answer a call.

The findings are testimony to the fact that - while the Web may be "Always On" - real world refinements are required at the interstices.