Get phone number from name. For free. In 2016. How?
September 10, 2016 1:37 PM   Subscribe

I just tried to get the phone number associated with a given (rarish) name, and all I got were pay services from the goog (most redirecting to timewasting whitepages.com).

The name+location were enough to identify the person who has a distinctive name, but all the answers went to services that inlcuded much more information I do not care about (arrests?) and were expensive ($20-$40).

Phone lookup used to be free. Is anyone doing free lookups anymore?

(Granted that with cellphones this info is much more restricted than it once was, but still---)
posted by hexatron to Technology (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Nope. All lookups and reverse-lookups are fee-based now, so far as I've been able to determine.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:41 PM on September 10, 2016


I just happened to look up a cousin, whose number I'd lost, on whitepages.com and it showed their land-line number, but not the cell number. So in some cases it's still possible to get a number, but maybe not the one you want.
posted by qurlyjoe at 2:17 PM on September 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is this person in your metro area? If so, the solution for this is the good old physical white pages, the thing the phone company drops on your doorstep, as long as you haven't recycled it. I don't have to consult it a lot, but this precise scenario is when I take it off the shelf. I don't really understand why this information is freely available on paper but not online, but there it is.

If the person is in another metro area, I'd call a library in that metro area and ask the librarian to look it up for you. I'll bet they didn't recycle their phonebook!
posted by escabeche at 2:46 PM on September 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


My library used to have phone books from other areas.
posted by AFABulous at 3:05 PM on September 10, 2016


I'd call a library in that metro area and ask the librarian to look it up for you. I'll bet they didn't recycle their phonebook!

Many of them subscribe to services that do the same general thing. It's a rare library that has print directories for outside of the local area, though this varies by region.
posted by jessamyn at 3:13 PM on September 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Have you tried Zabasearch?
posted by roll truck roll at 4:22 PM on September 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


You're not likely to get this information at all if it's a mobile number. Those aren't published the way landline numbers are/were.
posted by erst at 5:27 PM on September 10, 2016


Check in with the largest public library in your area.
Many subscribe to databases that might have listings.
RefUSA is one that has Residential listings.
posted by calgirl at 8:39 PM on September 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


This may sound silly, but a lot of people have their phone number somewhere on their Facebook page. It's worth a try anyway....
posted by Umami Dearest at 7:18 AM on September 11, 2016


Zabasearch worked, and RefUSA (at library) gave more hits on the name. RefUSA says it is a 'white pages' list, so it seems land lines are still free-searchable.
posted by hexatron at 7:20 AM on September 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


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