April 7, 2010

445 words 3 mins read

Review: Whitepage mobile (566587) people search

Recently, I was talking with a friend about repeated phone calls they were getting that were hangups. First thing to do in a situation like that is Google the number; you’d be surprised how often something turns up.

The second thing is to try whitepages.com. In this particular case, it noted the phone number was mobile and sent us over to Whitepages Mobile people search.

Basically, you text a message to 566587 with the phone number you want looked up and they send you back the name and city. You can either pay $1.99 per lookup, or sign up for unlimited lookups at $2.99 a month. So… if you plan to use the service more than once, sign up for the monthly service, do your lookups, then cancel it, which is exactly what I did.

So I looked up 20 people in my phone book (more or less) and only 4 of them returned no results. So on the average (Editor’s note: 80% of the time in Jon’s case.), it does return something. If it doesn’t, you don’t have to pay. The info that is returned is the name of the account and the city in which the cell number is based out of. This is important because the name on the account isn’t necessarily who has the phone. Anyone sub-18 is probably going to be on their parents’ account. A lot of kids these days stay on their parents accounts for a long time. In the case of someone like me, it returns our company name… because I have a company phone. The one thing that is problematic is that it limits the length of the name to 15 characters. So if someone has a really long last name, some or all of the first name is truncated.

As for the “location”: it is simply where the cell phone was “based” out of when it was issued. Basically, if you walk into a cell phone store and get a new line of service, they take your home address and issue you a phone number “Close” to it. Depending on carrier and number availability that can be your actual city, or something nearby. If you move later… it doesn’t change. In this day in age when people (like myself) get one phone number and carry it with them no matter where they go (lived in Nevada for 6+ years with a California cell #), it really doesn’t mean much.

All in all, the service does what it says it will do, tell you who the owner of the phone line is. Past that, it isn’t anything exciting. No frills, no special features, no hidden data.