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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

August 14, 2007 at 11:08 AM

A closer review of Intelius

I wrote a story Monday about how Intelius’s new cellphone directory is being received by the wireless industry.

The short answer: not very well.

Today’s edition of RCR Wireless News, an industry publication, reviewed the Bellevue company’s service to see how well the directory worked.

The marks were not very high.

The reporter said not only did the service (at $15 a search) never find an accurate phone number, but some searches returned with a note saying it would take Intelius 24 to 72 hours to complete, but results were never sent.

From the story:

“I tried five searches for cellphone numbers total: three for information that I already knew, as a way to test the service, as well as for Barack Obama and –just for fun — Verizon Communications President and COO Denny Strigl.”

It turned out that Strigl’s “number” returned a busy signal; Obama’s was for a different Barack Obama, and results for the three others were never returned.

In my experience, I purchased three phone numbers. The first number was for Washington’s Attorney General Rob McKenna, and the search returned a number for another person of the same name. I also searched for Steve Largent, the CEO of CTIA, the wireless association, and it was not correct (he did a reverse search using his number, which was also not correct). And I searched for the former CEO of Qsent, which has a contract with wireless carriers to help build any future directory. I still don’t know whether that was the right number because no one returned my call after I dialed it. and other people were unwilling to give me his number to verify whether it was correct or not.

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