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Depending on your cellphone plan, a simple 30-second call to directory assistance can cost as much as $2.

That's a steep price to pay for information that's available for free on the Internet.

Fortunately, Google thinks so too. The company's Goog-411 service provides the same type of information - without charge. Simply dial 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411) from any mobile or land-line phone.

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My sister and I used the service last week when, on our way to check out a new store, we realized we had no idea where we were headed.

After providing the name of the business and the city and province in which it's located, we were given two options: connect directly to our target or get more details (general location, exact address). And all this information was delivered by a friendly voice at the other end of the line.

Goog-411 is reason to celebrate, since it's always those small charges that seem to add up. In fact, the next time you look at your phone bill, take a moment to inspect it closely. Over the years, I've discovered numerous incorrect charges on my statements, such as a double charge for texting and charges for calls I didn't place.

Even if it's only a couple of bucks, it's worth your while to call and correct the errors. When it comes to your money, you are your own greatest advocate.

Angela Self is one of the Founders of the Smart Cookies money group. Read her weekly column on managing debt and saving money at

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About the Author
Angela Self

Angela Self is one of the founders of the Smart Cookies, a group of five women who specialize in personal finance. They are hosts of a self-titled show on the W Network and the authors of The Smart Cookies' Guide to Making More Dough. More

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