Want to know where to buy Boeing 747 landing lights for your garden or an ?alien in a jar?? An information service launched by 24-hour telephone bank First Direct claims to be able to answer these and other bizarre queries via email.
The service, dubbed Octopus, went live today and promises to answer virtually any query or request put to it by customers via email, telephone or fax. Soon the service will also be available over messaging services on mobile phones and pagers.
First Direct stresses that it is not another Yellow Pages or Scoot directory. All the information is offered independently and suppliers cannot pay a fee to have their products or services recommended by Octopus.
?We will appeal to people like those who bank with us,? explained a spokesperson for the new service. ?They are under time pressure, they don?t need query hassles and they like to delegate."
Octopus is available seven days a week, 365 days a year from 8am to 10pm. Users can subscribe at #15 a month for unlimited queries, or pay #5 for each individual request, or can pay #7 a month plus #3 a task. First Direct claims it will answer the majority of queries in three to five days. You do not have to be a First Direct customer to use the service.
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