A new online services directory, dubbed FreeConnect, has been launched, claiming to be Australia's first online VoIP directory service. FreeConnect is a free portal for businesses to connect with potential customers via telephone, e-mail, SMS and VoIP. The service allows businesses to post contact and services information, photographs, payment options and company history. Consumers can search FreeConnect's national online database by business type, keyword, location or service nature. Once an appropriate business is found, FreeConnect can contact the consumer and initiate a connection between them and the business. Searching the service is free, with charges incurred once the service connects a customer to a company. A A$99 (US$95) advance payment gives a business up to $175 credit, with amounts deducted each time a customer is connected to the business. Fees range from 40 cents for an SMS, to $3 for a voice call. Businesses can specify how and when they wish to be contacted. FreeConnect founder John Kennedy says that with FreeConnect businesses don't pay to list or promote their products and services. "They only pay for the leads that bring new business in the door, which is a results-driven approach that hasn't been available before now," Kennedy says. "Our database already lists most of the businesses operating in Australia, but we want the businesses themselves to visit the site, check their details are accurate, and then add additional information to their listing that will make it easier for people to choose them."
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