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TELEPHONE AD SERVICE BEGINS OPERATIONS

ClassiPhone, a business that provides classified advertising services via telephone, has started operating at 4455 S. 700 East, according to Rod and Chad Morris, founders.

They have been developing this concept for the past six months and in their research determined it is the only business of its kind in the country.One of the three basic services the company offers is classified ads that list any item ranging from vehicles, homes and employment opportunities to items selling for under $400.

Another service finds ads in which ClassiPhone looks for the wanted items and notifies the person when it is found and a third service is ads like Yellow Page ads listing available services in an unlimited number of categories for a monthly subscription fee.

The service is free to inquirers and information will be read over the phone, mailed or faxed to the interested party.

ClassiPhone's operators have access to a computer that searches for items according to parameters defined by the caller. For example, the system will list all American-made red cars under $6,000 that are no more than 3 years old.

There is virtually no restriction on the length of the ad, allowing the seller to include a complete description of the item, so that unwanted callers are eliminated. Ads start and stop immediately when ClassiPhone is notified, and there is no charge for minor changes.

A one-time charge is made to place an ad and it remains on the system until the item is sold. To avoid obsolete ads, the system automatically purges them after a certain amount of time unless the ad is extended, which is free.

"The nice thing about ClassiPhone is that you talk to a person, not a computer. You can tell us what you are looking for or selling and we do all the work; we give you a list of exactly what you want," said Rod Morris.

The company is targeting the Salt Lake area now, but long-term plans include adding a toll-free number to service Provo and Ogden and expanding into other areas through franchising. The company has 15 employees, but that could expand to 30 or 40 by the end of the year.