Bits & Bytes
A DATA BANK TO TRACK DOWN DEADBEATS
If skipping town is how you avoid paying bills, forget it. American Express Co. and Donnelly Marketing Inc. have teamed up to create a perpetually updated, on-line data base of every listed telephone number in the U.S. The FastData system lets you make a quick search of an entire state or metropolitan area. At about 30c per search, it costs less than dialing 411 and unsuccessful searches are free.
FastData is for businesses that can commit to at least 1,000 searches per month, such as banks looking for clients with loan delinquencies. But since the data base also lists such demographic data as age, length of residence, and each person's nine nearest neighbors, direct marketers may also want it. An aluminum-siding salesman, for instance, could use it to drum up business from the folks who live next door to his latest customer.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG