118 118 directory calls, cost more than £2!

66% of British consumers think that calling directory calls costs less than £1. Wrong. It is from £2.

118118Calling “directory enquiries” from a mobile can cost more than £2, while a typical 45-second 118 call costs an average of £1.75 from a landline, research shows.

Analysis of the amounts charged by the two biggest directory services show that a 45-second landline call to 118 118 costs £1.61, while an identical call to BT’s 118 500 costs £1.88. The cheapest mobile rate for the same length call is £1.53 from O2, while T-Mobile charges £2.04.

However, if you want to be put through the requested number, that would be an expensive mistake! For example, a directory call plus 5 minutes of chatting after being connected will cost £3.71 from a landline; the same call to 118 500 would cost £8.83. And from the mobile phone it starts from £4.74 with Orange and Vodafone and T-Mobile being over £12!

Ofcom has simplified the pricing on the non-geographic numbers, but also noted that customer confidence in non-geographic numbers had declined as mobile use increased, which is resulting in “bill shock” as people received unexpectedly bigger bills.

unexpectedly high bills ukOfcom has opened the directory enquiries market in 2003 with a view to reduce the costs of calls and bring better to consumers in hope that competition will do it all. But it seems no.

It is low income households who are affected, as they can’t afford to have landline installed and lower socio-economic groups rely on mobiles for making high cost, non-geographic calls compared to 9% of ABC1 households. There are 26% of such group rely on mobiles.

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