8th of June, 2015
From July 1st the cost of calling a 118 number will be clearer, but people are still paying for information available for free online.
Tomorrow the cost of calling 118 numbers from mobile operators is set to fall, after Ofcom ruled that the current pricing structure left customers confused about the price they were paying. For example some operators such as Vodafone had previously charged as much as £5 a minute to call a 118 provider.
The charges will be spit with operators charging between £0.09 and £0.45 and 118 provider's costs will be billed separately. Whilst the forced drop in the phone networks prices is a victory for consumers, 192.com the online directory enquiries service is keen to highlight that those who have internet access either at home or on a smartphone you can get the same directory information online for free via their website 192.com.
192.com helps millions of people monthly find online the number they are looking for without a nasty surprise in the phone bill at the end of the month. They even provide a free, dedicated UK based customer service team for anyone requiring search advice.
Ofcom may have made the charges more transparent but it doesn't mean the call cost will now be dramatically cheaper as people making a three minute call to 118 118 from a BT number (the cheapest option) will be billed over £9 whilst people calling from a mobile on the EE network will face a bill of nearly £11 and it's not just 118 118 calling other providers such as 118 500 is equally expensive.
Dominic Blackburn, Product Director of 192.com added: "Phone operators being forced to cut and make clear the cost of calling 118 numbers is a victory for consumers, however at 192.com we believe that paying to call a directory enquiries service is still stuck in the 1990s, that's why in addition to having a 118 number we enable people to look up the details for free on 192.com. Calling a 118 number should be a last resort now, especially with the rise in the number of smartphones helping put this information in people's hands for free."
In 2009, consumers spent £500 million calling "service and information providers", which includes 118 and directory enquiries. In contrast 192.com has worked to save consumers in excess of £175 million per year by offering the directory online for free.
Dominic Blackburn added: "Whist we support Ofcom in making the costs clearer to consumers 192.com thinks it is important to make people aware of the savings that can be made by using our website rather than making a call."
192.com's top tips for getting the best from directory inquiries.
- If you have access to the internet via mobile, tablet or computer you can search directory enquires for free on 192.com
- If you have to call a 118 number remember on a mobile, the difference between what the networks charge can be vast. So check with your network and make sure you know what charges you'll face before making the call.
- Remember if you have to call 118, it is almost always cheaper to use your landline to call these numbers, so if you don't have access to 192.com, remember to use your landline.
For further information contact:
Simon Kelman, 192.com, 0207 909 2151
192.com is the UK's most awarded online directory, helping find people, businesses and places for millions of users every month. On 192.com, users can search over 700 million records including free directory enquiries, edited electoral roll information, local business listings, interactive mapping, aerial photography and property reports.