Beware the costly 118 directory enquires numbers

22 June 2010, York

A study carried out by the York-based directory solutions provider, Simunix, has revealed that 80% of people using 118 directory enquiries are paying three times the amount they should be.

In the last year, the UK’s two most widely used 118 directory enquiries services (118 118 and 118 500), have increased the cost of a one minute phone call making them over three times more expensive than Simunix’s own directory assistance number, 118 365.

The heavily advertised 118 118 service – featuring the men with moustaches – has increased the cost of a one minute enquiry from £1.20 to £1.68. BT’s number, 118 500 now costs a total of £1.65 for a one minute call, charging a further £1.16 per minute after this.

In contrast, since the 2003 deregulation of directory assistance services, Simunix has kept the cost of its own directory enquiries number the same. Dialing 118 365 costs the user 50p per minute and there are no connection charges. However, with more and more consumers turning to the much cheaper option of the internet to find telephone numbers, the amount of calls to directory enquiries in general has fallen dramatically.

Internet providers of directory enquiries prove far more cost effective and often provide much more detailed information, with many of them supplying the information for free. In 1998 Simunix became the first organisation in the UK to provide a directory enquiries service online – ukphonebook.com.

Users of ukphonebook.com can perform 5 free searches daily and are provided with residential, business, telephone and address information. In addition to this people can search the UK edited electoral roll, Google maps and satellite imaging and also send their search results via text or email.

Simunix have recently begun a campaign to raise awareness of the true cost of dialing some 118 directory enquiries numbers and to promote the cost saving benefits of using alternative solutions such as web-based services. John Lewis, Managing Director of Simunix says, “I find it staggering the number of people who are still using such expensive services when there are so many better options out there. We’re happy to be one of those options and provide people with the means to search for information far more efficiently”.

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