TPS compliance saves call centres thousands

24 June 2010, York

A new player has entered the market for Telephone Preference Service (TPS) solutions for call centres.  Directory services provider, Simunix has launched TPS Manage; a system which promises to help telemarketers save thousands of pounds a year in unnecessary fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The volume of numbers registered with TPS has grown rapidly since the service was launched in 1999.  Telemarketers can face fines of up to £5,000 for cold calling a single TPS registered number.  Simunix has created a fully automated service that checks and updates call lists at the client’s discretion to ensure flagging of all TPS registered numbers.

The self-managed solution, hosted by Simunix, permits customers to upload their lists of numbers where they are stored under a secure password protected user account.  TPS-Manage.com then runs the lists of numbers against the TPS and CTPS registers and flags any that appear on the register whilst maintaining the integrity of the original file.

Once an account is set up, complete control is given to the user who can upload new lists, append existing lists and configure their account as required.

Simunix has been working on numerous new developments and enhancements to existing services over the last year many of which will be announced throughout 2010.  The company collates data from multiple sources and has now built up a database of around 200 million records.

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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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Three times cheaper than the men with moustaches

An article I recently found on Telegraph.co.uk claims that 118 directory enquiries have gone up by 50% in price in the last year.

The article specifically mentions 118 118 (men with moustaches) and BT’s 118 500 number as being the worst culprits. A one minute call to either 118 118 or BT now costs a total of £1.68 and £1.65 respectively with BT charging a further £1.16 per minute after this.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out that this is not the case at Simunix. A one minute call to our directory assistance number – 118 365 – always has and always will cost 50p per minute and that’s including the connection.

As one of my colleagues recently pointed out, “There are two things that have not changed price in the last ten years: a lottery ticket and our directory assistance number”.

According to the article a staggering “eight out of ten of all calls to a directory enquiry service are to these two numbers”. This means 80% of people using these services are paying three times the amount they should be. When there are so many other options out there, I find it hard to understand why so many people are still using these more expensive numbers.

However, since the introduction of deregulated directory assistance services in 2003, there has been a great deal of confusion surrounding cost, availability and effectiveness of the various 118 numbers now on offer. More and more consumers are now relying on the internet and sites such as ukphonebook.com to find the information they need. These online directory enquiries prove far more cost effective and often provide much more detailed information.

I know it sounds like I’ve been trying to do the big sell on our services but when the cost of trying to find a telephone number is reaching £1.68, I think it’s important to raise awareness of the other options out there.

‘On the go’ access to massive ukphonebook.com database

9 June 2010, York

The directory solutions provider, Simunix Ltd. has seen a surge in use of Mobile ukphonebook.com by police forces in recent months indicating an increased call for communications ‘on the move’.

In response to the increased usage, this year Simunix launched a corporate version of Mobile ukphonebook.com and has since provided every UK police force with access. The mobile optimised site gives users access to over 120 million records, which can be used to look up information on people, businesses, telephone numbers and addresses.

The address data can be accessed in real time making it possible for users to quickly find and identify their current surroundings.

Paul McAfee, Head of Business Development at Simunix says, “The beauty of this mobile service is that every member of an organisation is able to access all this information either at their work place or on the go; anywhere there is internet access including 2G mobile”.

The increased usage coincides with a new campaign to raise awareness of how Mobile Corporate ukphonebook.com can increase the efficiency with which organisations operate. The campaign details how officers operating mobile devices are able to access the data whilst out on the job. Simunix claim this will remove the need for them to call back to their switchboard or expensive 118 directory services for information, therefore saving time and money.

Simunix has been providing directory solutions since 1999 when it introduced ukphonebook.com as the UK’s first online directory enquiries service. Since then, the company has gone on to develop a number of directory services such as Corporate ukphonebook.com, TPS Manage and its own directory assistance telephone number, 118 365.

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