New Year, new batch of TPS registrants

17 January 2011, York

Simunix has received the first set of TPS data for 2011 which brings the total number of TPS registered residential phone numbers to over 16 million. Simunix has added the data to the ukphonebook.com TPS Checker; its automated service that checks call lists for TPS registered numbers.

The Telephone Preference Service, which was launched in 1999, allows people to register their telephone number in order to prevent direct marketers from cold calling that number. Registering a number with TPS means it is illegal for an organisation to make an unsolicited marketing call to that number. Companies can face fines of up to £5,000 for doing so.

The TPS Checker checks and updates call lists to ensure flagging of all TPS registered numbers. The lists are run against the TPS and CTPS (Corporate Telephone Preference Service) registers and any numbers that appear on the lists are flagged.

In addition to the 16 million residential numbers registered with TPS, almost 2 million businesses have subscribed to CTPS. The volume of numbers registered with TPS and CTPS is continuing to grow rapidly, making it essential that all direct marketers have up to date call lists.

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Shaking up the industry

Another article has recently emerged on the state of the directory enquiries industry with regards to the elevated and confusing pricing structures.

When Ofcom ordered a shakeup of the directory enquiries industry in 2003, the aim was to open up the market, removing BT’s almost monopoly on the service and hopefully encourage competition to provide exciting and cheap replacement options.

However, since then prices have soared to as much as £2 for a one minute call, with two of the most expensive options out there dominating the market – BT’s 118 500 and The Number’s 118 118. Although 118 118 may seem like a cheap option at 39p a minute, the minimum fee of £1.29 makes a one minute call cost the consumer a whopping £1.68!

This hike in price has prompted Ofcom to conduct a consultation exercise on the 118 system as the regulator is now under pressure to introduce new regulations to standardise or cap the fees.

There are however, much cheaper options out there. The service provided by Simunix – 118 365 – costs 50p a minute and there is no call charge. The shame is that more people don’t know about these cheaper services. So…

…go out and spread the word: dial 118 365 for directory enquiries!

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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‘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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Simunix unveils its ‘shop window’

19 May 2010, York

Simunix Ltd. – the York based directory services provider – has unveiled its new website.  The redesign was initiated by a survey taken of Simunix customers that revealed a massive 78% were unaware of the whole range of Simunix products available to them.

The idea behind the new design was to create a ‘shop window’ for all the products and services that make up the Simunix suite of directory solutions.  The new site exhibits a revamped user interface that aims to make navigation of the site simple, whilst displaying the range of services effectively.

James Bradley, the web developer behind the new website says, “After all the developments we have made to the Simunix range of services recently, we felt it was important to have a website that successfully demonstrated that we are a company at the cutting edge of the directory solutions industry.”

Products and services now have their own separate sections on the website to make it easier for the average site visitor to discern exactly which service best suits their needs.  The Products section lists all the brands developed by Simunix such as ukphonebook.com, TPS Manage, ZoneSearch etc.  The Services section lists the individual solutions Simunix can provide with links to the product best suited to these solutions.

A Bespoke Web Solutions page has also been developed for the new site.  This section details how directory solutions can be custom built to meet more specific requirements from individual organisations.

In reaction to the growing use of social networking by businesses, Simunix has also created a highly interactive press centre that includes Facebook and Twitter feeds, latest blog entries and a press release archive.

Laura Lewis, Marketing Manager at Simunix says, “We have really been pushing forward with our marketing activities.  Employees at Simunix are encouraged to set up their own Simunix Twitter pages so they can keep our customers up to date on the most recent developments.”

Laura continues, “The blog has also been a new addition to the Simunix marketing strategy and has so far proven to be a highly effective tool for interacting with our customers.”

Simunix plans to carry out further investigations to determine how customers are using the new website and if the redesign has effectively raised awareness of the range of Simunix directory solutions.

See what the new website looks like here www.simunix.com

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Welcome to our blog!

Hello. I’m Laura and I’m a member of the Simunix press and marketing team. I’ll be keeping you up to date with all the goings on at Simunix – our latest developments, upcoming events and general office life.

The unveiling of the new and improved Simunix website has brought with it a resounding sigh of relief around the Simunix offices. However, after weeks of planning and hard work (plus a few creative differences!) I’m pleased to report that we are all extremely happy with the finished product.

Our hope is that visitors to the new website can use it as a sort of ‘shop window’ for viewing all our different products and services. It has been designed to make choosing the product best suited to your needs as easy as possible.

So hopefully you’ll all be as pleased with it as we are. Don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts and ideas or if there’s anything you would like to see on the site that isn’t already there.

ukphonebook.com celebrates 2 million and counting

03 November 2008

Online telephone directory provider www.ukphonebook.com is celebrating its 2 millionth registrant by launching a brand new look to the service.

The revamped look is just one aspect of the ongoing expansion of the website operated by York based Simunix Ltd. Previously more focused on corporate customers, ukphonebook.com is the directory of choice for businesses and public service organisations throughout the UK.

“Our public website was mostly seen as a corporate sales tool telling us which businesses had the need for this kind of service,” says John Lewis, Managing Director, Simunix. “But with the price of 118 calls now exceeding £1 per call in most cases, more people are using the Internet and we’ve seen a huge surge in registrations. I felt we should deliver a free service to consumers that gave a genuine, usable alternative to 118.”

Established in 1998, Simunix was the first non-telecom company to license the UK directory database from the data aggregator as part of the then named Oftel’s telecoms deregulation process. The core data providing the telephone listings of around 25 million UK residents and 3 million UK businesses and government records, is derived from data input by all of the UK’s telecom operators.

John Lewis continued: “We gained a huge amount of information from our corporate customers’ usage which enabled us to hone the search process to deliver results in an intelligent and meaningful way. The United Kingdom has a highly inconsistent addressing system and it has been a ten year software refinement process that makes us the most intuitive search engine for this kind of information.”

The service is free to most casual users just wanting the odd telephone number, but it also includes access to Royal Mail’s Postal Address Finder data and the edited Electoral Rolls for a small fee. Free access to Google’s online mapping and satellite imagery linked to results is also provided.

To use the service, go to www.ukphonebook.com and complete the simple registration page. A verification email will be sent to you and from then on you will be given a daily number of free searches.

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