MSE News: 'Just been charged £183 for one call via 118 118' – that's more than a sex

in Phones & TV
68 replies 14.3K views
The firm 118 118's adverts once gave the nation a great giggle – yet its rip-off prices are no laughing matter ...
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'Just been charged £183 for one call via 118 118' – that's more than a sex line

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  • CandyappleCandyapple Forumite
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    I really don't understand why in this day and age people are still using 118.

    A quick Google search for the company and phone number you are looking for, and if it is an 0870/0845 number, just download one of the numerous free apps on your smartphone that dial the number for you but you are never charged for as it comes out of your minutes allowance.

    Or failing that, use the 'say no 0870' website.

    Or if you absolutely must use 118, why not just get the number, hang up and then redial it yourself?

    A fool and his money are soon parted springs to mind.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Credit Cards, Loans, Credit Files & Ratings boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com
  • HerbalusHerbalus Forumite
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    This story is the darker side of capitalism that means lack of knowledge means exorbitant fees. But I guess there's not much to be gained by most of the regular forumites commenting on this. We're exactly the opposite of "information disenfranchised".

    So I'll get my popcorn and wait for the "people should already know these costs and avoid them" comments to roll on in :)
  • edited 20 February 2015 at 1:47PM
    HappyBunnyHappyBunny Forumite
    47 Posts
    edited 20 February 2015 at 1:47PM
    think I'd prefer to call the sex chat line - much more fun.:D
  • ConsumeristConsumerist Forumite
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    I can't remember the last time I used directory enquiries. I wonder how often it's used by employees so the employer picks up the tab.
    >:)Warning: In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
  • IDeamOfFairiesIDeamOfFairies Forumite
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    why do people not read the T&C's on how much a service will cost before you use it - then moan on a social network site when they have been billed for using the service at the said rate ?
    Yes, I know there is no "R" in the word dream in my username - it was setup in memory of my grandson :A
  • edited 20 February 2015 at 2:41PM
    TiddlywinksTiddlywinks Forumite
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    edited 20 February 2015 at 2:41PM
    Herbalus wrote: »
    This story is the darker side of capitalism that means lack of knowledge means exorbitant fees. But I guess there's not much to be gained by most of the regular forumites commenting on this. We're exactly the opposite of "information disenfranchised".

    So I'll get my popcorn and wait for the "people should already know these costs and avoid them" comments to roll on in :)

    WHAT? 'Darker side of capitalism'?

    No... A caller who didn't consider the charges first. The company does ask you if you want to be connected at £xxx per minute. So, I'd say this is the 'economic impact of the caller's inability to add up'.

    I've used a 118 service recently whilst driving and using the phone hands free.

    I called, they gave the number, I agreed to be connected and was made aware it would cost extra. I chose to be connected because I wasn't in a position to dial a new number manually whilst driving.

    It's really not that difficult to work out that 118 services have to make charges in order to stay in business. So, the wise thing to do would be to know the charges BEFORE using the service.

    Would you order and eat in a restaurant without knowing the cost first? Would you then say "oops, sorry, I didn't look at the price list before I ordered. I think you're too expensive and I don't want to pay"?

    Two word: PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
    :hello:
  • "shocking" - No

    "expensive" - Yes

    Free alternatives - Yes

    Pricing clearly labelled and advised prior to point of sale - Yes

    Yes another individual un willing to accept personal responsibility for their actions.

    I might tweet Martin my weekend's shocking revelations.

    I went to a casino and 'lost' £50 on roulette, at no stage was I advised of the exact odds on gambling, and I hold the Casino responsible for my actions (and Mr Artois)
  • edited 20 February 2015 at 4:18PM
    agarnettagarnett
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    edited 20 February 2015 at 4:18PM
    Candyapple wrote: »
    I really don't understand why in this day and age people are still using 118.
    You are probably too young to understand, as suggested by your one size fits all internet solution!
    A quick Google search for the company and phone number you are looking for, and if it is an 0870/0845 number, just download one of the numerous free apps on your smartphone that dial the number for you but you are never charged for as it comes out of your minutes allowance.

    Or failing that, use the 'say no 0870' website.

    Or if you absolutely must use 118, why not just get the number, hang up and then redial it yourself?

    A fool and his money are soon parted springs to mind.
    Yes, clearly the 118118 providers and telecoms companies rely upon that old adage too - trouble is they deem large sections of the elderly as the fools i.e. those who never learned the benefits of internet and mobile technology

    The only thing you can try (and sometimes it works) is to complain bitterly to the telecoms provider and Ofcom and try to get the charge reversed, and also come here to MSE and write about the experience.

    Unfortunately characters like IDeamOfFairies (that'll be the MSE'er who couldn't read their own smallprint when choosing a username :p), Credit-Crunched and Tiddlywinks will always act as apologists for the miscreant corporates - its a cultural thing they learned at the office I guess.
  • agarnett wrote: »
    You are probably too young to understand, as suggested by your one size fits all internet solution!

    Yes, clearly the 118118 providers and telecoms companies rely upon that old adage too - trouble is they deem large sections of the elderly as the fools i.e. those who never learned the benefits of internet and mobile technology

    The only thing you can try (and sometimes it works) is to complain bitterly to the telecoms provider and Ofcom and try to get the charge reversed, and also come here to MSE and write about the experience.

    Elderly people using 118 118?

    Nope, my nan still uses the Yellow Pages and Thomson Directory. When I am not impressing the neighbours by ripping them single handily.
  • £10£10 Forumite
    9 Posts
    Most of the comments on this thread are missing the point that Martin is making here.

    The blog does not question whether or not 118 118 is operating legally - of course it is. If they weren't, consumers wouldn't need to turn to the community to air their grievances and look for a solution, it would be a clear case of law.

    Nor is it relevant to point out that the customer should have read the smallprint first. Let's face it, who does when they're in a hurry? If someone has the ability and the time to scrutinise the T's & C's, they wouldn't be using 118 118 in the first place - it would be quicker and cheaper to use Google. And if you think the customer should have looked up the costs BEFORE an emergency occurred, so they were already aware of what it would cost them should they ever need to dial such a number, I challenge you to memorise the pricing of every service of convenience that you MIGHT need to use one day...

    The point is that 118 118 is not operating in an ethical, open or customer-centric manner. They are clearly overcharging for a low-value service by trading on their customers' predicaments, and disguising their exorbitant charges behind woolly, hard-to-find terms and conditions.

    Therefore, we should sympathise with the tweeter's plight, as it is often only a joint community effort that results in unethical business practices being nipped in the bud. If enough people complain about a company's underhand tactics, there just may be enough collective clout to persuade the company to make things clearer or cheaper. MSE has used its influence to bring about positive changes to benefit consumers on many occasions, and long may it continue.
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