MSE News: 118 118 call charges rise to minimum of £8.98

in Phones & TV
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Former_MSE_Steve_1Former_MSE_Steve_1 Former MSE
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MSE Staff
Calls to the 118 118 directory enquiry service now cost a minimum of almost £9 - DOUBLE the price from just two years ago.
Read the full story:
'118 118 call charges rise to minimum of £8.98'
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  • That's disgusting.

    The vulnerable will be the biggest victims of this. I never even realised it was so expensive in the first place, but £9 minimum! Wow.
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  • edited 9 May 2017 at 11:23PM
    Ian011Ian011 Forumite
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    edited 9 May 2017 at 11:23PM
    The rise and rise of 118118 call costs:
    1 July 2015 - £5.74 per call, plus £2.99 per minute after the first 60 seconds, plus your phone provider's Access Charge,
    1 March 2016 - £6.98 per call, plus £3.49 per minute after the first 60 seconds, plus your phone provider's Access Charge,
    1 May 2017 - £8.98 per call, plus £4.49 per minute after the first 60 seconds, plus your phone provider's Access Charge.

    The 118118 service offers a number of additional features and facilities that most people may not need but which are nevertheless built into the price. In those cases callers should be calling a cheaper, more basic, enquiries service.

    BT's directory enquiries service is one of the other most well-known providers. While cheaper than the rival 118118, the BT 118500 service has nevertheless seen large price rises over the last decade or more as have several others.

    There are now more than two hundred directory enquiries providers. The cheapest chargeable services charge 40p per minute plus your phone provider's Access Charge but they remain largely unknown as they have no budget to advertise. The most well-known services spend a lot of money on advertising and are among those that charge the most for using their service.

    Ofcom's splitting of call costs into Access Charge and Service Charge has revealed just how much of the call cost flows to the various directory enquiries services. Prior to 1 July 2015 these call charges were opaque with an unknown split between the caller's provider and the directory enquiries service (except when calling from a BT landline where Ofcom's NTS Retail Condition ensured that all of the revenue, less VAT, flowed to the directory enquiries service).

    A full list of directory enquiries providers and their call charges can be found at:
    https://www.telecom-tariffs.co.uk/dialdirq.htm

    Call charges for individual numbers can be looked up at:
    http://checkit.uboss.com/

    Competition is supposed to bring down prices as companies compete for business. In this market, prices for the most popular services continue to rise as they spend more and more on advertising chasing a diminishing customer base. It's a broken market.


    Looking on official websites for phone numbers can be very useful, but searching on Google or elsewhere is fraught with danger due to the huge number of premium rate "call connection service" scam websites.
    See http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5639282
  • JJ_EganJJ_Egan Forumite
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    Yes but if you cannot afford the new prices 118 118 will loan you the money .
  • JC_DerbyJC_Derby Forumite
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    SO oftel and and the division of BT and bits being sold off here and there has benefitted us how....or perhaps the question should be has benefitted who?
  • Ian011Ian011 Forumite
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    Some directory enquiries services are accused of using inappropriate and underhand methods for promoting their services:
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/3522224/pensioner-hit-with-111-bill-after-being-tricked-into-calling-a-premium-118-number/
  • footyguyfootyguy Forumite
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    Heavy are our hearts today,
    Memory brings you back once more
    To the time when you were with us,
    To the happy days of yore.


    R,I.P. 192
  • The irony behind their ridiculously high charge is that they offer a free number for the same service; 0800 118 3733
    The difference being that you listen to a pre-recorded advertisement before getting through to the service.

    Of course this also put the services who make a reasonable charge at a disadvantage. But definitely preferable to their widely advertised number and has the advantage of being able to be used with mobile telephones.
  • It's very much a dying business. Calls numbers have dropped drastically. Google and the internet is the way forward.
  • Roger1Roger1 Forumite
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    The vulnerable will be the biggest victims of this.
    The irony behind their ridiculously high charge is that they offer a free number for the same service; 0800 118 3733
    craigr98 wrote: »
    It's very much a dying business. Calls numbers have dropped drastically. Google and the internet is the way forward.
    :)

    It's the elderly who are most likely to suffer. Younger folks are more likely to be internet aware.

    In my lifetime, the costs have jumped from zero to the charges mentioned here. Before 118,
    we had:

    DIR - free
    192 - free before charges were introduced.

    Just one of the 'benefits' of BT privatisation.
  • Bigphil1474Bigphil1474 Forumite
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    Can't remember ever using them (usually go online) but if I'd had to have a guess at the charges I'd have said about £1. Must be stuck in the 1980's. Blimey, minimum of £9 - gobsmacked.
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