Post Office 118 855 directory enquiries comes out on top

Post Office 118 855 directory enquiries comes out on top

Our Post Office Telecoms directory enquiries number (118 855) recently picked up some good press following regulator Ofcom’s announcement it wants to limit the cost of these types of numbers.

Directory enquiries is a telephone service used to find out the telephone number of an individual or a company. Vulnerable and older people who do not have access to the internet or mobile phones often rely on directory enquiries for numbers for local businesses and services.

The proposed Ofcom cap is £3.10 for a 90 second call. Post Office believe in being fair and transparent with customers and will continue to offer a fixed price number which is capped at just £1 per call, so customers don’t get a shock when they receive their bill as they may have done when using other providers.

BBC News recognised us as the cheapest provider, whilst Moneywise commented that we’re cheaper than BT. The highest cost for a 90 second call was charged by Telecom2 at £19.98. The second biggest provider, BT, cut the price for its 118 500 number in June to £3.10 for 90 seconds, down from £6.88.

In addition to the high prices that some providers charge, Ofcom’s review has found a lack of transparency and awareness of their cost. People are often paying much more than they expect, with overall 2% of adults or one million people using a 118 service, rising to 4% among those over the age of 65.

Ofcom launched its enquiry into the cost of 118 calls in May 2017 and as a result are proposing to cap the cost of services, bringing prices back to 2013 levels.

Meredith Sharples, Director of Telecoms at Post Office, said: “Directory enquiry services are a lifeline for some customers, and our 118 855 service offers customer the certainty of a fixed cost of just £1 per call without any per minute charges - while some of our competitors can charge up to £19.98 for the same service. The product is a good example of our focus on customers and achieving our North Star ambition of a sustainable Telecoms business.”

 

*Service charges that account for over 90% of all call volumes (31 May 2018)

1-minute charge

90 second charge

2-minute charge

118 118 (TNUK)

£8.98

£11.23

£13.47

118 500 (BT)

£5.50

£6.88

£8.25

118 180 (Virgin)

£1.50

£2.25

£3.00

118 402 (O2)

£1.25

£1.88

£2.50

118 247 (Yell)

£5.50

£6.88

£8.25

118 212 (Maureen)

£8.98

£11.23

£13.47

118 004 (Telecom2)

£15.98

£19.98

£23.97

118 855 (Post Office)             

£1.00

£1.00

£1.00

 *Source: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0028/114796/consultation-118-review.pdf