‘Bill shock’ warning on 118 calls prompts regulator to behave

118 118 ad Image copyright 118 118 Image caption 118 118 has spent tens of tens of millions on tv advertising

The telecoms regulator Ofcom has introduced it desires to cap the cost of 118 directory enquiry calls at £3.10 for a 90 2nd name.

Market leader 118 118 charges £11.23 for a 90 second name to its service.

Ofcom said suppliers were increasing prices “somewhat significantly” in recent years and that individuals are paying a lot more than they expect.

Overall 2% of adults or 1,000,000 other folks use a 118 carrier, emerging to 4% amongst the ones over the age of 65.

Ofcom launched its enquiry into the associated fee of 118 calls in Would Possibly 2017.

Symbol copyright Getty Pictures

How the price of 118 calls varies

Telecom2* £19.98

Hello Maureen £11.23

118118 (TNUK) £11.23

118500 (BT) £3.10

Yell £6.88

118180 (Virgin)** £2.25

118402 (O2) £1.88

Post Office £1

* AN OVERLY small proportion of calls is made to those numbers – 0.03% consistent with Ofcom’s data

** Virgin provide 10 loose directory enquiry calls to its own consumers day by day

Ofcom said it was once now top-quality to “carry costs all the way down to 2013 levels”.

The highest value for a 90 2d call was once charged by means of Telecom2 at £19.98. The firm’s chairman, Robert Johnson, stated just one of the company’s listing enquiry numbers charged this fee and it was not being “actively advertised”.

The second greatest provider, BT reduce the fee for its 118 500 quantity on 1 June to £3.10 for NINETY seconds, down from £6.88.

In an announcement Ofcom said: “We Are desirous about rising costs for directory enquiries, and callers paying much more than they be expecting.

“So we are taking motion to offer protection to shoppers through providing a cap on the fee of 118 numbers.”

Ofcom’s consultation will run until 22 August with a choice due on the finish of the year.

David Hickson of the honest telecoms marketing campaign said: “The Ofcom announcement is a clear message that the rates charged by way of 118118 and others are over the top, despite the fact that we would possibly to attend some time for specific motion.”

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