herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Directory enquiry calls cost up to €30

CONSUMERS could face paying up to €30 for a 10-minute call to directory enquiries services, new research has found.

The Consumers' Association found that some operators are charging up to €5.58 for a one-minute call.

And prices have shot up - by as much as 200pc in four years, the group said.

Dermott Jewell of the Consumers' Association said it was particularly difficult to identify the high charges imposed.

Charges vary between 11811, 11890, 11888 and 11850, depending on which telecoms carrier is used to call the directory enquiry service.

A one-minute call to 11850 from an Eircom landline costs €5.58. If the call is made to 11850 from a pre-pay mobile with 3, the cost is €4.26.

The 11811 operation is part of Eircom. Even a one-second call costs more than €5 to some directory enquiry providers.

This is because if you ring a directory enquiry number, you are automatically charged a connection fee the moment the call is answered.

Getting a phone number texted to a mobile costs €2. But choosing to be connected to a line, after getting the number, can be hugely expensive.

Eircom customers are charged €30.69 for a 10-minute call transferred from 11850. With 02 the cost is €23.52 for a similar call made originally to 11811, 11890 or 11850.

However, before being transferred to the number that you want, an automated warning message is played outlining the charges.

The survey found that 11888 offers the lowest prices for those who use directory enquiries.

Search

The Consumers' Association advised people who do not have a telephone directory to search for numbers online or on their smartphones.

Chief executive of 11890, Nicola Byrne, said the wholesale prices for using the services offered by her company were set by telecoms carriers such as Vodafone, O2, UPC and BT.

A spokesman for Eircom's 11811 said the prices reflected a fall in consumer demand for directory enquiry services.

hnews@herald.ie

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