Free Directory Enquiry Calls
The UK Directory Enquiry Service became free again this month.
An official report by the National Audit Office said the switch to 118 from the old 192 service was an expensive flop that left consumers out of pocket and failed to improve service.
Hopefully the launch of 0800 100 100 will be the first nail in the coffin for rip-off 118 so-called providers that replaced the original free British Telecom 192 directory enquiry service. although BT have offered free directory enquiries online for at www.bt.com since the abolition of the 192 service which has been reasonably fast if you have a reasonable broadband connection.
You are required to listen to a 20-second advert but that is a small price to pay considering the long delays experienced on pay per second sevices – 40% of users thought 118 operators unnecessarily prolonged conversations to boost revenues.
Calls from landlines, cable networks and even mobiles will be free and answered by real people based in the UK rather than machines and international call centres.
Update see Comment by john smith — March 12, 2009 @ 8:41 pm
Have you tried it? “We are sorry this site is currently over subscribed but you can call our sister company on 118 ……” At 20:38hrs on a Thursday evening? How many calls does it take to “over subscribe” their system?? Clearly a rip off.
The service will be sustained by advertising. Enquirers will be expected to listen to a short message – twenty seconds – before they receive their information however top banana thinks this much better than the existing average call cost of 78p – over 378 million calls to directory enquiries in the UK annually – you do the maths.