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Beware International Directory Enquiries £1.99/min (Read 11,213 times)
dinsdale
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Beware International Directory Enquiries £1.99/min
Apr 4th, 2008 at 2:03am
 
I use 18185 for most of my calls so my BT bill usually represents just line rental. My current bill shows a single call to 118505 which is International Directory Enquiries. The call lasted 2 minutes 40 seconds and was charged at £5.67 + VAT. At first I thought this was a mistake but after checking I found that the service is charged at an incredible £1.99 per minute plus VAT.

I needed to contact Australia Post urgently after a valuable registered package was mis-delivered and only had a local (to Oz) freephone number which the BT operator told me I could not dial from the UK, so I had to find a geographical number. 

First and last time I will use this service Cry
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farci
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Re: Beware International Directory Enquiries £1.99
Reply #1 - Apr 4th, 2008 at 10:56am
 
It's cold comfort but you can access directory information thru the BT website for most countries. Here's the link for Australia:

http://www.thephonebook.bt.com/publisha.content/en/search/international/record.p...
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dinsdale
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Re: Beware International Directory Enquiries £1.99
Reply #2 - Apr 5th, 2008 at 11:35am
 
Thanks! There was a link to White Pages which has geographic numbers.

I'd found a six digit freephone number on the Australia Post website and rang the UK operator to ask if it was possible to use this by adding other digits. Some UK 0800 numbers can be dialled from abroad by adding the international prefix. The operator told me that this was not possible and transferred me to International Directory Enquiries.   

It never occurred to me to ask the price of this service (my fault) and it was only when I saw the bill that I realised that I had been charged £6.66 (£5.67 + VAT) to be given one telephone number which I just found myself in under thirty seconds through two unfamiliar websites.

The exorbitant rate is bad enough but when coupled to very slow response time it can produce shocking charges. I've cancelled my direct debit with BT and will send them a cheque for line rental and a nominal £1 for the 118505 call.
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badger
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Re: Beware International Directory Enquiries £1.99
Reply #3 - Apr 5th, 2008 at 10:10pm
 
dinsdale wrote on Apr 5th, 2008 at 11:35am:
I'd found a six digit freephone number on the Australia Post website...


I used to work in a job which involved calling Australian companies from time to time. I found that the six digit numbers to which you are referring (beginning with "13") could sometimes be dialled like a normal international number; e.g. 00 61 13 XX XX. The same with 1300 numbers, which are the equivalent of 0870 I think. If I couldn't get them to work, I would try them via Skype, and I was often successful at that stage.
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mikeinnc
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Re: Beware International Directory Enquiries £1.99
Reply #4 - Apr 5th, 2008 at 11:04pm
 
Quote:
The same with (Australian) 1300 numbers, which are the equivalent of 0870


Well, they are in the sense that they are 'non-geographical' but the BIG difference is that they are a single price (generally about 25c or about 12p) REGARDLESS of the length of the call. I have been on hold for 50 minutes on a 1300 call - and it still only cost me 25c.

Of course, there is always a catch. You didn't think the telcos would let you get off that lightly?  Wink

That price is only from a landline!! Just like 0870 numbers, cell phone companies charge a premium for them if called from a mobile.  Angry

In addition, they are NOT included in call packages. Does that sound familiar? Luckily, most companies will give you a geographical equivalent quite freely if you ask.....

So - just a warning to anyone visiting God's Own Country - DON'T think you can get a 1300 call for 25c from a cell phone!
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dinsdale
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Re: Beware International Directory Enquiries £1.99
Reply #5 - Apr 8th, 2008 at 2:37pm
 
badger wrote on Apr 5th, 2008 at 10:10pm:
dinsdale wrote on Apr 5th, 2008 at 11:35am:
I'd found a six digit freephone number on the Australia Post website...


I used to work in a job which involved calling Australian companies from time to time. I found that the six digit numbers to which you are referring (beginning with "13") could sometimes be dialled like a normal international number; e.g. 00 61 13 XX XX. The same with 1300 numbers, which are the equivalent of 0870 I think. If I couldn't get them to work, I would try them via Skype, and I was often successful at that stage.



I started by trying the first method. †18185 came up with an error message stating it was a 'special tarriff number' which they couldn't handle. It didn't work with BT the first couple of times I tried it but I tried it again just now and it was third time lucky.

Yesterday BT offered an ex gratia refund of the charge which deals with my immediate concern but leaves intact what I think is a ripoff service. † †
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marty111
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Re: Beware International Directory Enquiries £1.99
Reply #6 - Feb 13th, 2009 at 2:37am
 
from the bt website:
* Calls to 118505 cost 194.77p per minute or part of a minute, plus a connection charge of 67.53p. All call charge include VAT and are from BT landlines. Other mobile and network charges may vary.

how can they charge so much for a directory service??
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Dave
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Re: Beware International Directory Enquiries £1.99
Reply #7 - Feb 13th, 2009 at 2:42am
 
marty111 wrote on Feb 13th, 2009 at 2:37am:
from the bt website:
* Calls to 118505 cost 194.77p per minute or part of a minute, plus a connection charge of 67.53p. All call charge include VAT and are from BT landlines. Other mobile and network charges may vary.

how can they charge so much for a directory service?? †

Look-up numbers on your PC for free or on your mobile for a fraction of the cost. Same goes for services like National Rail Enquiries.

Cynics will say that they have no interest in promoting these modern alternatives.
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marty111
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Re: Beware International Directory Enquiries £1.99
Reply #8 - Feb 13th, 2009 at 2:43am
 
free directory enquiries numbers:

The Number, 0800 118 3733

Pros: More than one number request
cons: Advert played immediately, automated system.


Freedirectoryenquries, 0800 100 100


Pros: A real person answers, no registration needed.
Cons: Accuracy issues, only one enquiry allowed per call.

alot cheaper than 118 500 and 118 505
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« Last Edit: Feb 13th, 2009 at 3:11am by marty111 »  
 
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alkis
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Re: Beware International Directory Enquiries £1.99
Reply #9 - Dec 9th, 2009 at 9:47am
 
hi
if you need to call †australia a lot , there is a skype †adapter/diverter †- Rylwy - that divert landline and cell phone to slype .
you will be able to use a personal lacal landline in australia from the uk as if you are there, dialing as you are there and paying as you are there , so saving you a lot of money and also saving you dialing a lot of nrs, eg 00 australia etc.

daniel  Smiley
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