To protect customers from excessively high cost, the rates of calls to directory inquiries is to be capped from April.
If you are one of the two-thirds of users who are unaware that 118 calls can cost £20 don’t worry the good news is that Ofcom has announced the price of calls to directory inquiries is to be capped from April to protect consumers from excessively high charges.
Directory inquiries numbers – which all start with 118 – are still used by extra than 1 million people, a lot of them elderly, with nearly two-thirds unaware of how much the calls are charged for.
The most charge for calls can be capped at £3.65 for every ninety seconds, Ofcom has announced.
Jane Rumble, the director of consumer policy at the communications regulator, said: “Directory inquiry charges have risen in current years and callers are paying much extra than they assume. The evidence shows this is hurting people, with some struggling to pay their payments.
“We’re taking actions to guard callers with the aid of capping 118 prices. this may drastically cut the cost of many calls and bring them again to 2012 levels.”
With the cap at the cost of calls, Ofcom said directory inquiries would become affordable and consumers would be protected from unexpectedly high bills. The regulator’s research found that each year, about 450,000 people pay a total of £2.4m extra than they expect for these calls.
The Directory inquiries phone carrier was modified in 2003, with the goal of creating more competition in the marketplace, which was ruled by BT’s 192 number for 47 years.
Firms behind the new numbers spent millions of dollars on advertising and marketing campaigns to attempt to replace 192 as one of the easiest to remember the number. There are now approximately 300 118 numbers, according to Ofcom.
“By capping these calls at £3.65 in step with 90 seconds from April, Ofcom has put a restriction on excesses. That is a clear signal that there may be a limit on how companies can recoup operating prices by using trekking costs to a dwindling range of users, who regularly are unaware of the fees.”