Strictly embargoed until 00.01 hours on Friday 8th February 2008
SEALING THE FATE OF 118
- Launch of free directory enquiries number -
The UK's only FREE directory enquiries service launches today, signalling the end of costly 118 calls.
The new number - 0800 100 100 - is completely free and does not charge callers from mobiles, landlines or cable networks.
0800 100 100 is the only free directory enquiry service to be answered by real people, rather than an automated service, and all operators are based in UK call centres.
The new number is set to save UK callers at least £298 million a year - the amount currently spent on costly 118 calls per annum.*
0800 100 100 will be a welcome addition for British consumers - four in 10 (40 per cent) of whom think 118 operators drag out conversations to boost costs. Meanwhile, over two-fifths (43 per cent) of the callers who request connections via traditional 118 services claim they have never been informed that this incurs additional charges.
In addition, new research carried out by 0800 100 100 reveals almost a third (32 per cent) of callers are unaware of the extortionate cost of 118 directory enquiry services.
0800 100 100's free service is sustained through advertising: callers will be asked to listen to a short (up to 20-seconds) message before they receive their requested information. Uniquely, the majority of the advertising will be relevant to the individual query, and many will communicate exclusive discounts.
Household names such as EDF Energy, Alliance & Leicester and Anglian Home Improvements have already signed up to advertise with 0800 100 100 at launch - many of whom will uniquely target their messages. For example, if a consumer calls for an energy provider, the message delivered prior to the requested number will be an offer from EDF Energy.
One of 0800 100 100's founders, Murray McPherson, said: "0800 100 100 operates without any cost to the consumer and will be carried on all networks, ending the days of overpriced information, when of course this information should be free."
"Many Britons are banned from calling 118 numbers on their company landlines and mobile phones because it is so costly, which can be incredibly frustrating in the work environment when you urgently need information. However the new number, 0800 100 100, will be entirely free of charge."
Please visit http://www.freedirectoryenquiries.com
for more information.
Notes to editors
Research was conducted by YouGov from 1st to 5th November 2007. There were 2,220 UK adult respondents.
* 78.76p (the average cost of a minimum length 118 call which is 45 seconds from the OFCOM 2006 report) x 378,021,719 (annual call volume according to Performance House's UK Directory Enquiries Market Evaluation)
All 0800 100 100 contact centres are based in the UK and manned by fully trained English-speaking professionals.
Advertisers already signed up to 0800 100 100 include: Alliance & Leicester, EDF Energy, Anglian Home Improvements, Natwest, Asda, Pru Health, Autoglass and Eurostar.
If you have a press enquiry, please contact Kev O'Sullivan on 020 7419 8632 / 07813 080 184 or [email protected]
Hope it save us all loads of money, as we have bee ripped off for far to long!!