The Consumers’ Association of Ireland
The Consumers’ Association of Ireland is a wholly independent, non-profit, non-government organisation registered with charitable status. CHY No. 8559.
Telephone: 01 – 637 3961
Uncalled For – The Cost to Ring Directory Enquiries
In the September issue of our magazine Consumer Choice, the CAI attempts to decipher the high and higher charges consumers pay to directory enquiry services providers in Ireland. To say that this is a challenge is an understatement.
Despite our financial straits prices here have gone up dramatically in the last number of years, especially for Eircom landlines. As of the 2nd of September
· a one minute call to 11811 costs €3.42
· a one minute call to 11850 costs €5.58
· a one minute call to 11890 costs €3.40
Each service includes a set-up fee and minimum charge in the pricing structure so that no matter how short the consumer manages to keep the call, the price will still be high. This results in:
· a 1-second call costing €2.12 to 11811
· a 1-second call costing €5.58 to 11850
· a 1-second call costing €3.40 to 11890
Comparing prices between mobile providers becomes decidedly more difficult with the same 1-second call varying in cost from €0.85 to €4.26 and between pre-pay and bill-pay customers. Worse again, there is no consistency in approach between bill-pay and pre-pay tariffs which serves to only further confuse and frustrate the consumers potential to ‘shop around’.
Dermott Jewell, Policy Advisor to the CAI, commented that “There are ways to reduce and even avoid the charges but these are never highlighted. For example, for consumers who have Internet access, each service provides a free search engine. For those who do not there is one low call number, 11888, that provides a much cheaper charge. This number is provided by 11850, but is not advertised – anywhere – except on the 11850 website”.