In June 2015 it was found that calls from landlines to 118 118 directory enquiries were a minimum of £4.50 made up of £1.88 per call plus £2.57 per minute (minimum 60 second charge). However, the company has now announced that calls will cost £4.49 per call plus £4.49 per minute, which equates to almost £9 and is double the 2015 cost. Plus, customers could also have to pay an access charge per minute by their phone provider. Experts have warned that a 3 minute long telephone call to 118 118 will now cost around £18.32 from a landline or £19.61 from a mobile.
118 numbers were introduced by then regulator Oftel to increase competition and cut prices for consumers. In 2003 the cost of a call to BT 192 was 40p.
Other suppliers of the 118 118 service including BT, Yell and Maureen all charge at least £5.50 for a 45-second call.
However, not many customers know that 118 118 also offers a much cheaper version of the service – called 118 811. It is a slower, simplified and lower cost version of 118 118’s directory service. Calls to 118 811 cost £1 per call plus your telephone company’s network access charge.