Research by the Consumers Association of Ireland has shown the huge variability in costs of using directory inquiries. Prices for a one minute call varied from 60cent per minute for calls to the little known 11888 to 5.58 for calls to eircom’s 11850. Dermott Jewell of the Consumers’ Association said it was very difficult for consumers to decipher exact call costs with many of these companies and that due to minimum fees some of the companies charged essentially 5.58 for a 1 second call. Many of the companies blamed the wholesale prices for lines from the main networks and also the regulator for not doing more about prices. Whomever is to blame it seems clear it is a lucrative business even in the modern world of searching online for a number for free.

Call costs varied substantially but taking just calls from Eircom landlines a one-minute call to 11850 costs €5.58, 11811 costs €3.42, 11890 costs €3.40 and it is only 60 cent to 11888. If you do need to use directory inquiries remember to at least pick the best value for your mode of cal and networkl. Even better, Google the company where possible and finally check out the excellent and free www.saynoto1890.com for local numbers for many companies rather than having to call the expensive 1850/1890 numbers.

If you have a complaint about an operator of these services you can contact the communications regulator Comreg.