118 118 what a complete and utter con

So this week I got an email from BT saying my monthly direct debit had gone to £71pm - more than double what it was previously.

I expected my phone bill to be larger these last few months. My mother in law has been seriously ill for a long time and we've been on the phone a lot more recently. Sadly, last month, she died in hospital and after the funeral was over we've been trying to sort out probate. I kept getting email alerts from BT saying you've just spent over £1 on your bill and I've largely ignored them as we've been at home more and using the phone more - what a mistake!

Those silly men in moustaches have conned us! Now I know how they can afford to spend all that money on television adverts (and I know what these cost).

What seems to have happend is this. My wife has been trying to sort out probate and this has necessitated ringing loads of people and she has used THAT NUMBER for directory enquires. Once you get the number (50p per minute so your thinking I'll pay at most 50p for a directory enquiry) is that the /nice/ people at 118 offer to connect you and my wife thought, that's ok, please do. Of course no one at that company attempts to explain when they dial the number for you that you'll be paying 50pm even if you are ringing your neighbour.

So now for one month we've racked up nearly £50 of 118 calls and BT have reacted and upped our monthly direct debit.

Now you are saying to yourself "you stupid idiot" or "that can't be right" and we cannot defend the former other than this is a con, but on the latter we have over a 12 minute call on the bill to 118 and that just cannot be right unless they are charging for putting you through. In these days, just how is this possible. How is this any more legitimate that people trying to get you to ring premium rate lines on some false promise.

So I say to you moustached men (and anyone who watches independent television in the UK will know what I am talking about) you are a disreputable company that has found a rather good way of fleecing people out of money. Will your money making model continue to work - you'll eventually run out of people to con and hopefully anyone reading this will realise too.

Information from BT call usage:

Fri 08 Feb 13 09:31
118118
Directory 12:58
More information
Other call
£24.060
Sun 20 Jan 13 22:17
118118
Directory 4:12
More information
Other call
£8.330
Tue 05 Feb 13 21:59
118118
Directory 3:42
More information
Other call
£7.950
Sun 20 Jan 13 21:54
118118
Directory 3:14
More information
Other call
£6.740

Just some of the links I found when searching for this:


Disgusting 118 118 UK Mobile Charges


Don’t Dial 118 118! It Is Bloody Expensive…!

118118 – Got your number, you’v also got my money too!


118118


Wirral mum's shock at phone block loophole


Directory inquiries shows competition isn't always best for the consumer


118 118 directory calls, cost more than £2!