A directory enquiry service provides contact information and/or onward telephone connection to an individual or business telephone number that is listed in the National Directory Database (NDD). The NDD is a record of all subscribers of publicly available telephone numbers in the State, who have not refused to have their details recorded in it. It includes both home phone and mobile phone numbers. You can find out more about the NDD here.
Directory enquiry numbers begin with 118 and are five digits long e.g. 118XX.
Consumers should be aware that the cost of using some directory enquiry services are high and is dependent on a number of factors, namely:
• the directory enquiry service that you decide to call;
• who your own service provider is; and
• if you are calling from your home phone or mobile phone.
The directory enquiry charge that appears on your phone bill will be made up of:
• a connection cost; and
• the cost per minute.
The cost will also be influenced by whether you choose to use the onward call connection service, which (if chosen) may significantly increase the price of your call.
Following receipt of the relevant telephone number the directory enquiry agent may ask whether you wish to be connected directly to that telephone number. If you agree, you will be connected to the number and charged the directory enquiry cost per minute rate for the entire duration of your call. This is known as “onward call connection” or “call completion”.
If you wish to minimise the cost of using the directory enquiry service, you can request the relevant telephone number from the directory enquiry agent and state that you do not wish the call to be connected to the telephone number. The directory enquiry call will then end.
You may then dial the relevant telephone number separately, meaning that you will be charged for the call at a standard rate and will not pay the higher directory enquiry rate.
If you are using a mobile, check if a text service is offered as having the number sent to you will likely reduce the cost.
Remember that depending on which network you are connected to and the nature of the specific telephony plan or bundle that you have with your service provider, it may be cheaper for you to use a specific directory enquiry service.
It may be beneficial for you to shop around and if you are unsure about the cost of calling a directory enquiry service you can visit ComReg Compare.
The directory enquiry calculator on ComReg Compare will provide you with a detailed breakdown of the current cost of calling a particular directory enquiry service.
ComReg Compare endeavours to ensure that the prices charged for directory enquiry services are transparent and understood by consumers.
You may also speak with your service provider to find out more.
Consumers with internet access can also find telephone numbers by availing of online directories or by performing an internet search.
If you are unable to use directories because of a vision impairment and/or you have difficulty reading, you are entitled to access directory enquiry services free of charge. All service providers are required to allow the use of a directory enquiry service free of charge once certification of the relevant disability is provided by a registered medical practitioner or by an appropriate agent. If you qualify and wish to avail of this service you can register for this service by calling Freefone 1800 574 574 and completing the 196 form. Please also refer to your service provider’s website and accessibility page.
Complaints about directory enquiries are managed in the same way as other service provider complaints. See our help and complaints section for more information.
A complaint relating to directory enquiry services should be raised as a ‘standard’ complaint to your service provider. If your own service provider fails to resolve the matter with you, you should then raise your complaint with the directory enquiry service provider who will attempt to resolve your issue.