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Telephone Bill Pressures 'Could Ease'

Mar 9, 2008
According to uSwitch, the rolling out of 0800 100 100 - a free directory enquiries service - may see consumers save millions of pounds. It is thought that the new telephone number could generate annual savings of some 272 million pounds if the estimated 378 million calls made to directory services every year are switched to the free service.

The free-to-use service is to be funded through advertising, with customers being required to first listen to a 20 second marketing message before being told the number that they requested.

Following on from a fall in their telephone bills, people may find that they are able to meet other monetary demands such as gas and electricity bills, loan repayments and rent or mortgage costs with greater ease.

Steve Weller, head of communications services at uSwitch, said: "The introduction of free directory enquiries is a welcome move and will entice customers back into this market. We expect the new service to be very well received - most callers will be more than willing to listen to some adverts at the start of the call if it saves them money."

He added: "There are over 100 different 118 providers in the UK but just two of these are free." As such, the spokesperson from the price comparison website claimed that such suppliers will have to consider the services that they provide and how they are funded if they are to remain in the market. Such paid-for services, the National Audit Office recently claimed in the Daily Mail, have been an "expensive flop".

At the moment, the price comparison website reveals that the average cost of a call to a paid-for directory enquiries provider from a landline stands at 72 pence per minute. However, it was revealed that such charges can vary by up to 41 per cent, with uSwitch pointing out that the 118 247 service from Yellow Pages sees consumers hit with fees of 93 pence. Furthermore, it was claimed that those making calls from mobile phones may face even higher charges.

Despite news of the free line, taking out a UK consolidation loan might be of further assistance to those looking to reduce pressure on their household finances. Through applying for this sort of UK loan consumers may find that they can merge a number of bills and demands for payment into one single low-cost monthly outgoing. A consolidation loan might be particularly helpful to those finding that they are struggling with the recent price increases implemented by a number of energy providers in recent weeks.

In January consumer watchdog energywatch revealed that the average electricity bill has gone up by 61 per cent during the last four years. During the same period of time, gas bills have increased by 82 per cent. Findings from the firm also showed that the proportions of consumers who owe 600 pounds or more on their electricity and gas bills have gone up by 64 and 19 per cent respectively between April and June of last year. Overall, some 9,350 households had their energy disconnected in 2007 because of financial difficulties.
About the Author
Abbi Rouse writes for All About Loans where visitors can apply for personal loans and also focuses on UK loans , and fast secured loans for UK Homeowners.
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