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Regulator to investigate BT directory enquiries service

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Callcenter-429x288Premium line regulator Phone Pay Plus is reviewing BT’s 118 500 service, after claims that it doesn’t comply with its strict code of conduct.

After an investigation by the BBC, which contacted a number of directory enquiries services to investigate how well the code of conduct is being adhered to, it was found that BT have recently added 8 seconds to the length of a call to their 118 500 number.

BT told the BBC Radio 4 You and Yours programme that it had added eight seconds of extra information to the call length, so that it offered customers a better service.

Other companies contacted by the BBC included Maureen, 192.com, Yellow Pages and 118 118.

All of the directory numbers charge a connection fee, but after that, the charges differ, some numbers are charged by the second and some by the minute, with the average call length varying between the companies.

Maureen was found to conduct the fastest calls, with the average time being just 39 seconds, while BT’s average call length was found to be one minute and 44 seconds, the longest by far, sparking the investigation.

Phone Pay Plus said: “Our code of practice is clear that services should be delivered without undue delay. We are looking into the service that is offered on 118 500 to ensure there is no undue delay to the call.”

BT said: “We have recently increased the amount of information in the introduction to 118 500 that callers hear before they speak to an adviser. We have done this to help customers get the best out of the service. It adds only eight seconds to the length of the call.”