A new directory enquiry service called 118800 that allows consumers to search a database of UK mobile phone numbers is due to launch on 18 June.
The service, available to customer who dial 118800, or online at 118800.co.uk, is the first such service to be available in the UK, claims to be ‘the only directory with millions of mobile numbers’.
118800 charges £1 for a successful online mobile number search, or via its Kingston-upon-Hull call centre it will be a 69p connection charge plus 14p per minute from BT landlines, with charges from mobiles varying between operators. To find a mobile number, callers will need to give the name and home location (the mobile’s registered address) of the person they wish to search for.
The 118800 website makes it clear that the the service does ‘NOT give out mobile phone numbers. Instead, when you search on 118800.co.uk, [they]’ll send an SMS message to the person you´re seeking, giving them your contact details so they can call you back if they choose to do so.’
The 118800 website lists scenarios which it claims its market research has identified as popular reasons to use the 118800 service, including ‘when you need to change arrangements at the last minute and you don’t have the other person’s mobile number on you’ or when ‘you’ve left your mobile at home or the battery has run low and you can’t access your address book’.
Which? has expert reviews of over 170 mobile phones, and our labs test the battery life of each handset so you can choose one with the stamina you need. If you’re concerned about mobile and online privacy issues we also have advice on protecting your personal details.
How to make your mobile number ex-directory on 118800
In response to the question ‘How did you get the numbers?’, the 118800.co.uk FAQs page states: ‘Generally it comes from companies who collect mobile telephone numbers from customers in the course of doing business and have been given permission by the customers to share those numbers.’
Which? tech expert Al Warman said: ‘As mobiles have overtaken landlines as the most popular method of phone communication, the BT directory of landlines has become less useful, and until now there’s been no easy way to find a mobile number for a particular person.
‘Not everyone will want to their contact details to be searchable on 118800. If you’re already listed, and want to opt out, you’ll be able to text ‘E’ to 118800 from your mobile phone or call 0800 138 6263.
‘Or if you want to avoid being added to the 118800 database in the future, the usual advice applies on how to avoid companies using or selling your contact details. Read the terms and conditions carefully whenever you provide your mobile number, and untick the relevant boxes on forms that ask if you’re happy for your details to be shared with third parties.’
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