Directory Enquiries Options and Costs in Ireland

Following on from our analysis of the call costs associated with calling 1850, 1890 and 0818 phone numbers across all phone service providers in the country, we decided to do a little analysis to try to work out the best Directory enquiries number to call.

The full breakdown of the costs of calling the various National Directory Enquiries numbers from most of the mobile and landline service providers is available from these links (national or international).

So, where’s the best value directory enquiries available?

Well, first things first – if you have the opportunity and you’ve a computer available to you, don’t call a directory enquiries number at all. Each of the 3 national service providers have websites where you can log in and get the numbers for free.

I’m not going to comment on the cost of the International Directory Enquiries costs – they’re all ridiculous and shouldn’t be used. If you need an international number, you can access directory enquiries websites in the country that you’re interested in to find the number you’re looking for. And if you’re on a mobile, if you can afford to be ringing abroad on your mobile, you really won’t care how much you’re being charged for international directory enquiries.

So, back to national directory enquiries. If you do have to call a directory enquiries number from your home landline, then the 11888 number from Conduit is the best value across pretty much every phone package based on the call costs quoted.

But, if you’re on the move and you need a number, who’s the best value for calling directory enquiries from a mobile?

If you don’t care about getting the text message sent to your phone (but see below for more on this), then by far the cheapest national directory enquiries number to call is 11888. Again, this is based on quoted costs. Note that this service only allows you ask for one number – but, does anyone really ask for more than one number at a time?

At the other end of the scale, for national numbers, Meteor proves to be the most expensive for both BillPay and Pay as You Go customers when it comes to calling any of the 4 directory enquiry numbers – even when calling 11811 which is the same company (Eircom).

I’d never heard of this 11888 number previously – primarily because it’s never advertised. It’s provided by the same people as the 11850, Conduit Ltd.

Just to confirm, I gave them a call. In fact, I gave them all a call just to see what happened (quiet evening, and footy and rugby seasons over). I asked them all for the same number – the switch for for a company that has multiple numbers available.

The 11888 number took the longest to answer, but they found me the number I wanted quickly enough, and despite what it says on their website, they did text me the number afterwards.

There was little difference between the 11850, 11890 and 11811 numbers after that. The company I was asking for has multiple numbers, and all but the 11890 service asked me which of the numbers I was looking for – the 11890 service had to be asked for the switch as they initially gave out a different number.

The 11811 service was probably the quickest to answer, though, they did add on an extra blurb before giving you the number where they asked you if you wanted to be put through and you had to answer “no”.

The 11890 service was the slowest to deliver the text message to my phone as well. The other three were pretty instantaneous.

At the very end of this article is a full listing of the costs across all the telephone providers for calling the 4 available National Directory Enquiries Numbers in Ireland, and the 3 available International Directory Enquiries numbers.

What was very noticeable was the huge variety of different costs across the 15 different plans for all the companies for the 7 different Directory Enquiries numbers. There is hardly the same call cost amongst any company or call plan for any 2 Directory Enquiries numbers.

Here is the summary of my call costs for the test calls mentioned above (I’m on O2 bill pay):

Summary of my call costs for the test directory enquiries calls mentioned above on O2 bill pay


So, having never heard of 11888 before this research, it appeared to provide the best value on paper, but after testing out all the numbers, the fastest and cheapest was the 11890 service. (Originally Published: 04th June, 2008)

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