An old telephone.
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There have been many discussions over the past couple of years about the value of 1890 and 1850 numbers to general public. In the past, when ringing someone outside your area code cost you an arm and a leg, these numbers were of true benefit to both the owner of the phone number and of course the person ringing the phone number.

From a business perspective, offering your potential customers the ability to ring you at local (or lower) call rates was a great and effective marketing ploy. To the customer, you were safe in the knowledge that a call to the said company would not result in a massive phone bill for something that was possibly a small matter.

However nowadays, 1890 and 1850 seem to be nothing but a scam with no more intentions than filling the telecoms operators coffers with vasts amount of money. There isn’t a telecoms company in Ireland today that don’t offer free national calls as part of their home phone packages. Therefore calling 1890 & 1850 numbers should be free right? Wrong….

Even though the number you are dialing may terminate at a local number, you will still be charged the rates associated with calling a 1890 or 1850 number. Whereas, if they had provided you with a landline number, it wouldn’t have cost you a penny.

It’s fair to say that most people aren’t aware of this fact, until of course they receive their monthly itemised bill that states this. For that reason many businesses will continue to promote their 1850 & 1890 numbers as it has the appearance of being a cheap way to contact them. It also removes “location” as an issue. If people don’t see the area code, they will just assume that the company is local.

The reality is that we should be pushing for these numbers to be stopped. The only people making money from them are the telecoms providers and I would hazard a guess that it’s quite substantial.

So if you are a business and want to save your customers some money, why not ditch the 1890 or 1850 number and start promoting your landline number again. If you are someone who rings these numbers, why not stop and starting seeking the landline numbers of the companies you are trying to contact?

There is a list of popular establishments landline numbers on this thread… http://www.askaboutmoney.com/showthread.php?t=74589 – it may come in handy some time!

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