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Confusion reigns ahead of 192 switch-off

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BT - which corners around 70 per cent of the £300 million directory enquiries (DQ) market in the UK - is warning of consumer confusion arising from the 192 switch-off later this month.

On 24 August, the plug will be pulled on DQ's old number, 192, and exclusively granted to a mob of operators, including BT, providing new services the new DQ prefix of 118.

With just days left until the switch-off, BT is becoming increasingly concerned that a large percentage of customers are still think 192 is DQ's number.

Paul Elliott, chief exec of BT Directories, said: "Our research shows around 70 per cent of people are still quoting 192 as the number to call for directory enquiries.

"We expect most people to switch at the last possible moment and this is bound to lead to confusion and irritation, as callers will have to make at least three phone calls before they get the number they want," he said.

Curiously, according to the latest research from Oftel, eight in ten people are aware that there are a range of new numbers for directory enquiries with three in ten people already using the new 118 numbers.

These figures suggest that consumers will adapt quickly to the changes when the 192 service ends, said Oftel in a statement that is clearly at odds with BT's view.

Anyhow, if you're confused then check out Oftel's guide to the new services on offer. ®

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