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The UK's 118 directory enquiries (DQ) services aren't quite so rubbish as they used to be.

So says research outfit 118tracker.com which found that some DQ operations began to show signs of getting their act together during November.

According to its latest monthly survey, the UK's recently deregulated DQ sector saw a "marked improvement on overall levels of service".

The top five operators to score full marks for accuracy were 118097 (Cable & Wireless), 118111 (One Tel), 118181 (Smile Assistance), 118374 (Cable Telecom, provided by C&W) and 118810 (Energis).

And when it comes to price, some operators charged 20p (118800 Directory Enquiries UK) while others racked up charges of £1.84 (118437 Mira System).

Last month research from two UK watchdogs found that four in ten calls to DQ operators end in the wrong information being dished out.

The research echoed earlier concerns from the Consumers' Association which found that UK punters are paying over the odds for a substandard service. ®

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