Making phone calls to any of the so called “Lo Call” 1890 numbers will usually end up costing many consumers a lot more than if they rang a normal landline number. So – how much do calls to 1890 number cost?
These “lo call” numbers were introduced years ago when all we had was Eircom landlines with no bundles of free call minutes. The rate was meant to be the equivalent of a local call which was cheaper than a “national” call.
ComReg has specified that the charge for an 1890 call shall not exceed the retail charge for a call of the same duration to an Irish geographic number at the originator’s standard rate.
All of the the mobile networks and the landline providers we looked at currently don’t include 1890 numbers in their bundled “free” calls – so you end up paying for them even when you have unlimited call minutes included in your plan.
Figures from Comreg show that Irish telecoms providers generate an average income of €17.9 million a year from 1890 calls . (Based on figure from 2011 to 2015) . If these calls were included in “bundles” – their revenue from them would probably be cut by around a third.
How Much Does it Cost to Ring an 1890 “Lo Call” number?
(Rate shown is cents per minute at peak times – figures checked Jan 2018)
Virgin Landline 4c (plus 9.5c set up fee)
Vodafone Landline 4.5c (9.8c setup fee)
Eir Landline 5.2c (plus 20cc call setup fee)
Imagine 5.2c (9.6c call setup)
Pure Telecom 7.9c
Tesco Mobile 15c
eir Mobile 15c
Meteor 15 c
Postfone 25c (min 25c per call)
Three 30 c
Vodafone Mobile 30c
Government Use of 1890 numbers
There are still plenty of statutory bodies and state departments such as Revenue , NCT and Irish Water that are asking people to contact them on 1890 numbers – and sometimes no alternative number is offered. Even ComReg – the telecoms regulator – uses 1890 numbers !
There were reports last year of many callers to the 1890 Irish Water helpline waiting 30 minutes or more for an answer – but this will be after they get through to the automated queuing system and they will be getting charged while they wait. Many people won’t realise the size of the charge until they get their next phone bill.
A 30 minute daytime call to an 1890 number from a Vodafone or Three mobile would cost €9.00. What’s “lo call” about that?
There are proposals in place to change the rules on lo call numbers and bundles – see here
We hope that all companies will just ditch these falsely labelled Lo Call 1890 numbers and just use normal geographic landline numbers . We would also hope that the phone companies should start including 1890 numbers in their inclusive bundles .
Some government departments started using 076 numbers because they believed (or hoped) that the phone providers would treat these as landline numbers and include them in bundles. It turns out that hardly any phone companies include 076 numbers in bundles – so people who think they have unlimited “free” calls end up using credit or getting extra charges on bills. Read more here about 0761 call charges
Property Tax 1890 200 255 – Alternative number – 01 7023049
Irish Water – numbers here
(Read about price of 1850 Calls Here)
Prices checked August 2017