How Much do Calls to 1890 Numbers Cost ?

Some people think that 1890 numbers are free phone numbers in Ireland . But the truth is that making phone calls to 1890 numbers can often 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” 1890 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 then than  a “national” call.
ComReg  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.

The problem is that all of the the mobile networks and the landline providers we looked at  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 generated 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 April 2019)

Virgin Landline   4c (plus 9.5c set up fee)
Vodafone Landline  4.5c (9.8c setup fee)
Eir Landline     5.2c (plus 9.6c call setup fee)
Imagine 5.2c (9.6c call setup)
Pure Telecom  7.9c

Mobile Networks
Tesco Mobile   15c 
eir Mobile  15c
Virgin  25c
Postfone  25c (minimum 25c per call)
Three  34 c (PAYG)
Vodafone Mobile    30c

Government Use of 1890 numbers
There are still plenty of statutory bodies and  state departments 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 !

** NCT have stopped using an 1890 number as have Irish Water. Revenue have reduced the number 0f 1890 numbers.

A 30 minute daytime call to an 1890 number from a   Three PAYG mobile  would cost €10.00. What’s “lo call” about that?  

There are proposals from COMREG  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 also hope that the phone companies will start including 1890 numbers in their inclusive bundles .

Some government departments  started using 076 numbers instead of 1890 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

More about cost of calls to 0818 numbers  here..

1890 call costs

Prices checked  April 2018