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.
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. Now that most people have mobile phones or landline telephone packages with call minutes included – the “Lo Call” idea is just not working. In some cases it should really be known as “Hi Call” !
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.
How Much Does it Cost to Ring an 1890 “Lo Call” number?
(Rate shown is cents per minute)
UPC 4c (plus 9.5c set up fee)
Eircom 5.2c (plus 9.6c call setup fee)
Tesco Mobile 15c (min charge 15c)
Meteor 15 c
Three 30 c
iD Mobile 35c
Vodafone Mobile 35c
Free 1890 and 1850 calls :
Vomino is a VOIP telecoms provider that doesn’t charge for 1850 or 1890 calls. You have to have an existing broadband connection to make use of Vomino – but at €9.99 a month it’s worth looking into as a landline replacement. You get free landline calls in Ireland and all of the EU as well as USA and Australia. More details on their website.
A free App for your smartphone is also available from Vomino . The app can be used to make free calls to 1890 and 1850 numbers. As an added bonus – they also say the app will allow you 30 minutes of free calls to Irish landlines per month (after that it’s 2c per min)
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.
There were reports 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 peak hours call to 1890 from a Vodafone or IdMobile mobile would cost €10.50. What’s “lo call” about that. A Three mobile customer would end up paying €9.00 for a 30 minute call to an 1890 number.
From an Eircom landline it would cost €1.66 for a 30 minute call to 1890.
We think that all companies shoud ditch these falsely labelled Lo Call 1890 numbers and just use normal geographic landline numbers . We would also suggest that the phone companies should start including 1890 numbers in their inclusive bundles – but that might never happen because it could mean a big loss of revenue for them.
Some government departments have also started using 0761 numbers because they believed (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 May 2016