How Much do Calls to 1890 Numbers Cost ?

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 – we will reveal 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 March 2017)

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

Mobile Networks
Tesco Mobile   15c 
eir Mobile  15c
Meteor  15 c
Lycamobile 16c
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?  

We think that all companies shoud ditch these falsely labelled Lo Call 1890 numbers and just use  normal geographic landline numbers . We would also  strongly 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  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)


1890 call costs

Prices checked August  2017