It doesn’t seem fair to me. How about you?

Imagine if you needed to find out the time of the trains leaving Bathgate around lunchtime. You call up British Rail to ask, and they refuse to give you the train times until you pay them; credit or debit card details.

Of course, you would complain. Why should you pay for the information you require to use their service… for which you will be paying?

Or imagine you are in the local bakery. You ask: “What kind of pie is that?”

Sorry, but I can’t tell you until you pay me.”

“But if it’s what I’m looking for, I’m going to buy it… with money.”

“Sorry, credit card details first before I tell you what kind of pie it is.”

Cause for complaint, don’t you think?

Well, I remember a time when British Telecom ran a system called Directory Enquiries. You dialed the number and gave the name and address of the person you wanted to call. The lovely lady at the other end gave you their phone number… which you called and paid for.

But today if you want to find a phone number, you have to call the two mustachioed geeks – or a similar service.

And just so you know, I looked into the price of this service. Were you aware that calling a 118 number for a mere 45 seconds on a mobile will cost £2 or more? No, neither was I. And it will cost an incredible £12 for a five-minute call… simply to ascertain the number you’re going to call and pay for anyway!

Well, does that seem fair or reasonable to you?

So, if you need a number, who you gonna’ call? Well, I suggest you first try is online at It’s free – as it should be.

Drew McAdam


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