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118800.co.uk do they have your mobile number?


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There is a thread over on MSE about this but in case anyone has missed it, there is a new directory enquiries service for mobile numbers that for a fee, will connect any Tom, Dick or Harry to your mobile phone.


118800 Giving out mobile numbers???? - MoneySavingExpert.com Forums


Cheers, Des.


http://www.twitter.com/RipOffBritain for updates on the 118800 privacy disaster.

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T, D, & H can't call you - the call is only offered, and you can choose to refuse it - and they appear to be offering it like the old BT 'Ex Directory' calls offered service. You don't get to know the number, but they put you through.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The 118800 service does raise a number of privacy and regulatory issues which people should take up with the Information Commissioners Office and OFCOM.


Ok, the service does NOT give out mobile numbers .. rather it contacts the requested party and lets them know the 'requesting party' is looking for them and do they wish to speak with/contact them. It does this either by sending a text or connecting a call via call completion. But don’t worry says the company .. respects your privacy because it never gives out your number.


The company has provided a facility so people can op-out and become ex-directory.


So what's wrong with all this?

Well, firstly, this directory enquiry (call completion) service sits outside of the regulatory framework for directories and directory enquiry services in the UK and which falls under the remit of OFCOM. Under that Framework, OFCOM has established a national directory database managed by BT and which is called OSIS. This is the OFFICIAL database and which also contains ex-directory numbers. ALL 118 providers that offer telephone numbers are entitled to access this database/receive this information under the law/the regulatory framework. Mobile operators are obliged to pass subscriber information to OSIS BUT do so only where a customer has specifically requested that they want an entry in a directory or directory enquiry service - in other words where a customer has expressly opted-in. Both OFCOM and the EU (who were taking legal action against the UK government for failing to give mobile customers the right to an entry in directories) have agreed that entries in directories and directory enquiry services should be based on opt-in consent.


It is a fact that the 118800 service does not fall under any definitions of a directory enquiry service/facility of the above regulatory framework and so the company is NOT entitled to access OSIS data or receive data from OSIS or the mobile operators (despite what it says in the press!).


The 118800 service is a purely private system. Ask yourself why someone should need to become ex-directory in this service if they are already ex-directory in the national OSIS database? What is st stop another private company from establishing a directory or directory service which is essentialy unregulated? How many databases do you need opt-out of and become XD .. if you need to be XD then you should only need to do it once.


So what else is wrong. Well, firstly lets look at the 15 million names, addresses and numbers obtained from third parties (and which could the retailer you bought your phone from or some online retailer who you have supplied your details to). 2 pieces of law apply here.

(1) Data Protection Act 1998 - the DPA. Under the DPA those collecting your data need to make you aware in a transparent and clear manner of the intention to place your details in a directory service and the purposes of that directory, of any disclosures of your data and to allow you to make an informed decision as to whether you wish to be in the directory or not .. in other words they needed your consent (given that netiher 118800 or the company that collected your data has any legal obligation to process your data!). (2) Regulation 18 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 applies - the PECRs. Reg 18 states: The personal data of an individual subscriber shall not be included in a directory unless that subscriber has, free of charge, been -

(a) informed by the collector of the personal data of the purposes of the directory in which his personal data are to be included, and (b) given the opportunity to determine whether such of his personal data as are considered relevant by the producer of the directory should be included in the directory. “ This seems quite clear that the party collecting your data should have told you about the 118800 service and given you the clear opportunity to agree - either by an opt-in box or by an opt-out box (depending on whether they published a clear and prominent notice at the time they collected your data). It seems to me that opt-in consent is required for the purposes of this directory.


So what else. Well, the company says you can obtain a copy of information they hold on you pursuant to your rights under Section 7(1) of the DPA. 118800 charge the maximum fee permitted under the DPA for meeting these access requests. BUT why are they charging people when Reg 18(5) of the PECRs requires directory operators to provide subscribers with the means (free of charge) to verify, correct or withdraw their data at any time - I can find no mention of these rights on the 118800 website.


What else? Oh yes. back to the regulatory framework. ALL 118 services are regulated by PhonePayPlus which is an agency of OFCOM the government telecoms and media regulator. PhonePayPlus regulates services by a Code of Practice - the Code. the 118800 service is incompatible with the Code which (a) defines telephone directories as ones that supply phone numbers (b) requires companies providing call completion services to disclose telephone numbers to persons who demand a number and © requires that services must not or must not be likely to result in any unreasonable invasion of privacy. As opt-in consent has not been sought from any person in the 118800 directory, it is possible that individuals listed in the directory without their knowledge or agreement will consider contact via the call completion service to amount to an unreasonable invasion of their privacy (especially those who considered they are already ex-directory under the official national OSIS database).


So where do people go from here? If you are concerned you can ask 118800 to verify what data they have on you free of charge email 118800 (the email address is in the privacy polic BUT you could and should raise your concerns or complain directly to the Information Commissioners Office (ico.gov.uk) .. you could do the same to OFCOM (ofcom.org.uk) and/or PhonePayPayPlus (phonepayplus.org.uk). Certainly anyone who called the 118800 service last Friday to find out a mobile subscriber (even themselves) and found that the service did not work, can complain to PhonePayPlus and also demand a refund of the £1 charge (minimum) for the calls.


And don't forget this company demanded the mobile operators give them ALL of their subscriber information and threatened legal action if they didn't get it!

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  • 1 month later...

What a load of..........


If you request removal, that removal should be permanent


Def one for the ICO

omnia praesumuntur legitime facta donec probetur in contrarium



Please note: I am not a member of the legal profession, all advice given is purely my opinion, if in doubt consult a professional

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Agreed/ 0800 Reverse use the same trick. I just set a computer reminder that tells me to continue the blocking - for all the effort it takes, it was easier than raising it with the ICO.

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Im Neil from 118800.co.uk


Thankyou for talking about our service.


We don’t give out mobile numbers. 118800 is a service for connecting people that know each other’s name and address. In the majority of cases it will be a friend or colleague who has lost your number or doesn’t have it on them and needs to get in touch. If you are contacted it will be by 118800 calling to announce the name of that person, or sending a text message with the name and number of the person trying to get in touch. It will then be up to you whether you want to speak to them or not.


We don’t sell data to anyone, so cold calling will not result from our service. Cold calling is common on landline numbers because landline data is freely and widely available. The mobile numbers in our directory are available to no one.


The website is currently unavailable while we improve the service we offer our customers. All ex-directory requests made prior to the 10th of July are being processed and we will be taking ex-directory requests again once the website is back up running, which will be as soon as possible.


You will be able to do this free of charge from the website or by calling us on a low cost number from the phone you wish to make ex-directory.


We recommend you check whether you are in the directory first before taking the time to become ex-directory.


118800 connect people that know each other, we don’t give out numbers to anyone.


For more information please visit our website



Or watch how the service works 118800





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If you are on the database and want to be remved from their database, call them on 0800 138 6263

All I get is this




Our mobile phone connection service is currently unavailable

We are undertaking some major developments to our 'Beta Service' to improve the experience for our customers. So the service isn't available at www.118800.co.uk or by phone. We'll be back as soon as possible .

Ex-directory requests

All ex-directory requests made by people in our directory to date are being processed. There will be no need to resend these requests. And we will take further ex-directory requests when the service resumes. We will not be taking ex-directory requests by phone or text whilst the service is unavailable.

Please do not call us on 118 800 for anything other than landline directory enquiry requests as you will be charged for the call.

For other enquiries

email us at [email protected] or write to us at 118 800, PO Box 2747, Reading RG30 4ZQ

Sorry for any inconvenience caused.



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Neil - What concerns me is that once someone identifies that they do not wish their number to be part of your service (and I have to admit I have no strong views either way), can you explain why your firm believe they must operate a 'time limited' removal? Automatically reinstating the number to your database despite the number user not asking you to make hteir number available appears to show contempt for those who decide they do not wish their number listed.


Finally, where do YOU get your information from in the first place?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Buzby,


Apologies for the late reply.

You can have yourself removed from the directory at any time, but yes the request currently takes up to 4 weeks but we plan to reduce that shortly.

Our directory information comes from companies that have been provided with the information in the course of doing business and where the relevant individuals have allowed the information to be shared. Our directory information does not come from “market research surveys”.


We do not sell or give data or personal details to anyone. We never ever give out any mobile numbers. We connect people who want or need to talk on the move using a system painstakingly designed to protect privacy.

There are two videos on Youtube that show and tell exactly how the service works, please take a look.







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You ignored my original point.


If a user requests removal (as it their right) why do your company insist that this is a time-limited request, and after a set number of months, you will automatically unlock the number, DESPITE being told that they wished removed? After all, if they wanted their number listed again, they only have to contact you.


Secondly, where your data collection process fails, in that you have no idea whther the number you use are (a) genuine or (b) willingly supplied.


To support this, I asked a well-known motor insurance 'price comparison' site. For the quote, I used my genuine details, but mistyped the mobile number and address. Despite ensuring that any tick box requesting no passing on to third parties, many firms chose to ignore ICO rules, and made it an 'opt out' that could ONLY be achieved by writing to the Data Controlled at EACH company that provided a quote.


Hardly good news for a firm basing its business model on data provided by third parties, is it?

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Hi Buzby,


We do not insist that this is a time-limited request. When someone requests to be made ex-directory it can take us 'up to' 4 weeks to process but we are working on reducing that.


118800 is a service for connecting people that know each other’s name and address. In the majority of cases it will be a friend or colleague who has lost your number or doesn’t have it on them and needs to get in touch.


When Removing yourself from the directory and making yourself ex-directory we retain a record of you (separate from the directory) so that we can honour your request to remain ex-directory when we refresh our data.


Thanks for your thoughts.



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Still not got their Neil!


Forget about how long it takes to block a number after you are advised of an opt out. I refer to the information from those who HAVE advised your firm that they wished their number(s) made ex-directory, and your firm agree to this for THREE YEARS only. Not until further notice, the clock starts on restoring the entry as soon as you block it.


WHY is this? As for the aboive comment that why is it an opt-out and not opt-in, I think astude members will realise that if it was an opt-in, you'd have no business model to offer a service on the back of.

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