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Etisalat’s ‘181’ enquiry service to get dearer

By a staff reporter / 26 December 2006

DUBAI — All users of Etisalat’s 181 directory enquiry service may get heftier telephone bills from January 24 as the corporation has announced an increase in the charges for the service.

The 181 service, which is the most popular directory service in the country, will be dearer as Etisalat yesterday announced that the service will be charged at Dh1, instead of 30 fils per minute from January 24. The decision to increase the charges came in the light of a latest review conducted by the corporation about the service.

According to a statement issued by Etisalat, from January 24, the 181 service will be offered at Dh1 per minute for the first minute. Each additional 30 seconds will be charged at 50 fils. These charges only apply once the call is answered, and remain the same whether calling from a fixed line or a mobile phone.

The innovative text back service which automatically texts the number to the caller’s mobile, will continue to be offered at no additional cost. The other Etisalat directory service 700017000 costs Dh1.2 per minute.

“Etisalat will continue to make available a full range of options for customers wishing to access residential and business directory numbers — through its website, through Yellow pages and through its 181 directory enquiries service. Business numbers are available online at www.yellowpages.ae,” the statement stated.

Copies of paper directories will continue to be made available free of charge to all customers from Business Centres.  Copies are also available in many hotels and libraries.

Meanwhile, the users slammed the corporation’s decision branding it as another burden on their shoulders. “We are already suffering from the sky-rocketing living cost in the country. I am regular user of the 181 service and the increase in service charge would hit my budget,” said MCA Nasser, a media professional working in Dubai Media City.

Robin Augustine, a marketing executive, said, “I am a regular user of 181 services and it was quite affordable. I do not know how to deal with this increase.”

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