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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) says that consumers should be aware of the high fees charged for calling directory assistance numbers. Today Telstra has introduced a $0.50 charge for directory assistance calls from landlines and other telcos charge for these calls often outside of the included plan value. Telstra customers on the Pensioner Discount are exempt from the $0.50 charge for directory assistance calls. See ACCAN's tip sheet for directory assistance call charges from a range of landline and mobile providers.

Wherever possible, consumers should use free, online methods of accessing this information. Directory information can be accessed online from the White Pages website or smartphone app or even by doing a simple Google search for the company or service required. However, ACCAN is concerned that call charges to directory assistance numbers may unfairly impact on consumers who don't have internet access or who aren't comfortable using the internet.

"The volume of calls to directory assistance numbers has dropped in the past few years, but there is still a significant number of Australians who don't have access to the internet and alternative methods of accessing directory information," said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin. "According to the ABS, low-income consumers are less likely to have internet access at home and therefore they may be affected by the high call costs charged for directory assistance numbers.

"Whenever possible, consumers should avoid calling directory assistance numbers so they don't incur high call charges," added Ms Corbin. "Much of the information provided by directory assistance numbers is available online or in the smartphone app for the White Pages. Consumers who aren't confident accessing information electronically can order a free physical copy of their local phone book by contacting Directory Select."

Before calling directory assistance numbers ACCAN urges consumers to find out what their telco provider charges for these calls. Access our tip sheet - How to avoid directory assistance call charges – for more information on these charges.

For media enquiries, contact Luke Sutton on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0409 966 931. For the latest updates, follow ACCAN on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

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