Royaume-Uni : La Royal Mail lance son service 118

29 janvier 2006 | Business, Décalé, Intelligence économique, Les 118 dans le Monde, U.K. | Commentaires fermés sur Royaume-Uni : La Royal Mail lance son service 118

La Royal Mail lancera son service de renseignement 11 88 55 le 30 janvier. Une information majeure pour les services de renseignement outre-Manche et qui peut faire réfléchir acteurs du 118 et consommateurs en France.

Imaginons que dans un an, avec un répartition des parts de maché dont nous n’aurons une idée qu’en juin, La Poste tire un numéro ou rachète l’un des nombreux éditeurs qui en ont tiré un. Ce scénario paraît fantaisiste en France où la répartition est assez différente. Attendons d’abord de voir si Le Numéro transformera en France le véritable putch réalisé par The Number face à British Telecom…

Rappel : depuis le 1er janvier 2006, le monopole vieux de 350 ans de la compagnie publique Royal Mail est tombé, permettant à des compagnies privées d’offrir leur service d’acheminement du courrier.

A la recherche de nouvelles sources de revenus, l’arrivée de la Royal Mail dans le marché des 118 au Royaume-Uni environ un an et demi après l’ouverture du marché devrait initier une guerre des prix et bouleverser un marché tenu par The Number avec le « 118 118 » et BT (British Telecom) avec le 118 500. C’est donc sa filiale Post Office qui opérera le service « 11 88 55 », misant sur l’insatisfaction des consommateurs dont elle estime que 40% sont déçus des services 118 actuels.

BBC News: Post Office launches 118 service

The Royal Mail has launched a directory enquiries service which it says will undercut rivals like 118 118 and BT.

From Monday, the Post Office 11 88 55 service will charge a 40p flat charge for up to two searches.

The service, which the Post Office says is cheaper than the six most popular rival services, could trigger a price war in the industry.

The loss-making division has moved into areas such as credit cards and telecoms as it looks to make a profit.

Expensive

The directory enquiries industry is worth an estimate £170m a year.

A Post Office survey found that one in three people think current services are expensive.

« Providing a better choice was meant to give a better deal, but people have been disappointed, » said Simon Carter, head of Post Office Home Phone.

The six most popular services handle 90% of the estimated 300 million directory enquiry calls made each year.

BT’s 118 500 service charges a 40p connection fee, followed by a 23p per minute charge after the first 60 seconds.

A spokesman for the company said BT had no immediate plans to change its pricing structure.

The Post Office already has a presence in the telecoms market, having launched its Home Phone residential service in 2005.

It claims Home Phone is now signing up more than 4,000 customers a day.

Source : BBC News

The Sunday Times: Royal Mail goes into directory enquiries

THE Royal Mail is to take on 118 118 and BT this week with the launch of a rival directory-enquiries service.

The launch could lead to a price war, with Royal Mail undercutting its rivals with a 40p flat charge for up to two enquiries. The move is the latest attempt by Allan Leighton, chairman of Royal Mail, to generate new sources of income for the indebted business.

The entry of Royal Mail into the £160m directory-enquiries market will be a blow for 118 118, The Number, which is reported to be working on plans to float this year.

Infonxx, the world’s largest provider of directory assistance services and The Number’s American parent company, has asked Goldman Sachs to prepare the business for a listing.

Backed by its iconic advertising campaign — which features two mustachioed 1970s runners/rehearsing actors — 118 118 has dominated the market despite charging premium rates.

Royal Mail’s service — 11 88 55 — will be run by the Post Office, a division of Royal Mail. Simon Carter, head of Post Office Home Phone, hopes to cash in on consumer dissatisfaction with current directory-enquiries services.

“Providing greater choice was meant to give a better deal, but people have been disappointed,” he said.

A survey by the Post Office has revealed that 40% of consumers are dissatisfied with current 118 services.

The move into directory enquiries increases the Post Office’s presence in the telecoms market after the launch of its Home Phone service earlier this year. According to Carter, Home Phone is currently signing up more than 4,000 customers a day to the fixed-line residential service.

Royal Mail has opened call centres in Glasgow and Birmingham to handle enquiries.

Source : The Sunday Times Online

The Guardian Unlimited: Post Office launches directory enquiries service

The Post Office today entered the directory enquiries market, launching a service it claimed was cheaper than the six biggest existing providers.

Calls to its 118 855 service will cost 40p from landlines and customers will be able to request two numbers on each call.

Costs from mobile phones will depend on the provider, but customers will also be able to have numbers sent by text to their phone for free.

The Post Office said 90% of the estimated 300m directory enquiry calls made each year were to just six 118 numbers, and that its service would be cheaper than all of them.

And it claimed that calls to its service would cost 23p less than most calls from UK landlines to the two largest companies already in the market: the Number, which provides the 118 118 service, and BT, which runs 118 500.

Simon Carter, head of the Post Office’s HomePhone service, said research had shown 40% of people were dissatisfied with the existing 118 services and that one in three thought they were expensive.

« Providing greater choice was meant to give a better deal, but people have been disappointed, » he said.

« We’re confident people will see the Post Office 118 855 number as a new and improved version of the old 192 service. »

The directory enquiries market was deregulated in December 2002, allowing companies other than BT to offer their own versions of the service, a move that was designed to increase competition and cut the cost of calls, which at the time cost between 40p and 60p.

Last year a report by the National Audit Office suggested the abolition of the 192 service had in fact led to a huge disparity in the prices charged by providers.

The report showed the cost of a 45-second call from a landline to the new directory enquiry services varied between 27p and £1.73, and from 25p to £2.50 on a mobile.

However it concluded that cost was very unlikely to be the prime concern for the public because they only use directory enquiries once a month on average.

Source : The Guardian Unlimited

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