Oxfam Wants Your 118 Calls

Comms company Spiritel plc has joined forces with Oxfam to launch a new directory enquiry service, 118 918, whereby 9p from each call dialled goes to help end world poverty.

The new 118 918 service hopes to provide users of established directory enquiry services with a strong motive to switch. By offering the same service at the same price as market leaders, the caller can give to a worthwhile cause at no extra cost to themselves.

Alastair Mills, CEO, Spiritel plc, comments, “In the last 12 months UK callers have spent £180 million on directory enquiry services. If everyone who called 118 services last year had called this new 118 918 number, over £32 million would have been donated to Oxfam. Appreciating that the charity pound isn’t growing, there is an increasing need to promote charitable causes by capturing people’s imaginations in different ways. With the launch of 118 918, we believe we’ve done just that. ”

Spiritel plc applied for the 118 918 number from Ofcom and is using Kingston Communications, winners of the ‘Best 118 Wholesale Provider 2005’, as its provider of directory services.

Research carried out prior to the launch of the new 118 number indicated that current directory enquiry usage is, in the main, based on memorable numbers rather than brand loyalty. The research also showed that over seventy percent of regular 118 users said they would consider using a service, which benefited a charity in some way. This clearly suggests that given a choice, people would opt for a service that donates a proportion of the call cost to a charitable cause.

Edward Fox, Oxfam’s Director of Fundraising welcomes the partnership and hopes the new 118 918 number will become the obvious choice for people using directory enquiry services regularly. “This is a great new opportunity to raise new funds for Oxfam and we urge UK consumers to take the number onboard and help us help others. So whether it’s a plumber, a taxi, the nearest dry cleaners or just a tasty takeaway dinner that is needed, calling 118 918 is the easy way for people to give to Oxfam’s life saving works.”