Tag Archives | Citizens Information

Government organisations refusing to provide geographic alternative numbers

Since February, I’ve been waiting for responses from 5 different government sponsored organisations to provide geographic alternative numbers for the 1890 and 076 numbers provided as contact information on their websites.

In a recent blog post, Revenue Commissioners – 1890 Numbers, I commended that organisation and a couple of government departments on their provision of alternatives very clearly on their website.

Unfortunately, not all government organisations that we fund will give us alternative numbers to allow us save money whenever we need to call them. The irony being that 2 of the organisations are supposed to assist people in financial difficulties already.

Stonewalled by organisations not providing geographic alternative numbersGeographic Alternative Rogues Gallery

So, step forward the following organisations who I contacted back in early February, and whom I’ve again contacted as of last night, requesting alternatives for numbers published on their websites:

  • Insolvency Service of Ireland
    • Information and General Enquiries 0761064200
    • Case Management Division 0761064200
    • Bankruptcy Division 0761064232
    • Regulation Division 0761064234
  • Citizens Information
    • Citizens Information Phone Service 0761074000
    • Citizens Information Website Team 0761079000

Next Steps

If I ever do get any useful responses from any of the organisations above, I’ll let you know. Don’t hold your breath, though.

Update 29/03/2016

Below are the responses received so far from the organisations contacted above. Well, 2 organisations actually responded (MABS and Citizens Information) and I only have 2 automated responses from SUSI. The RSA and PRTB didn’t respond to me at all. I guess it’ll be FOI requests for them now (my 2nd for PRTB seeking geographic alternative contact numbers).

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What are 076 numbers? What’s the cost implications of calling 076 numbers?

saynoto1890_slider_1_faqIn my recent February 2016 – confirming the Geographic Alternative Numbers Updated Across the SayNoTo1890.com website, I indicated that there would be some follow ups to the issue raised by a number of users of this website regarding 076 numbers. As one correspondent said some time ago:

I have been lately waging my own battles with some government bodies over their use of non-geographic numbers and have come across the latest scam called 076 and 0761 numbers.

I’m not sure it’s a “scam” as such, but 076 numbers are now an issue for mobile phone users in the same way as 1890, 1850 and 0818 numbers are. The costs are upwards on 30c per minute, but more particularly calls to 076 numbers are in most cases not deducted from minute bundles on mobile phone contracts. This is despite the fact that the introduction by such government departments was intended to reduce call costs for customers.

While there are a number of organisations who do provide an 076 contact number, it was likely when the Water Conservation Grant Section provided one last year that most people encountered an 076 number for the first time.

What is an 076 Number?

076 is the prefix originally by designated by COMREG for use when calling VOIP phones. VOIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol is effectively making telephone calls over the internet. You don’t have to be on the internet yourself when you’re calling a VOIP 076 number – you can call from any regular landline or mobile phone. And these days, you don’t necessarily need to be dialling an 076 number to call someone who’s using a VOIP service.

The key thing here is that given the distinction made by COMREG for the 076 numbers, mobile phone companies are using the number as a loophole (similar to 1890, 1850 and 0818 numbers) to boost their earnings.

In most cases, you’ll see companies who use 076 numbers explaining that calling such a number will cost the same as a local call. In the same way that providers of 1890 LoCall numbers will say the same thing.

The key difference here, and what’s being left out, is “from an Eir(com) landline”. That’s how costs for 1890 numbers originated, and it’s now how 076 numbers are being priced.

Mobiles Are Different (as usual)

But as we all know, similar to calling an 1890 number from your mobile, you’re most likely charged the equivalent of a mobile to mobile call. And what’s of more pain and inconvenience, in most cases, calls to 076 numbers are not deducted from your minutes bundles on your mobile phone contract.

The mobile provider 48 is the most expensive for calling an 076 number, at 50c per minute. The cheapest that I can work out is with Meteor (either Pre-Pay or Bill-Pay). In both those cases, the cost is flagged as the same as their normal minute rate, which is 15c per minute. Similarly, Vodafone Pre-Pay and Bill-Pay price plans indicates that it’s the same cost as a normal call on a mobile to call an 076 number. Neither Meteor nor Vodafone deduct 076 minutes from your free minutes bundles.

As I’m sure you’re aware, it’s not always easy to find out this information given the variety of phone packages, and phone costs, and peak and off-peak – you’d almost think that your mobile provider didn’t want you to know. In fact, there is no information anywhere for any of the Three Mobile plans on how much it is to call 076 numbers.

Finally, Tesco Mobile will charge you 30c per minute to call an 076 number – on the more expensive end of the scale. But, but, on a more positive twist, they’re the only company to deduct 076 minutes from their free minutes bundles on Pre-Pay and Bill-Pay contracts.

What to do?

Basically we need to treat 076 numbers the same as 1890, 1850 and 0818 numbers. That is, as much as possible, we need to hunt down and share geographic alternatives for 076 numbers.

But that’s easier said than done. I’ve today contacted these 4 government organisations who provide ONLY 076 numbers on their contact pages on their websites. The don’t provide any geographic alternatives, and they’re the most popular organisations for people to be contacting me here. These are:

  • Money Advice & Budgeting Service
    • MABS Helpline 0761072000
  • Insolvency Service of Ireland
    • Information and General Enquiries 0761064200
    • Case Management Division 0761064200
    • Bankruptcy Division 0761064232
    • Regulation Division 0761064234
  • Citizens Information
    • Phone Service 0761074000
    • Website Team 0761079000
  • Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI)
    • SUSI Support Desk 0761087874

So, if you have geographic alternatives for these numbers already, please let me know and I’ll update the website so others can benefit. Alternatively, if you know of other 076 numbers and other geographic alternatives, let me know and I’ll update the website.



  • Calor Gas
    • 1850812450 Call Instead – 014505000
  • Campus Oil
    • 1850839839 – Call Instead 012735599
  • Cover in a Click insurance
    • 0818911111 – Call Instead 016606900 and ask to be put through
  • CarHireExcess.com
    • 0818286523 Call Instead – 014053790
    • 1890444447 – Call Instead 012478900
  • CarTell.ie
    • 1890252331 – Call Instead 045892496
  • CateringEquipment.ie
    • 1850928999 – Call Instead 051372375
  • Central Statistics Office
    • 1890313414 Call Instead – 0214535000 Ext 5028 or 5029
  • Certus (Halifax)
    • 1890866886 Call Instead – 012674000, or try old Halifax number 0429310600
  • The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Ireland
    • 1890252599 – Call Instead 016763188
  • Chill.ie (Customer Service)
    • 0818302626  or 1890302020 – Call Instead – 014003400
  • Chorus / NTL – UPC (customer Care)
    • 1908 Call Instead – 012458000
  • Christmas2u
    • 0818365222 – Call Instead 0851579866
  • Churchfield Home Services
    • 1890911922 – Call Instead 014105854
  • Citizens Information
    • 1890777121 Call Instead – 0214521600
  • Cruise Paradise
    • 0818333901 – Call Instead 0567770900
  • Citylink
    • 1890280808 Call Instead – 091564163
  • Colgate Dental Offer helpline
    • 0818444849 Call Instead – 014039700
  • Collector General Limerick
    • 1890203070 Call Instead – 061488000
  • Care Visions Fostering
    • 1890555000 – Call Instead 045866066
  • Certus (Bank of Scotland)
    • 1890818181 – Call Instead 012674000
  • The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Ireland
    • 1890252599 – Call Instead 016763188
  • Client Identity Services, Carrick-on-Shannon
    • 1890927999 – Call Instead 0719672616
  • Comhar Linn Credit Union
    • 1850277377 Call Instead – 018731101
  • Commission for Energy Regulation
    • 1890404404 Call Instead – 014000800
  • Commission for Taxi Regulation
    • Consumers 1890606090 Call Instead – 016593800
    • Industry 1890347347 Call Instead – 016593800
  • Competition and Consumer Protection Commission
    • 1890432432 – Call Instead 014025555
  • ComReg
    • 1890229668 Call Instead – 018049600
  • Coverme.ie Insurance
    • 1890904994 – Call Instead 051841766
  • CPL Healthcare
    • 0818365100 – Call Instead 014825491
  • Curran Oil
    • 0818279900 Call Instead – 0498541175
  • CoverU.ie (Credit Union Insurance)
    • 1890410410 – Call Instead (FreePhone) 1800344455 (but might not be free on all phone packages)
  • Cassidy Travel
    • 0818332800 and 0818332535 – Call Instead 018735000 (or 018725000, the Golf Department)
  • Computershare Investor Services (Ireland)
    • 0818300999 – Call Instead 014475566
  • Central Statistics Office
    • PIAAC Section 1890252293 – Call instead 0214535374
  • CCTVIreland.ie
    • 1890866900 – Call Instead 045885694
  • CityPost
    • 1890240240 – Call Instead 014500398
  • Carphone Warehouse Customer Services
    • 1850424800 – Call Instead 018624800
  • closedforbusiness.ie
    • 1890256733 – Call Instead 0419843397
  • Company Registration Office
    • 1890220226 – Call Instead 018045200

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