General Information

The Phone Book online contains number information for both People and Businesses, including organisations such as government bodies and charities. It is a telephone number information service not a postal address service and we only display the details of customers (businesses and private individuals) whose numbers appear in BT's printed Phone Books.

For general enquiries about the website, contact us. online or ring 0845 845 0192

How often is the site updated?

Changes are made to our database daily. These changes will be visible on The Phone Book online once all data has been processed through the relevant systems - this is normally by the following working day.

Are Mobile/Fax numbers listed on The Phone Book online?

Mobile and Fax numbers are listed at the customer's request. The Phone Book online uses source data from a core database to which all licensed Telecommunications Operators and Service Providers submit their customer's directory data. If you would like to have your mobile or Fax number added to your own business classified entry please contact us.

How can I change my business classified details in The Phone Book online/on your database?

We offer a range of products which allow you to advertise in both the printed Phone Book and The Phone Book online. To find out more, visit our 'Advertise with us' page or contact us..

If your Display Advert is incorrect online in the Business By Type section but correct in the printed Phone Book, please contact 0845 845 0192.

How can I change my business or residential name details in The Phone Book online/on your database?

The data that we use is supplied from a core database (OSIS) to which all licensed Telecommunications Operators and Service Providers submit their customers' directory data.

If your service provider is BT and you wish to change your entry, please call us on:

0800 800 152 to change your business entry
0800 800 150 to change your residential entry

If you have a service provider other than BT you will need to contact your own service provider as BT is not able to make changes to this central database on behalf of other telephone service providers.

Once you have asked your own service provider to make the necessary amendments the correct data will be added to the OSIS database for cascade to all directory service providers including BT.

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Filling in the Search Fields

How to carry out a Business type search

You can use either capitals or lower case letters to enter the necessary information.

  • To find a number for a business when you don't know the name, select the 'Business type' search link.
  • Enter the type of business you are looking for (eg. Florist) and the location eg. a town name or Post Code (not both) and click on 'search'.
  • The search will always try and match to the type of business you have entered in the 'Business type' field eg. if you type in 'Hotel' in the 'Business type' field, we will match to the classification of 'Hotels and Inns' and give you results for the area you've specified in the 'Location' field.
  • The search will also always try and match to the correct location you have entered in the 'Location' field eg. if you type in 'Newcastle' we will match to 'Newcastle Upon Tyne'. If you want to match directly to 'Newcastle under Lyme' in Staffordshire instead, you can do so by entering the full locality name in the 'Location' field.
  • In some instances a business may choose to be ex directory and will then not appear online under Business by Type.
  • If you are unable to find the business you are looking for, we suggest you:
    a) Check all spellings
    b) Try an alternative description for the type of business
    c) If you know the business name, select the Business name link and retry your search

Why do I have to specify a town or Post Code, I'd like to do a National Search?

  • When you are searching for a type of business, we will give you results in and around the location that you have searched.
  • Where only a few businesses exist for the classification you have searched, we will keep extending the search area until we have matched approximately 50 businesses. For some unusual business types (eg. 'Anchor makers'), a search may return all listings from across the whole of the UK.
  • Where we have found more than 50 businesses matching your search, you can click on the ‘find more’ link positioned below the ‘Business type’ search field to return additional business listings.
  • If you know the name of a business but not it’s location, you may be able to find that business by selecting ‘Business name’ and searching in the ‘Location’ of ‘UK’.

Why can't I search for numbers in Eire?

The Phone Book online uses data supplied from a core data base (OSIS) to which all licensed Telecommunications Operators and Service Providers submit their customer's directory data. This core database only contains the directory information of UK, Isle of Man & Channel Islands telephone service customers. Data for Eire is owned by independent telecommunications companies. BT currently has permission to provide these listings through our voice 118 500 service only.

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Avoiding mistakes

Business type field

If you are looking for a business where you are not sure of the name, select the 'Business type' link.

This page will open as your default when you launch The Phone Book online via www.thephonebook.bt.com

Enter the type of business or words that most closely describe the type of business in the input field. It is better to input fewer words to get a better match for the business you are looking for.

Location field

You must tell us where in the UK the type of business you are looking for is located. This can be done by entering either the name of the town or the first section of the Post Code in the location box. It is important that you do not enter both.

Searching on London can be a problem due to its size. If you input 'London' in the 'Location' field, we will search in and around a point in Central London. For popular types of business (eg. Restaurants), this will only return listings from a small area in Central London. If you wish to find results from elsewhere in London, you can try to narrow down the search to a specific part by entering in the area name (eg. 'Hammersmith') or using the first section of the Post Code e.g. WC1A or SW19, instead of entering London in the 'Location' field. You can also search for a type of business around an Underground/Tube station by entering the station name (eg. 'Holborn Tube') in the 'Location field'

Using Post Codes

Enter the first section of the Post Code e.g. DE21 or L2 if you want to narrow down your search and know which part of a town you want to search within. We will then return results in and around that Post Code area. This can be particularly useful when searching within a large City and where you are looking for a common name. It is important that if you enter the Post Code in the ‘Location’ field, you do not enter a town name as well.

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Results

How do I change my search if the results don't include the type of business I'm trying to find?

  • Firstly check that the classification/category we have matched your input to in the 'Business type' field is the one you want. You can do this by checking the business type shown at the top of the page above the search fields (eg. if you search for 'Fish tanks', we will match this to the classification/category of 'Aquarium and Pond Supplies').
  • If this does not best match the type of business you are looking for, check below the search fields to see if we offer any 'Other related categories'. You may then find that there is a category there that you want (eg. 'Aquarium Manufacturers'). To carry out a search against another category, simply click on the name of the category you want.
  • Sometimes we may have more matching classifications/categories than can be displayed on the results page. This will be indicated by the words '...view all categories' after the last category shown. To display all matched classifications/categories, simply select this link and continue your search by selecting the category you want on the next page.
  • Alternatively, simply change your entry in the 'Business type' field and click on search to find another type of business.

How do I change my search if the results are not in the location that I want?

  • The location we have matched your input in the 'Location' field to, is shown at the top of the page above the search fields (eg. if you search for 'Newcastle', we will match this to the locality of 'Newcastle Upon Tyne').
  • If this is not the location you want, check below the search fields to see if we offer any alternative locations against'Did you mean;'. You may then find that the alternative location you require is shown (eg. 'Newcastle under Lyme'). To carry out a search against this location, simply click on the name of the locality you want.
  • Sometimes we may have more matching locations than can be displayed on the results page. This will be indicated by the words '...view all locations' after the last locality shown. To display all matched locations, simply select this link and continue your search by selecting the locality you want on the next page.
  • Alternatively, simply change your entry in the 'Location' field and click on search to find businesses in another location.

When I search a particular town area, entries from other areas I have not requested are presented. Why?

  • Firstly we will try and match results within the location you have specified. We will then match results near to the location you have specified and continue to match results until we have found approximately 50 listings.
  • Sometimes there may not be any listings in the specific locality you have searched and on these occasions we will return results from surrounding areas.
  • There may be businesses that serve your area although they are not based near the location you have searched. We will show these businesses in the 'National businesses' section to the right of your screen.

Can I change the order in which the business results are shown?

  • We will generally display business listings according to how far they are positioned from the location that you are searching ie. The nearer a business is to the centre of the location that you are searching, the higher up the results list it will be shown.
  • You can change the order that the businesses are listed by selecting the 'Name (A to Z)' link at the top of the results list.
  • When you carry out another search we will again present results by default in approximate distance order.

What is the 'More numbers' link for?

  • Some businesses may have more than one number that they can be contacted on. This may relate to different branches or different departments. If you select the 'More numbers' link, this will take you to a more information page where we display all the numbers for that business along with an advertisement for that business.
  • You can view more numbers by selecting the business name when this is highlighted in blue, as well as by selecting the ‘More numbers’ link

What does 'Text Number' do?

Once you have clicked on the 'Text number' link you can enter your mobile number and send the business number you need to yourself as a text message. You can text up to five numbers to a single mobile number each day.

How do I see a map?

Click on the 'Map' link beside the business address. You can 'zoom in' or 'zoom out' to see more or less detail on the location of the business you have found.

Click on the 'Back' link above the 'Zoom in' button, or the 'Back' button on your browser to return to the results page.

How can I see the website for an advertising business?

  • Some businesses will include links directly to their website. Where present, this will be shown in green below the business address.
  • Select the link directly to go straight to the business website within your existing browser window; click the 'Back' button on your brows er to return to The Phone Book website
  • Alternatively, select the small icon to the right of the website address to go to the business website within a new browser window.
  • This link is also available from the more information page for that advertising business (selected from the business name on the results page).

How can I send an email to an advertising business?

  • Some businesses display an email address below the telephone number. If you select this link, you can send an email directly to the business you've found (Please note that this is dependent upon your computer settings).
  • This link is also available from the more information page for that advertising business (selected from the business name on the results page).

How can I view all an advertiser's information?

  • Click on the company name when this is highlighted in blue, or the link for 'More numbers' when present and you will be taken to all the additional information for that business.

Why can't I view the advert for a business online - it appears as a box with a red cross in it?

  • If you cannot view the business advert online, try changing your own individual security settings on your computer, it could be that they are set too high.

Why can't I find a business I know exists?

Not all businesses chose to be listed in our classified (business by type) database. If you know the name of the business, you may be able to find them by trying a business name search.

Why can I get a number when I dial 118500 but can not find it on The Phone Book Online?

Some customers request that their details are available from BT's voice Directory Enquiries only. These customers also choose not to appear in printed Phone Books.

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Other Phone Book products

What alternative Number Information services are available?

We have a number of alternative Phone Book and directory Products available designed to help people find business and residential telephone numbers. These include printed Phone Books, CD-ROM's and voice Directory Enquiries. For more information click here.

What is 118500?

118 500 is the voice Directory Enquiry service from BT. Features now include searches for the type of business as well the name of a business or a person and onward connection can be offered to most listed numbers. For more information and a full list of 118 500's services*, please click here.

Calls to 118500/118404 cost £2.75 per call plus £2.75 per minute (a minimum 60 second charge applies) inc VAT, plus your telephone service provider’s Access Charge (excludes BT payphones).

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Learn more about

Using Search History

  • Search History stores your most recent searches, whether for a type of business or a business or residential name, making it easier to return to searches you carried out previously.
  • Search History can be cleared at any time by selecting the 'Clear History'.
  • For more information on Search History, click here.

Calls to service numbers

084 numbers

The cost of calling 0843, 0844 and 0845 numbers is made up of two parts: an access charge going to your phone company, and a service charge set by the organisation you are calling. The service charge for calls to 084 numbers is between 0p and 7p per minute.

087 numbers

The cost of calling 087 numbers is made up of two parts: an access charge going to your phone company, and a service charge set by the organisation you are calling. The service charge for calls to 087 numbers is between 0p and 13p per minute.

09 numbers

The cost of calling 09 numbers is made up of two parts: an access charge going to your phone company, and a service charge set by the organisation you are calling. The service charge for calls to 09 numbers can range from 1p to £3.60 per minute. You may be charged a one-off call cost ranging from 5p to £6.

118 directory enquiry numbers

Calls to directory enquiry numbers (starting 118) can vary significantly in price depending on the directory enquiry service and the phone company you call from. Typically, most calls include a one-off connection charge and then a separate per minute rate, although this also varies depending on the service. The one-off charge can be between 50p and £4 and the additional per minute charge can be up to £5.