General information
How often is the site updated?
Are mobile/fax numbers listed on The Phone Book online?
How can I change my details in The Phone Book online/on your database?
Why can’t I find an address from a telephone number?

Filling in the Search fields
Why do I have to specify a town or Post Code, I’d like to do a National Search?
Why when I am searching “Residential name” am I asked which of two towns I want when it should be obvious? (eg. Newport, Gwent or Newport Isle of Wight)
When I search a particular town area, entries from other areas I have not requested are presented. Why?
Why can’t I search for numbers in Eire?

Avoiding mistakes
Name
Initials
Location
Town
Street
Postcode

Results
What does ‘Text number’ do?
How do I see a map?
Why can’t I find the number when I’m sure the name and address are correct?
The code of the number I was searching for is nothing like the one I seem to remember. Why?
Why can I get a number when I dial 118500 but can not find it on The Phone Book online?

Other Phone Book Products
What alternative Number Information services are available?
What is 118500?

Learn more about
Using Search History


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 and 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 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 entry, please contact your service provider. If your service Provider is BT please contact us.

How can I change my 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 800 150 to change your residential entry,
0800 800 152 to change your business 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.

Why can't I find an address from a telephone number?

BT does not provide any product that is capable of performing a reverse search facility. This would contravene the Data Protection Act.

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Filling in the Search Fields

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

  • To find the number of a private individual, select the ‘Residential name’ search link. You must know the individuals surname and location e.g. town or Post Code (not both). If the surname is very common (eg. Smith), you can select ‘Advanced Search’ to narrow down the search by also providing either the initial or the street name, or both.
  • If you are uncertain of details or the exact spelling when looking for a residential name, try using a wildcard (enter an '*' after the first 4 letters in any field) to match any unknown characters e.g. enter Robe* in the name field for 'Robertson' or 'Green*' in the street field for a street called 'Greenleaf' or 'Greendale'
  • If you are unable to find the person you are looking for, we suggest you:
    a) Check all spellings
    b) Try leaving out or shortening some of the words and appending a wildcard '*'
    c) Consider whether the party you are looking for is listed under a different name or likely to be ex-directory. (Where a number is ex-directory, we are unable to confirm that this is the case online, though we may be able to confirm this through our voice Directory Enquiry service on 118 500 – see also below).

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

The Phone Book online uses data from a core database (OSIS) to which all licensed Telecommunications Operators and Service Providers submit their customer's directory data. This data is gathered from customers for the stated purpose 'whereby, given a name and location, they will offer a number'. Any change to this use of customer’s personal data without consent from each individual concerned would be a breach of the Data Protection Act.

Why when I am searching ‘Residential name’ am I asked which of two towns I want when it should be obvious? (e.g. Newport, Gwent or Newport, Isle of Wight)

Where there is more than one town sharing the same name, it cannot be assumed that a customer wants a particular one just because it is more widely known than another, so we ask that you confirm the locality you want to search within.

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

There are several reasons why this may occur. The Phone Book online uses data from a database (OSIS) to which all licensed Telecommunications Operators and Service Providers submit their customers' directory data. Different telecommunications companies have different boundaries for allocation of their customer number ranges. For this reason listings are sometimes retrieved from a town or area outside that of the original search. Also some customers specifically request that their numbers can be retrieved from searches in other towns. To carry out a search over a smaller specific area, try inputting just the first part of a Post Code (eg. DE21) in the location field instead of a locality name.

Why can't I search for numbers in Eire?

BTs directory products and services use data 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

Name

If you are looking for a person's number then you must enter their surname in the ‘Surname’ field.

You can use the wildcard character (put an * after at least four characters) if you are unsure about a particular spelling.

Double-barrelled names can be found by entering either part of the name, or more precisely by entering both parts with either a hyphen or a space between each. For example, entering Smith will find Bryce-Smith but it will find all the other Smiths as well. Entering Bryce-Smith or Bryce Smith will only match those names that include both the words Bryce and Smith.

Initials

Initials can be input to help find a person by going to the ‘Advanced Search’ option within the ‘Residential name’ page.

We recommend searching by surname and location at first and only entering initials in ‘Advanced Search’ if a large amount of matching information is displayed or when we suggest that you use the ‘Advanced Search’ function.

When entering more than one initial, you can enter either with a dot between the letters or both letters together without any spacing. If you leave a space, no match will be found. For example the initials for C.J.Rees should be entered as C.J or CJ and not as C J

Also, when entering initials remember that some people may be generally known by a familiar name but may appear under the different initial of their formal name, e.g. Tony may appear under A for Anthony

Location

You must tell us where in the UK the person 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 (eg. DE21) in the location box. It is important that you do not enter both.

You can enter both the town and the street names within Advanced Search, using the street field to narrow your search within that town in the same way that the initials field can be used to narrow the search on a particular name.

Town

If you are unsure of the spelling for the town we suggest that you enter a wildcard (enter 4 letters followed by an *).

Searching on London can be a problem due to its size. If at first you receive too many matches you could try to narrow down the search to a specific part of London by using the first section of the Post Code e.g. WC1A or SW19 instead of entering London in the town field, or by completing the street field within the ‘Advanced Search’ option.

Street

The street name can be input to help find a person by going to the ‘Advanced Search’ option within the ‘Residential name’ page.

There is no minimum number of characters required for either building or street so you can enter as much or as little as you like.

You can enter either the full street name including the suffix (‘Street’, ‘St’, ‘Road’, ‘Rd’ etc), just the name of the street (eg. ‘High’) or part of the street name followed by a wildcard (“*”) (eg. ‘Lond*’ instead of ‘London Road’).

We recommend searching by surname and location at first and only entering a street name if a large amount of matching information is displayed, or when we suggest that you use the ‘Advanced Search’ function.

Post Code

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. 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 within the ‘Location’ field, you do not enter a town name as well.

If you know the full Post Code, this can be entered into the location field instead, but you must enter in the correct format eg. “DE21 6BA” and NOT “DE216BA”. No other variations on Post Code entry other than the first section of the Post Code or the complete, correctly formatted Post Code will be accepted.

Very occasionally the address of the person you are looking for will fall just outside the post code area of a particular large town even when it is very close to that town. For instance Headley has a Post Code starting with KT even though it is very near Guildford (which has a post code starting GU). Where this is the case the system will not be able to match your query and give you the number you are searching for.

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Results

What does ‘Text Number’ do?

Once you have clicked on the ‘Text number’ link you can enter your mobile number and send the person’s 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 under the result. You can ‘zoom in’ or ‘zoom out’ to see more or less detail on the location of the person 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.

Why can't I find the number when I'm sure the name and address are correct?

The person you are looking for may be ex-directory (unlisted). In order to protect the privacy of customers who have elected to be ex-directory we will not display any of their details.

Where a number is ex-directory, we are unable to confirm that this is the case online though we may be able to confirm this through our voice Directory Enquiry service on 118 500 – see also below.

The code of the number I was searching for is nothing like the one I seem to remember. Why?

A number of geographical and other codes have been changed over the last few years including codes for mobile phone and premium rate numbers. The last major change was on 28th April 2001 but some new codes have been introduced since then. You can find out more about this by going to OFCOM's Big Number web site via www.ofcom.org.uk

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 or online.

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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

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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.

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* Calls to 118 500/404 cost 59p per call plus £2.39 per minute, or part thereof, from BT landlines (excluding BT payphones). Mobiles and other networks may vary.