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Diplomatic services, such as the US Embassy in London or the UK Embassy in Washington, have also charged premium rates for calls from the general public.In many European countries, for example France, Germany and the United Kingdom, it was common for organisations to operate customer service lines on premium-rate numbers using prefixes that fall outside the scope of the country's premium-rate number regulations.
A 1-900 telephone number, in the North American Numbering Plan, has the form 1-900-###-####, and is often called a 900 number or a 1-900 number ("one-nine-hundred").Premium-rate telephone numbers are telephone numbers for telephone calls during which certain services are provided, and for which prices higher than normal are charged.Unlike a normal call, part of the call charge is paid to the service provider, thus enabling businesses to be funded via the calls.Initially, consumers had no choice regarding the accessibility to 900/976 numbers on their phones.However, in 1987, after a child had accumulated a bill of $17,000, From the early 1980s through the early 1990s, it was common to see commercials promoting 1-900 numbers to children featuring such things as characters famous from Saturday morning cartoons to Santa Claus.Earlier, 976 numbers used 976 as a local prefix (970 or 540 in some markets like New York state), though it was not assigned to a specific telephone exchange like other prefixes.
These numbers were dialed as any other number, such as 976-1234.
Due to complaints from parent groups about kids not knowing the dangers and high cost of such calls, the FTC enacted new rules and such commercials directed at children ceased to air on television as of the mid-1990s.
Using 900 numbers for adult entertainment lines was a prevalent practice in the early years of the industry.
Adult chat lines (phone sex) and tech support are a very common use of premium-rate numbers.
Other services include directory enquiries, weather forecasts, competitions and voting (especially relating to television shows).
Another now-uncommon premium-rate scam involves television programming that induces young children to dial the number, banking on the notion that they will be unaware of the charges that will be incurred.