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Other services include directory enquiries, weather forecasts, competitions and voting (especially relating to television shows).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.Unlike a normal call, part of the call charge is paid to the service provider, thus enabling businesses to be funded via the calls.While the billing is different, calls are usually routed the same way they are for a toll-free telephone number, being anywhere despite the area code used.One scheme involved inducing users to download a program known as a dialer that surreptitiously dialed a premium-rate number, accumulating charges on the user's phone bill without their knowledge.
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.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").Area code 900 went into service January 1, 1971, but the first known to have been used in the United States for the "Ask President Carter" program in March 1977, for incoming calls to a nationwide talk radio broadcast featuring the newly elected President Jimmy Carter, hosted by anchorman Walter Cronkite.One early use was by Saturday Night Live producers for the sketch "Larry the Lobster", featuring Eddie Murphy. AT&T and the producers of SNL split the profits of nearly 0,000.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.
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Using 900 numbers for adult entertainment lines was a prevalent practice in the early years of the industry.