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A call to either one of these numbers can result in a high per-minute or per-call charge.

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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.

Numbers with the 900 area code were those which were expected to have a huge number of potential callers, and the 900 area code was screened at the local level to allow only a certain number of the callers in each area to access the nationwide long distance network for reaching the destination number.

Also, the early incarnation of 900 was not billed at premium-rate charges, but rather at regular long distance charges based on the time of day and day of week that the call was placed.

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 ,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.

Other early leaders in amassing huge volumes of revenue were the New Kids on the Block and Dionne Warwick's Psychic Friends Network.

Consumers in the US have specific rights regarding 900 number calls, as laid down by the Federal Trade Commission, such as the right to a disclaimer at the beginning of the call and a subsequent 3-second hang-up grace period, the ability to contest billing errors, a prohibition on marketing to children, and a requirement that telecommunication companies must allow the consumer to block dialing to 900 numbers.

This practice continues, along with the use of these numbers for things such as software technical support, banking access, and stock tips.

Adult entertainment 900 numbers have been largely absent from AT&T and MCI since 1991.

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.

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