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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.
the 900 area code was completely restructured by AT&T to be the premium-rate special area code which it remains today.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 call to either one of these numbers can result in a high per-minute or per-call charge.For example, a "psychic hotline" type of 1-900 number may charge $2.99 for the first minute and 99 cents for each additional minute.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.
These telephone numbers are usually allocated from a national telephone numbering plan in such a way that they are easily distinguished from other numbers.
Telephone companies typically offer blocking services to allow telephone customers to prevent access to these number ranges from their telephones.
In some jurisdictions, telephone companies are required by law to offer such blocking.
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.
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.