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1 900 numbers explained

US telephone numbers starting with area code 900 are also known as Pay Per Call numbers or Information Services. These telephone numbers are exclusively used by companies providing a service, an information, etc. Basically you call the (1) 900 number and you get charged either a per call or per minute fee in addition to the regular rates charged by your long distance company. You are provided the service offered by the 900 company over the phone. Some services available this way are:

  • Horoscope readings
  • Psychic services
  • Adult hotlines
  • Other

Avoid unwanted charges

While there are many 900 companies providing a legitimate service and not trying to hide their fees from consumers, some companies do try to lure those unaware of what a 900 number is into calling them without clearly stating all the charges. You may receive a notification of winning a trip, or a contest you've never signed up for and be asked to call a 900 number to receive your prize. These are usually sneaky attempts to make you pay for virtually nothing. Our advice: before calling a 900 number you should know all the details about what service you're supposed to get and all the charges involved. Also, try to educate children regarding calling pay per call services for they are the easiest to get lured into calling pay per call numbers. Other things you should know:

  • You can block 900 calls by contacting your phone company
  • Pay per call charges must be separately listed on your telephone bill
  • Your telephone company can not cancel your service if you refuse to pay 900 pay per call charges

Beware of international Pay Per Call services!

Some companies advertise a Pay Per Call service that requires dialing an international phone number. Moreover, countries such as the Dominican Republic or Jamaica have the same numbering format as the US and calling these countries does not require dialing the 011 exit code normally used for international calls. In this case the number advertised will look just like a regular US number so you won't know that you're placing an international call. For more info on this deceptive practice visit this page.