900-service meaning

In the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), 900/976 numbers are used to access premium information services that carry either a flat cost per call or a cost per minute determined by the called party, or sponsoring party. The revenues are divided among the sponsoring party receiving the call and the various carriers involved. 900/976 service was originally intended for applications such as telethons and informational services, and was used widely by companies offering technical support on a per-call and per-minute basis. Subsequently, the service gained a bad reputation as many providers of telephone sex and other questionable services make extensive use of them. Fraud schemes actively use 900/976 numbers. In such a scheme, a caller will leave a message asking for a return call to a 900/976 number, with the call carrying an exorbitant charge. As a result, 900/976 services have fallen out of favor and are no longer widely used. 900 numbers are in the format 900-NXX-XXXX. See also NANP.