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

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.

Adult chat lines (phone sex) and tech support are a very common use of premium-rate numbers.

Other services include directory enquiries, weather forecasts, competitions and voting (especially relating to television shows).

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.

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.

The industry still suffers from the stigma attached to the early days of the industry when adult entertainment lines were heavily advertised on late-night television commercials.