1-900-Kind of Sketchy

Posperity is calling

Opportunity Is Calling
How to Start Your Own Successful 900 Number

900 phone numbers were quite the thing in the 1980s and 1990s.  Every minute on these lines cost the caller upwards of several dollars a minute. These numbers were mostly known for phone sex or psychic hotlines. If you are of a certain age, you will probably remember Dionne Warwick’s Psychic Friends Network.

I nabbed this copy from a library and it looked absolutely untouched when I checked it out. I have no idea how good the content, but the book design is boring. Unfortunately, I don’t have any circ data but I feel pretty confident in guessing this book hasn’t seen much action.

I’ve always associated the 900 number with sketchy activities and scams, however, this article reminded me about a few examples of the more culturally significant uses of the 900 number.



900 back cover

900 number marketing

service bureau

projections for the 1990s


  1. I suppose this could have a place in an academic library with a really, really comprehensive collection on the history of marketing. But if it has recently been plucked from the shelves of a public library, then shame on them.

  2. I want to nitpick the cover design, make a obscure histocultural reference, a factual observation, give an opinion, AND take a pot shot a the photorgrapher. Mommie!!

  3. “This book hasn’t seen much action” LOL!

    Given the subject matter, this pun just wrote itself.

  4. I don’t think I’d take business advice from a guy who’d use a completely made-up phrase like ‘souped-down’.

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