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NEWS
March 18, 1991
Callers to telephone numbers that begin with a "900" prefix would have to be told how much the call costs and they would have to be given a chance to hang up under rules proposed by the Federal Communications Commission.Of 415 Evening Sun readers and other callers to SUNDIAL Friday, 170, or 40 percent, say they have called a 900 number, and 245, or 59 percent, say they have not. Of 419 respondents, 398, or 94 percent, say that callers should be told how much the call costs and be given a chance to hang up. Twenty-one, or 5 percent, say that callers should not be told.
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BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,SUN REPORTER | June 13, 2008
State taxpayers can't collect more than $5 million from AT&T because the telecommunications company is not responsible for taxes related to 900-number transactions between Maryland consumers and out-of-state providers, the Court of Appeals ruled yesterday. The case deals with a 1992 law on imposing sales and use tax on 900-number services in Maryland. At issue is whether AT&T Communications of Maryland, which provided the 900-numbers to third-party vendors over its long-distance lines, was obligated to collect the tax from Maryland consumers and be liable for paying the tax to the Maryland comptroller after not doing so. Consumers pay for 900-area code calls, which typically provide information or services, such as sports scores, weather information or psychic and dating hotlines.
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BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,SUN REPORTER | June 13, 2008
State taxpayers can't collect more than $5 million from AT&T because the telecommunications company is not responsible for taxes related to 900-number transactions between Maryland consumers and out-of-state providers, the Court of Appeals ruled yesterday. The case deals with a 1992 law on imposing sales and use tax on 900-number services in Maryland. At issue is whether AT&T Communications of Maryland, which provided the 900-numbers to third-party vendors over its long-distance lines, was obligated to collect the tax from Maryland consumers and be liable for paying the tax to the Maryland comptroller after not doing so. Consumers pay for 900-area code calls, which typically provide information or services, such as sports scores, weather information or psychic and dating hotlines.
NEWS
By Marina Sarris and Marina Sarris,SUN STAFF | December 26, 1996
Facing a 10 percent decline in sales, Maryland's new lottery director wants to boost player goodwill by restoring a toll-free phone number that gamblers can call to get the winning numbers.Buddy W. Roogow, who took over the embattled state agency in the fall, said he hopes to have an 800 or local access telephone number in place by July 1.The lottery used to offer toll-free phone lines but, in a controversial move, replaced them last summer with a 900 number. Calls to the new number cost 45 cents a minute.
NEWS
By Georgia C. Marudas and Georgia C. Marudas,Evening Sun Staff | June 27, 1991
Michael Murphy received a postcard saying he qualified for credit card. All he had to do was dial a 900 number, the advertisement said.The East Baltimore man picked up the phone, not knowing he was being victimized by one of the schemes that consumer advocates say have invaded the 900 industry, in which phone companies act as billing agents for other companies providing information services.Murphy dialed the number, and a recording told him to call another number for further information.When he did, another recording instructed him to punch in a code listed on the postcard.
FEATURES
By Denise Gellene and Denise Gellene,Los Angeles Times | March 12, 1996
LOS ANGELES -- As the host of "The Newlywed Game," Bob Eubanks explored the wonders of romance. Recently, he's been a spokesman for a 900-number dating service that left investors feeling jilted.The service Mr. Eubanks hailed as "revolutionary" in an infomercial is under investigation for suspected investment fraud, part of a state and federal crackdown on a new form of scam that feeds on the psychic, chat and date lines that have become staples of cable TV. DDTC Mr. Eubanks hasn't been accused of wrongdoing.
NEWS
March 20, 1991
New technologies always hold the potential for abuse, but the growth of 900-number phone services -- in which customers pay a fee for each call -- is producing an angry consumer backlash. That backlash, in turn, could easily produce regulation that would strangle legitimate aspects of this rapidly growing business.900 numbers are useful for obtaining information, as well as for fund raising or polling services. The Red Cross has used them to provide information about earthquakes and hurricanes.
FEATURES
By ELIZABETH LARGE | July 28, 1991
Nine hundred numbers are less of a concern in our house than they might be, or so I thought, because we don't have a touch-tone phone. Shows you how much I knew about them. This week's cover story was an eye-opener for me: I found out that I can get live, not recorded, legal advice on simple questions -- or my horoscope -- even with a rotary phone.Although free-lance writer Arlene Ehrlich's story is a much broader one than just the downside of 900 numbers, she did entertain me with some prime examples of how they can be misused.
NEWS
By Marina Sarris and Marina Sarris,SUN STAFF | December 26, 1996
Facing a 10 percent decline in sales, Maryland's new lottery director wants to boost player goodwill by restoring a toll-free phone number that gamblers can call to get the winning numbers.Buddy W. Roogow, who took over the embattled state agency in the fall, said he hopes to have an 800 or local access telephone number in place by July 1.The lottery used to offer toll-free phone lines but, in a controversial move, replaced them last summer with a 900 number. Calls to the new number cost 45 cents a minute.
BUSINESS
By Joyce Lain Kennedy and Joyce Lain Kennedy,Sun Features | August 12, 1991
Dear Joyce: The fears and frustrations of being unemployed make job seekers easy targets for crackpots, kooks, hustlers and flimflam artists. I responded to an advertisement for a sales representative for a new, out-of-state corporation, which supposedly is a spin-off of a national greeting card company.The sales manager and personnel head called me in for a lengthy and thorough interview. I had a pressing appointment, but as I vainly tried to extricate myself from the interview, the truth became apparent.
NEWS
By DAN RODRICKS | October 9, 1996
When I first heard the deal -- a 900 number to vote on a resting place for Eddie Murray's 500th home run ball, with all proceeds from calls going to the pediatric cancer program at Johns Hopkins Hospital -- I thought: That's nice, but good luck. I'm no psychic, but I couldn't see many people reaching for the phone on this one. I mean, as an issue of public debate, Eddie Ball just didn't burn with Fat Elvis-vs.-Skinny Elvis excitement.And evidently it doesn't. Not so far.In the two weeks since the 900 number was announced, fewer than 2,800 calls (2,779, as of noon yesterday)
NEWS
By Marina Sarris and Marina Sarris,SUN STAFF | August 3, 1996
Want to call the lottery to see if your lucky numbers hit? From now on, it's going to cost you.People dialing the Maryland Lottery for a recording of the winning numbers are being referred to a new 900 phone number. Calls to it cost 45 cents a minute; a typical call may last one to two minutes.The lottery quietly replaced its toll-free local and 800 telephone numbers with a 900 line that operated for its first full day yesterday."It's outrageous, don't you think?" asked Lotto player Walter Holtz, a retired police officer from Severna Park.
FEATURES
By Denise Gellene and Denise Gellene,Los Angeles Times | March 12, 1996
LOS ANGELES -- As the host of "The Newlywed Game," Bob Eubanks explored the wonders of romance. Recently, he's been a spokesman for a 900-number dating service that left investors feeling jilted.The service Mr. Eubanks hailed as "revolutionary" in an infomercial is under investigation for suspected investment fraud, part of a state and federal crackdown on a new form of scam that feeds on the psychic, chat and date lines that have become staples of cable TV. DDTC Mr. Eubanks hasn't been accused of wrongdoing.
NEWS
By Lynda Robinson | January 15, 1992
Maryland calls to a 900-number advertising a contest to win a trip to the Super Bowl were blocked yesterday after the state attorney general concluded that the advertisement was deceptive.The ad, which appeared in the Washington Post's sports section Monday and yesterday, urged Redskins fans to call a 900-number for the chance to "win a $5,000 trip to the Metrodome for the big one."The ad's fine print did mention one hitch: Phone entries from Maryland, Virginia and Washington were void.So anyone who paid $3.30 a minute to call from those areas couldn't win the trip.
FEATURES
By Jonathan Takiff and Jonathan Takiff,Knight-Ridder | October 16, 1991
This fall, music companies are cranking out fresh CD and tape albums like there's no tomorrow (or recession) -- some weeks offering as many as 80 new pop-music titles.Still, most conservative pop-radio stations are adding only their usual handful of new singles -- maybe five songs a week -- for serious spinning.Where does this leave the music-loving consumer? To a large degree, out in the cold, reluctant to take a hike without a map. The situation is especially bleak for fans of heavy rock, rap and jazz, since precious little of that music gets air play.
BUSINESS
By Joyce Lain Kennedy and Joyce Lain Kennedy,Sun Features | August 12, 1991
Dear Joyce: The fears and frustrations of being unemployed make job seekers easy targets for crackpots, kooks, hustlers and flimflam artists. I responded to an advertisement for a sales representative for a new, out-of-state corporation, which supposedly is a spin-off of a national greeting card company.The sales manager and personnel head called me in for a lengthy and thorough interview. I had a pressing appointment, but as I vainly tried to extricate myself from the interview, the truth became apparent.
NEWS
By Marina Sarris and Marina Sarris,SUN STAFF | August 3, 1996
Want to call the lottery to see if your lucky numbers hit? From now on, it's going to cost you.People dialing the Maryland Lottery for a recording of the winning numbers are being referred to a new 900 phone number. Calls to it cost 45 cents a minute; a typical call may last one to two minutes.The lottery quietly replaced its toll-free local and 800 telephone numbers with a 900 line that operated for its first full day yesterday."It's outrageous, don't you think?" asked Lotto player Walter Holtz, a retired police officer from Severna Park.
NEWS
By DAN RODRICKS | October 9, 1996
When I first heard the deal -- a 900 number to vote on a resting place for Eddie Murray's 500th home run ball, with all proceeds from calls going to the pediatric cancer program at Johns Hopkins Hospital -- I thought: That's nice, but good luck. I'm no psychic, but I couldn't see many people reaching for the phone on this one. I mean, as an issue of public debate, Eddie Ball just didn't burn with Fat Elvis-vs.-Skinny Elvis excitement.And evidently it doesn't. Not so far.In the two weeks since the 900 number was announced, fewer than 2,800 calls (2,779, as of noon yesterday)
FEATURES
By ELIZABETH LARGE | July 28, 1991
Nine hundred numbers are less of a concern in our house than they might be, or so I thought, because we don't have a touch-tone phone. Shows you how much I knew about them. This week's cover story was an eye-opener for me: I found out that I can get live, not recorded, legal advice on simple questions -- or my horoscope -- even with a rotary phone.Although free-lance writer Arlene Ehrlich's story is a much broader one than just the downside of 900 numbers, she did entertain me with some prime examples of how they can be misused.
FEATURES
By Arlene Ehrlich | July 28, 1991
Henny Youngman, call your office. They've taken your April Fool's stunt and turned it into a national obsession. Or did you know, when you started Dial-a-Joke in New York City on April 1, 1974, that you were giving birth to a billion-dollar industry?It's called audiotex or pay-per-call or dial-it, and if you watch enough late-night TV, you already know something about it. ("Hi, I'm Rhonda. Let me be your friend on the other end. Just dial 1 (900)-NAUGHTY.")Admittedly, dial-a-porn just puts a new twist on a very old theme.
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