Phone sex company snatching up 1-800 numbers

A recent report by The Associated Press finds that scores of 1-800 numbers once used to provide useful information about anything from tourism to safe sex are being purchased by a company known as PrimeTel Communications. Nearly 25 percent of these phone numbers are now under PrimeTel's control, and many of those have been turned into phone sex hot lines.

Around 1.7 million numbers have been purchased by the Philadelphia-based company, including seemingly innocent lines such as 1-800-Worship, 1-800-Cadillac, 1-800-Cameras and 1-800-Chicago. However, if you dial the latter number, you won't be provided with information about The Windy City. Instead you'll be offered "one-on-one talk with a nasty girl" at the high price of nearly $3.00 per minute.

Sadly, this trend may be getting in the way of providing young people with safer sex education, condom advice and other sexual health resources. Additionally, some people who would not otherwise shell out the cash for a phone sex chat may be tempted to do so once they hear the automated response on the line.

While there is nothing technically illegal about what PrimeTel is doing, the Federal Communications Commission rules do indicate that having many toll-free numbers redirect callers to a single service could be considered "hoarding."

Bill Quimby, who runs a company that aims to help entrepreneurs find useful toll-free numbers, says that he has run into roadblocks in his business due to PrimeTel's actions.

"They started by getting numbers for phone sex, then getting good numbers in general, then they started taking all phone numbers," he told the news source.

Individuals who are seeking answers to condom FAQs or information on how to use a condom still have many resources. Seeking the advice of a sexual health counselor or medical professional is advisable.

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