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Leonard convinced magazine owner Carl Ruderman to purchase more of these numbers and the business began to be successful using the magazine to promote the service.

Leonard herself was surprised at the success of these numbers.

Originally phone sex services consisted of a managed network of dispatchers (live or automated) and erotic performers.

Nevertheless, phone sex should not be confused with prostitution wherein money is exchanged for real life sexual services or physical interaction.

The editor of High Society magazine, Gloria Leonard, is credited with being one of the first people to use "976 numbers", then "900 numbers" for promotional purposes and soon as a revenue stream in the adult industry.

If a customer disputed a charge, the telephone company would usually “forgive” the charge but block the caller from calling any other chat lines.

By 2007 only Verizon, Sprint and AT&T remained in the chat line business in the U. By 2007 Verizon and MCI had merged and only a few chat line companies remained active as a result.

Verizon provided billing services to calls made in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine.