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21-Jul-2015 12:28

Federal Communications Commission rules say that "routing multiple toll-free numbers to a single toll-free subscriber" is usually considered hoarding.The FCC has never taken formal action against Prime Tel or National A-1, although federal authorities have expressed renewed interest lately in companies that handle toll-free numbers.Helein denied Prime Tel was trying to capitalize from misdials or engaged in a strategy to intercept calls made by customers of other businesses.

"I guess enough people go for it that it makes business sense," said Aelea Christofferson, president of ATL Communications, another company that specializes in toll-free services.Those instances appear to be outnumbered by ones in which callers reach a phone-sex solicitation.Critics of the company say it isn't the sex that bothers them, but the acquisition of so many numbers. As of March, it administered more 800 numbers than any other company, including Verizon and AT&T. Records obtained by The Associated Press show that over the past 13 years, a little-known Philadelphia company called Prime Tel Communications has quietly gained control over nearly a quarter of all the 1-800 numbers in the U. and Canada, often by grabbing them the moment they are relinquished by previous users.

"I guess enough people go for it that it makes business sense," said Aelea Christofferson, president of ATL Communications, another company that specializes in toll-free services.Those instances appear to be outnumbered by ones in which callers reach a phone-sex solicitation.Critics of the company say it isn't the sex that bothers them, but the acquisition of so many numbers. As of March, it administered more 800 numbers than any other company, including Verizon and AT&T. Records obtained by The Associated Press show that over the past 13 years, a little-known Philadelphia company called Prime Tel Communications has quietly gained control over nearly a quarter of all the 1-800 numbers in the U. and Canada, often by grabbing them the moment they are relinquished by previous users.All those numbers contain messages redirecting callers to erotic chat lines operated by National A-1 Advertising, a company that shares an office building with Prime Tel, has common ownership and lists many of the same people as executives or business contacts.