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The problem became so huge that telephone companies instituted policies that guaranteed teenagers’ first offenses would be forgiven, erased from the phone bill.Pacific Bell in California refunded .8 million in 1987 to customers for party line bill adjustments, according to .Then parents saw the bills — their kids had charged hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars worth of calls in the space of weeks.“I wanted to kill her,” said Chicago parent Sharon Croll.

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At one point, teen party lines were only one category of phone services — 970 numbers were reserved for X-rated connections, but other 900 numbers offered fan lines for Hulk Hogan or rock ’n’ roll music, sports talk, psychics, or bible verses. It was the 1980s entrepreneur’s dream, albeit a risky one.“My meal ticket,” said Joe Widawsky, who started 540-AMOR, a Hispanic group date line in New York City.

With “Donald Trump-like smugness,” Widawsky was convinced his venture would allow him to retire to a Caribbean island.

Think of it like a precursor to the internet chat room.

Around the country, kids dialed numbers like 550-TEEN for access to party lines, otherwise known as group bridging services.

One Chicago reverend compared party lines to crack, PCP, television, and VCRs.

“Now here come the 900 numbers to finish the job on our children’s minds,” she told in 1988.

One party line hosted a wedding, where the bride, groom, and officiant were at different terminals in Manhattan.

Instead of throwing rice, the 1,000 callers who tuned in typed apostrophes.

Have fun flirting, meeting people casually, looking for love, or having a racy conversation.

Laughter, conversation, and fun shouldn’t have to wait!

Teens learned they could dial a simple phone number and charge any rates directly to their parents’ phone bill.

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