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Old 01-02-2003, 10:12 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 100
800-555-TELL ("Tell Me") - How does it make money?

There's this 800 number, 800-555-TELL, which one can call and receive many kinds of information (news, stock quotes, lottery info, travel info, sports scores, even driving directions!, etc.). It's a toll free call and there is no advertising whatsoever. So how does this make sense for them financially?
Old 01-02-2003, 11:14 AM
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: NYCNYUSA
Posts: 1,329
At the very least they get your phone number when you call and can sell that information to marketers along with the type of information that you are interested in. At the worst, they can use your phone number to automatically sign you up to a subscription to their service which is charged to your phone bill.
Old 01-02-2003, 11:18 AM
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Bangkok/52/Male
Posts: 8,869
Call them and ask.
Old 01-02-2003, 11:39 AM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 56,013
"One word - Volume."
Old 01-02-2003, 04:48 PM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Ass end of Alberta
Posts: 17,897
From their FAQ:
If 1-800-555-TELL is free, how does it make money?
1-800-555-TELL is supported by sponsors and partners who want to be part of our service and offer their benefits to 1-800-555-TELL users. If you are interested in being a 1-800-555-TELL sponsor or business partner please visit .
Old 01-02-2003, 06:29 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Southeast MN
Posts: 5,685
Can you call from a pay phone?
that way you could get the free info without getting on telemarketing lists

Old 01-03-2003, 12:18 AM
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,010
Originally posted by EasyPhil
At the worst, they can use your phone number to automatically sign you up to a subscription to their service which is charged to your phone bill.
Well, I can't claim to know anything about the other co-founder, but I went to school with one of the guys who founded this company, and I rather doubt he'd do that. What's more likely the case, and what the FAQ says, is that companies (the Knicks, for example) pay the company to say "today's knicks basketball game is at 7 PM at Madison Square Garden. Tickets can be obtained at X time. The prices are...". Or something like that. And of course the same would be true for movies and shows and possibly even sales at nearby stores as well.
Old 01-03-2003, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: New York City!
Posts: 44
Actually, they make their money selling the technology to other information providers.

That is, when you call a hotel or airline or Moviefone, sometimes they'll have the Tell Me function. You know, "Press or Say 'One' for more information."

1800TellMe is just a demonstration of the product. It isn't a loss-leader, exactly, but it isn't their bread and butter, either.

How do I know? I pitched them some professional services works a few months ago, and they told me all about it.

- Bjorn240

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