Eventually Pacific Bell forgave the bill, and telephone companies in some states now drop first-time charges if parents are unaware of their children’s party-line activities. Parents have also objected to adult-oriented lines offering taped porn messages and to soft-core party lines on which callers are invited to share sexual fantasies.Party-line defenders maintain that most teen lines are kept busy by kids talking about nothing raunchier than their schools and their favorite rock bands, but some parents aren’t convinced.
Telephone companies followed suit, setting rates and collecting a share of the enormous profits earned by party-line entrepreneurs.
In San Francisco, 10,000 to 15,000 people dial party lines every day.
Pacific Bell, which provides phone service throughout California, earned nearly million in party-line revenues over a 12-month period that ended in June.
In 1987 a 15-year-old Oakland, Calif., boy racked up a ,168.39 bill in only one month.
His outraged parents, like dozens of other customers hit with big party-line bills nationwide, threatened not to pay.That’s why we call them minors.” In response to such complaints, several adult gab lines have hired monitors who cut off obscene callers and redirect recognizably adolescent voices to teen lines.