General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

What happened to the old Dial-a-?? services of the past?

Asked by elbanditoroso (30672points) 1 month ago

When I was a kid, you could call the following:

Dial-a prayer and its sister Dial-a-devotional

Weather Bureau – We1–1212

Time Bureau – GR1–1212

and I think there were some more.

Does any of that still exist, or has the internet replaced them?

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13 Answers

Smashley's avatar

I’ll bet some of the old dial-a-bottle services suburban teens used to use in my day are still functional. No idea how we got the numbers, or they avoided detection, but it’s an in demand service I bet is still around.

filmfann's avatar

Dial-a-prayer now has a website.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

They are replaced by Skip the Dishes and Uber eats.. and other sites like Door-Dash.

Forever_Free's avatar

Oh my that took me back. I can still hear the time one in my head from the U.S. Naval Observatory.
It is still answering and reporting on +1 202 762 1401

zenvelo's avatar

We used to dial P O P C O R N for the time. It got discontinued a good twenty years ago.

chyna's avatar

“Dialing for Dollars is trying to find me…”

Zaku's avatar

Dial-a-Story was another.

Such services are great for re-directing telemarketers to.

It’s not so easy to find them by looking in your local phone book as it used to be, though I expect there may actually be many more of them now, as there are computer API services for creating automated phone call responders, which a programmer can set up pretty easily. I’ve programmed them myself. Of course, they’re mostly used by businesses who want to cut their phone customer service down.

Also of course, web sites now can/do serve some of those purposes, more effectively… at least for literate sighted people with access to a web browser and the Internet.

jca2's avatar

I used to dial for the time.

Remember Star 69? *69. To dial back to the number that just called you.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

1–900-numbers were popular for a while, and each number charged premium rates to callers. There were dating hookup places, along with psychic hotlines and live pornography.

Not all the numbers were for naughty reasons, though. I recall “Ask President Carter,” a radio program hosted by Walter Cronkite, with people paying to speak with Jimmy Carter. As @elbanditoroso mentions, there were also prayer numbers, and I remember a diet/weight loss support line.

Those services have long been replaced by the internet.

JLeslie's avatar


*69 probably still works.

*67 still works to block caller ID.

SnipSnip's avatar

@jca2 Those landline features still work.

janbb's avatar

There’s an app for that!

zenvelo's avatar

Just announced, Dial-A-Poem

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