what's up with chat lines?
July 27, 2006 11:54 PM   Subscribe

what's up with chat lines like livelinks & quest? are they fronts for escort services? I'm up late a lot & they play those commercials on tv constantly. I've always been kind of curious.
posted by octavia to Grab Bag (6 answers total)
I always thought they were just phone sex lines for lonely guys that are up late at night. Seems like a lot of effort to put up a front for an escort service, when you can just look in the yellow pages under "Escorts".
posted by antifuse at 2:03 AM on July 28, 2006

Just by the by, it's the same here in Oz. Drives me batshit insane. It's like spam though - one call per million (or whatever) people must mean they make a profit. I figured it is lucrative for the dial fees alone which are of course extravagant. An average call must be a comparatively large amount of money. And their costs are very minimal. Telephonists are cheaper than prostitutes to hire (presumably) and advertising late at night is cheap and targets the drunk, lonely, weird ... us!
posted by peacay at 6:24 AM on July 28, 2006

you call, leave a recording of yourself. Then stay on the line and listen to others recordings listening for one you like. If someone likes yours it chimes in.
posted by killyb at 7:22 AM on July 28, 2006

I don't know if it's still the same, but it used to be a way to meet local people on the phone. It was free for women but men had to pay. I had a friend in high school, Sarah, who would call these chatlines and talk to guys until she found one to buy liquor for her. Scary, but it always worked.
As far as I can tell, a few years ago, these chat lines were the way to go for bored, lonely adult men looking for bored, lonely teenage girls (or boys). This dynamic didn't start with the internet. Someone should call Dateline and all the other hysterical pseudo-news shows and publications and clear it up for them.
posted by cilantro at 8:30 AM on July 28, 2006

Heh, I was going to ask the exact same question! One of the reasons I thought they'd be a front for a sex chat line is because of the lack of marketing towards females...a dating line with mostly guys isn't going to be very successful.
posted by apple scruff at 9:16 AM on July 28, 2006

Usually those ads are a shill for phone sex ops. Just like the "text local girls" ones.
posted by polexxia at 8:40 PM on July 28, 2006

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