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VIDEO: 25 Years of Providing IVR Services

As ATS gets ready to celebrate its 25th anniversary on July 15, 2014, we take a look back at some of the IVR programs that we’ve done over the years.

While the company has moved on to expand its mobile and digital marketing programs, IVR remains a mainstay for Advanced Telecom Services.  ATS’s niche is the ability to answer large volume call capacity programs that are common via television broadcast advertising.

Here’s a compilation of programs that ATS has participated in over the years, including one by Michael Jackson, The King of Pop himself, during Super Bowl XXVIII.


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We’re 25 Years Old – Time Flies By


It doesn’t seem like it was a quarter of a century when a group of entrepreneurs joined forces to open the doors to Advanced Telecom Services in Wayne, Pa. in the summer of 1989.

George Bush, the elder, was President, a Cornell University student became the first person to be indicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for unleashing a computer virus, and baseball’s all-time hits leader Pete Rose accepted a lifetime ban for betting on the sport.

It was also in the infancy of the burgeoning 900 number pay-per-call, audiotext industry, with crossword puzzle devotees having an option of finding an answer instantly, for a nominal fee, by dialing a 900 number on their landline phone.  Newspapers around the country soon adapted the service, including the venerable New York Times. 

From 900 numbers dispensing news, sports and entertainment in the U.S. and Canada, to pay-per-call programs debuting in several countries throughout the 1990s including the U.K. and Czech Republic, Advanced Telecom Services quickly became a global leader in processing audiotext programs.

In 2001, the eventual full conversion to a digital, mobile-first agency began with the introduction of one of North America’s first membership-based ringtone websites,, which grew to over 60,000 paying members.

By 2007, the push to mobile was fully underway with website and app development, the introduction of the do-it-yourself text platform at, and sister company Advanced Mobile being purchased by mobile automotive giant AutoByTel, and Advanced Telecom’s name change to ATS Mobile, both occurring in 2013. 

Following another change last year, a move into our new offices in the Valley Forge Casino complex and resort in King of Prussia, Pa., we currently specialize in engagement strategies in the mobile space.  ATS seeks to partner with growing businesses, define ambitious goals, and develop and execute strategies to achieve them.  

For more on the history of Advanced Telecom Services and ATS Mobile click here.

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Hung Up on Live Operators?

Author Bob Bentz    Category IVR     Tags ,

Think an IVR Solution Instead

Almost every day at work, I get reminded of just how impatient people can be.  In our modern world, consumers want immediate response and service.  If they are on hold for a minute, they’ll think it’s 5 minutes.

That’s where an IVR system can pay off for your company.  You likely don’t have enough live operators to serve your customers, especially if you are doing broadcast promotions where consumers will call in immediately after the announcement.

It may not be sexy any more, but IVR is still a great way to maximize leads from your promotional dollars.

Lost Leads from Wait Times

IMPATIENT CONSUMERS: IVR solutions can decrease those leads lost by slow response time.


Rules for Political Telemarketing

It is a big election year and many political candidates will be using our voice broadcast, or “robocalls,” to reach voters.  The question came up as to how the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 fits in with political candidates.  You probably know that political candidates are given more leeway when it comes to outbound telemarketing without a bonafied opt-in.

Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, politicians and campaign volunteers may call voters on their landline or wireless phones. But when a campaign uses an auto dialer to leave a “robocall” (precorded message), calls to wireless phones are prohibited.  In short, it is:

  • legal for a campaign to call voters on their landline phones using an auto dialer to leave a robocall without the “prior express consent of the called party.”
  • illegal for a campaign to contact voters using to use auto dialers and robocalls to their cellphones without prior express consent.

The same rules apply to text messages.  It is:

  • legal for campaign workers to send texts to voters’ cellphones.  For this service, political candidates can use text message marketing services such

To learn more about TCPA, please visit the FCC’s websites on telemarketing and SPAM texts.

Please do not consider this legal advice.  You should consult your own attorneys to get your own legal opinion.

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“Opportunity is Calling” the complete solution of 900 numbers

Bob Bentz, the Director of Marketing and Sales of Advanced Telecom Services, has been doing 900 number business since 1989. 900 numbers are very important for marketing tool, he has written a book named “Opportunity is Calling”, where you can find the total guideline for 900 numbers.

For More Information check this video…..

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The Crossword Puzzle 900 Line

In the early days of 900 numbers in 1989, Advanced Telecom Services was a start-up company funded by 20-somethings with second mortgages on their first homes.  So, there wasn’t a lot of extra money to go around.

The very first 900 number program that ATS did was a 900 number television commercial for CD rates.  In 1989, CD’s were not something that you listened to music with, they were an investment for certificates of deposit.  Back then, you could actually get a decent rate on your money at the bank, not like today when I receive 0.17% on my bank deposits.

“It soon became obvious, however, that we couldn’t survive too many failures when we were buying advertising,” said Bob Bentz, president of Advanced Telecom Services.  “Plus, there was the problem of cash flow from guys that quite frankly didn’t have a lot of it.”  Advertising required pre-payment and the return from AT&T on the 900 numbers did not happen until 30 days after the end of the month.

One night, the employees were looking at the newspaper for a win-win-win solution for everybody when they noticed the crossword puzzle.  Why not offer a 900 number for people to cheat on the crossword puzzle rather than wait for the next day when the solution is printed in the newspaper?

The team took the concept to The New York Times and the other major daily newspapers in New York City.  A few months later, all of the major New York newspapers had signed up for the crossword puzzle answer line and the concept of having a 900 number cheat line in the crossword puzzle became national and ultimately international when ATS took the same concept to its London office–an office that still thrives today.

Here’s a look at Merl Reagle’s crossword puzzle answer line from the Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer.

crossword puzzle 900 number answer line

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Use of Premium Rate Services by Sex

According to a UK study, there is a difference in the use of premium rate services by sex. Listed below are the percentage of British public that has used such a service.  The first figure is for adult males and the second for females.

premium rate UK

Women are more likely to call reality TV shows.

NEWS AND SPORTS ALERTS — 32%men & 23% women

GAMBLING — 13% & 8%

GAMES ON MOBILES — 23% & 19%

ADULT CHAT — 6% & 2%



(Source — Phone Pay Plus; November, 2010)

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Study: Why People Don’t Call Premium Rate Numbers

PhonePayPlus, in its 2010 research, polled 5001 people about why or why they don’t use premium rate numbers.  The numbers are interesting and give 900 number entrepreneurs some insight on what they should be doing to get more consumers involved in calling premium rate numbers.

premium rate numbers study

LACK OF INTEREST: Why most don’t call 900 numbers.

The single biggest reason cited as to why consumers don’t call premium rate 900 number is that they don’t find the services interesting enough to call.  In fact, 76.6% of all consumers that don’t use premium rate numbers said this was the reason.  Among those aged 11 – 19, however, only 47.7% said the services were not interesting so perhaps this is a good single for the premium rate industry of the future.  No doubt that innovation would be a great boon to the 900 number industry and entice some of those previously not interested in the services to give them a try.

Interestingly, trust of services was not a major reason why people don’t use premium rate numbers.  14.4% of non-users say the don’t trust paying in this way.

One other major reason for not using such services is a perceived lack of clarity of pricing for services billed by premium rate numbers.  45.1% said they typically were not certain as to the eventual cost of such services.  71.1% said that this uncertainty had stopped them from using such services.  This further enforces the reason to put the price in the advertisement and not try to hide it.  Perhaps another way to promote 900 numbers is to say how long an average call will last if it is billed on a per minute basis.

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