With the progress of technology it became more practical, convenient, and economical for providers to work out of their homes.
Human dispatchers — female, except for gay male phone sex — answered the advertised phone numbers, processed payment via credit card, chose who of the available performers in the dispatcher's judgment best matched the clients' fantasy (grandma, black girl, college girl, etc.), and connected the client with the provider. Either could hang up, though some services put economic pressure on providers not to do so.
Software platforms were custom written to handle money collection and transfer, connecting caller and sex worker though neither could see anything but the platform's phone number, and metering the connection.
Details vary significantly from one platform to another, but the provider may be given a personal page on the platform to use however she (sometimes he) wishes.
Originally phone sex services consisted of a managed network of dispatchers (live or automated) and erotic performers.
Performers would come to a studio where they received a cubicle, coaching, and cash incentives to keep callers on the line longer.
Later she recorded others such as Annie Sprinkle "talking sexy".
Leonard convinced magazine owner Carl Ruderman to purchase more of these numbers and the business began to be successful using the magazine to promote the service.
Leonard herself was surprised at the success of these numbers.
Typically the telephone companies would bill callers to chat lines and then remit 45% of the money collected to chat line operators.
The telephone companies placed the chat line charges on a customer's local phone bill.