AN 800 NUMBER OF YOUR OWN

BETSY MESTER isn’t trying to impress anybody. No Lexus, no cellular phone in her pocket.

OK, so she has her own 800 telephone line. “I never thought about the status,” she says. “It’s just really convenient. I guess I’ll have to start throwing it around for my friends.”

Ms. Mester, a supervisor in data administration at Electronic Data Systems in Dallas, has tapped into a new twist in the battle for your

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