Weary of dialing the weather? Sick of SportsPhone? Tired of getting only the time? Jim and Tammy Bakker have just the cure -- for $1.50 a call.
"Hello, this is Tammy Faye," the wife of the ex-PTL ministry head says to open their Dial-the-Bakkers service, which began Tuesday at 900-660-HOPE.
"And this is Jim," adds Bakker, whose 1980 affair with church secretary Jessica Hahn resulted in the scandal that cost the couple their television ministry.
"And we're so glad you called," adds Tammy Faye.
Callers are charged $1.50 for the first minute and 35 cents for each additional minute of the messages, which will run two to three minutes and be changed daily, said Fred Weiner, vice chairman of Phone Programs, a New York-based company.
The Bakkers will "share in the revenue," Weiner said, but he would not reveal what percentage they will receive.
Weiner said the idea of the Bakkers for-pay phone messages was developed about a month ago. "They're looking for some kind of forum to communicate their feelings and perspectives about what's been happening," he said.
The Bakkers said the phone message was their chance to say goodbye to their "PTL partners" and to set the record straight on how PTL, based at Fort Mill, S.C., "was literally stolen" from them.