A terminal for use in a service observing system which collects service observing data at a plurality of geographically dispersed locations and forwards the collected information to a central unit for evaluation. Terminal apparatus at each location scans for incoming service observing data generated from an associated group of service observing circuits which bid for connection to the central unit by placing requests with the service observing terminal. Not all requests are sent to the central unit for evaluation in that the terminal contains internal circuitry which allows control of the service observing bids forwarded to the central unit. Specifically, a memory is provided in the terminal to store the in-service or out-of-service operational status of each of the service observing circuits as determined by the central unit. Update circuitry is provided so that the central unit may change the operational status of selected ones of the service observing units during system operation. Requests from out-of-service circuits are ignored at the terminal in accordance with the status stored in the memory. One in-service circuit which is requesting service is selected by the terminal and its identity forwarded to the central unit along with a service request bid. If the bid is accepted for evaluation, information is collected, formatted, and sent to the central unit by the terminal apparatus.