A method and an apparatus for direct and immediate updating of customer account information, handling inquiries, and initiating communications is disclosed. A mainframe computer (16) contains customer or potential customer account information such as customer name, customer telephone number, customer account code, customer order status, etc. Mainframe computer (16) sends batches of customer account information to a system controller (11) via a data controller (15). System controller (11) directs trunk interface units (10a-10d) to dial the customer's telephone number and monitor the status of the outgoing calls. The trunk interface units (10a-10d) advise the system controller (11) when an outgoing call has been answered and, if an operator is available at an operator terminal (12a-12j), the system controller (11) directs a switch (13) to connect the answered trunk (T1-T16) to the available operator terminal and sends abbreviated customer account information to the operator terminal. The operator terminal then requests the full customer account information from the mainframe computer ( 16) via the data controller (15). The operator at the operator terminal 12 then conducts the necessary business with the customer and makes any desired changes in the customer account information in the mainframe computer (16). The changes are sent by the operator terminal (12), via the data controller (15), to the mainframe computer (16) for immediate updating and storage of the updated account information in the main database. The operator at the operator terminal (12) is relieved of the duties of obtaining the telephone number, dialing telephone number, and waiting for the party to answer, and is therefore utilized more efficiently. Furthermore, the customer account information in mainframe computer (16) is continuously updated and made current so that the operator always has the most current customer account information. Also disclosed is a method and an apparatus for processing of incoming calls. Furthermore, a retrofit device is disclosed for use with existing systems.