The interactive data retrieval system utilizes a computer system that has a telephone interface, a memory, and a facsimile transmission device. The telephone interface is connected to a telephone line and receives information request signals from the caller and transmits audio responses over the telephone line to that person based upon the requested signals. The computer program converts the information request signals into a search request command. The program searches the data compilation and obtains a data set based upon that command. The data set may be an acknowledgment of the subscriber or customer account number and security code or, on a broader level, may be the number of hits or records present in the data set that was generated by the search of the data compilation. The program produces signals which represent audio response signals and the audio response signals are sent via the telephone interface to the subscriber or customer. The audio response signals are based upon a characteristic of the data set. The subscriber then sends a search order command. The program responds by compiling and formatting records corresponding to the data set facsimile signals and sends the facsimile signals over the fax to another machine.