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Junk Faxes


Tim Bryce

Computer/Internet/Software Articles
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Some time ago I discussed the problem of junk mail. This week I would like to discuss Junk Faxes; you know, those irritating ads and offers that propagate on our fax machines. First, I believe fax machines have outlived their usefulness. Rarely do I ever use it, except for those obscure situations when someone needs to send us something. Most of the time I am communicating by e-mail or telephone. But even for a small company like mine I sure get a lot of faxes. This is the main reason I no longer give out our fax number unless somebody positively, absolutely has to send us something. Nonetheless, our fax number inevitably gets on a mailing list and we suddenly get swamped with faxes; seems like a waste of paper to me.

I don't know if you actually look at these junk faxes, normally I don't, except to lookup a number at the bottom of the fax where you can call to be removed from the sender's mailing list. Most of the time its a toll free number, other times its a clever ruse to pay for a phone call. You have to be careful.

I recently investigated this on the Internet and came upon an interesting site called "" which gives some valuable tips on fighting off junk faxes. For example, they list the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 ("TCPA"); let me read it to you:

"The TCPA (47 USC 227), and its implementing FCC regulations ( mainly 47 CFR 64.1200) prohibits the transmission via facsimile of any material advertising the commercial availability or quality of any product, service or property to any person without that person's prior express permission or request.

Under the (ACT) TCPA, recipients of unsolicited fax advertisements can file suit in state court to collect the greater of $500 or actual damages for each violation, and/or obtain an injunction (a single junk fax can, and often does, contain multiple violations). If a court determines that the violations were willful or knowing, the damages can be tripled at the discretion of the court."

The web site also provides instructions for filing a complaint.

Well this sounds all well and good, but who is really going to take the time to report some trivial faxes? Not many people that I know of; not unless they are being bombarded by faxes every few minutes. Most people just rip them up and throw them away, or call the fax removal numbers at the bottom of the sheet. All the junk faxes do for me is push me a little closer to pulling the plug on the machine altogether. If you really want to get hold of me, there are basically two things you can do: give me a phone call (I am one of the few remaining souls that don't believe in voice mail unless I am truly out of the office), or send me an e-mail with an attachment. Otherwise, forget it.

About the Author

M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the field. He can be reached at

For a listing of Tim's Pet Peeves, click HERE.

Copyright 2008 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-03-06 00:05:11 in Computer Articles

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