Despite what you may have heard, faxing is still alive and kicking. To this day, there are still many industries that rely on this type of communication, especially those that need to send sensitive documents with total security and privacy. Just ask anyone working in medicine, law or insurance, and you’ll see that faxing is an important part of their work. It’s just how things are done.
Unlike what happens with recent ways of communicating, it is almost impossible to intercept the document’s contents when you are using a fax transmission. So although it is not a fast way to communicate (according to present day standards), many businesses prefer to use it over conventional email or messaging.
Fax machines are still sold to this date, and we have witnessed the rise of online fax services which combine the speed of Internet with the security of traditional faxing, bringing us to a whole new age in faxing.
But fax technology isn’t free of problems. Even in these times we live in, one of the biggest issues fax users have to deal with is the big amount of junk faxes they receive regularly!
The Nightmare of Junk Faxes
Junk faxes are nothing new, they have been around for decades now and they are used to aggressively advertise businesses and services to multiple potential customers.
Unsolicited fax is similar to email spam, but unlike emails, you can’t automatically filter and set them aside in Spam folder; instead, junk faxes clog up your dedicated fax line and your fax machine, causing you to miss important documents and wasting your machine’s ink and paper.
This type of marketing doesn’t appear to be fading away. If anything, the passage of time has served to reduce the costs of these campaigns, making them more pervasive than ever.
You Are Protected Against Junk Fax
The FCC made an effort to reduce the amount of junk fax by passing some rules regarding faxing, which include a mandatory opt-out notice, and required businesses to add in the document the fax number that was used to send the document, but this effort has proved to be insufficient to eradicate junk faxing. The reason is that despite these rules, many businesses still decide to not comply and continue sending faxes until they are forced to stop.
Right now if you want to take some action, you need to invest in a lawsuit against a spammer, and well that’s an uphill battle that companies do not have the time for. This means that if someone wants to send you junk faxes they can do it freely until they are caught by someone.
How to Deal with Junk Faxes?
There are three ways you can get rid of junk faxes. Let’s take a look at them:
1. Filing a Complaint
If you are faxing using a machine, then you can filter out calls and try to reduce the impact of junk faxes, or as we said before, you can track the sender and if it doesn’t follow the FCC rules, then you can file a complaint online, or by contacting the FCC at 1-888-CALL-FCC.
You can also take matters to your local consumer protection office.
2. Solve via Lawsuit
If you prefer, you can bring a private suit to the sender of junk faxes. With this method you can recover any money you have lost due to unsolicited fax or receive compensation for each violation of the rules. For more information about these two methods you can visit the FCC.gov website at https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/faqs-about-junk-faxes
3. Switching to Online Fax
Making the jump to an online fax platform is the easiest way to deal with junk faxes, especially if filing complaints and bringing lawsuits isn’t your thing. With this method you can easily ignore junk faxes.
With an online fax service you are able to receive faxes via email. Thanks to Fax Over IP, incoming documents are converted into PDF files and then sent to your preferred email address.
The simplest way to block unsolicited faxes is by labeling them as Spam, so they are taken to that folder whenever you get faxes from the same recipient. Different email providers do it differently, in Gmail for example we can simply “Mark as Spam” the messages. This method works, it is simple, but it is not the most effective, especially if your fax service provider counts incoming faxes as part of your plan!
A better solution is to block incoming faxes via your fax service. Online fax providers have the option to identify and block calls, or they have a type of form to report spamming. The way to do this varies from service to service, but here are some ways you can do it with the most popular ones:
For Ringcentral Fax users:
- 1Head over to Settings
- 2Click on Caller ID & Blocked Calls > Block Calls
- 3Make sure you select the option to “Block specific calls and faxes”
- 4Enter the fax number you want to block.
For eFax users:
eFax doesn’t offer the option to block faxes from their Setting area. If you are an eFax user, you need to fill this online form which will report fax spam to the company. Their team will add the number to their blocked numbers list and will try to prevent unsolicited fax from arriving.
For MyFax users:
MyFax handles junk fax similarly to eFax. Using this online form, you can report incoming junk faxes and the company will take appropriate action to prevent these messages from arriving. You can also contact them directly via email using firstname.lastname@example.org.
It seems that as long as faxing exists there will be unscrupulous businesses that will send you junk faxes. It’s good to know how you are protected by the Government and what you can do about it. As you can see there are many ways you can take, though we would advise to make your life easier and just move your faxing to the Internet. It’s simpler and getting rid of unsolicited faxes is a hands-free process.