As long as there have been desktop fax machines, unscrupulous telemarketers have sent unsolicited advertisements straight to business fax numbers without ever asking anyone to opt in. Besides cluttering a machine with unwanted messages, these junk faxes consume expensive paper and ink, shifting the cost of the advertisement from the sender to the recipient.
Many businesses have transitioned from traditional desktop faxing to more cost effective online fax solutions. The use of expensive ink and paper materials has largely vanished, but junk faxes have not. Junk faxes can quickly eat up a significant portion of a user’s monthly allotment. For example, online fax services like e Fax and MetroFax give you a limited number of incoming and outgoing faxes each month. After you use your monthly allocated pages (around 300 combined send and receive pages, according to the FaxCompare.com Market Standard), your email fax service will begin charging an overage rate around 10 cents per page (or per minute).
So What Is The Solution?
Fortunately there are a couple of best practices and tricks you can employ to keep the junk faxes you receive to a minimum. Many junk fax telemarketers collect banks of known fax numbers to sell to other junk faxers; so keeping your fax number as private as possible and sharing it only with known business partners will reduce the collection and sharing of your number. Regrettably, this practice will not work for businesses that list their fax number on marketing materials that are shared with the general public.
If you cannot keep your fax number private, certain online fax services allow you to block faxes from incoming numbers that you may simply enter in their online interface. The following is a list of providers that allow you to block fax numbers and who will also allow you to transfer an existing number into their service:
Lastly, if your online fax provider does not offer a way to block junk fax phone numbers, you should at least contact customer service and ask to be reimbursed for the junk faxes that you have received. Companies are often more than willing to debit your account for junk pages in order to keep your business.