The other night the phone rang at 3 am in the morning! It scared the H out of me. As I rolled over to pick up the phone, I noticed it was my fax line that was ringing. Who in the heck was faxing me in the middle of the night?
Readers, has this happened to you?
The next day I checked the National Do not Call service to see if I entered my fax number as a “do not call” for marketers. Well, there was the number plain as day in their registry. I figured this fax was a fluke and in the event I received another one, I would file a complaint.
Well, this Sunday I received another one. As I stared at the fax, I noticed the following sentence on the bottom:
“To Unsubscribe Please Register Your Fax Number at www.NationalDoNotFaxList.org.“
Hmm. Was this a hoax? Gingerly and being skeptical, I entered the url name into my search engine. (By the way the web address above is re-directed to www.stopjunkfax.org.) With a gulp, I entered my fax line. Hopefully this will be the end of the marketing faxes and my late night calls.
I prayed that I did not open up a can of worms, …I mean, faxes to be delivered at all hours of the night and day. There is nothing about this site good or bad on the internet, and there does not seem to be any other “do not fax” sites. Readers, a little help please.
How to get off the Unwanted Fax Treadmill.
But I was still mystified as to why I received two emails despite my do not call status. So, I decided to go back to the FCC site and to see if I missed something.
Boy, did I ever. What I did not realize is the do not call registry does not protect me from fax advertisements!
However, the FCC requires broadcast advertisers to provide a fax recipient with a
“telephone number, fax number, and cost-free mechanism (including a toll-free telephone number, local number for local recipients, toll-free fax number, Web site address, or e-mail address) to opt-out of faxes. These numbers and cost-free mechanism must permit consumers to make opt-out requests 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
For specific fax opt-out information and how to file a complaint with the FCC, see here. Want to opt out but there is no address at the bottom of the fax? Check out this article from the Michigan Attorney General’s office. It does a nice job laying out how to fight back from unwanted faxes.
Before you jump to put your fax number on the National Do Not Call’s web page, it is not a national registry so it may not help if a company does not use them for opt-out subscribers. If you receive an unwanted fax, call the number listed on the bottom of the fax or follow the FCC or Michigan Attorney General’s advice.
But if you are a broadcast advertiser and do not want to be screamed out by people like me, you should consider having this organization manage your opt-out subscribers like the
stupid advertiser who sent me a fax at 3 in the morning. It seems like a no-brainer since why would a company want to waste time and energy sending faxes to someone who has no interest in their products?
So, broadcaster advertisers, get the hint. Your unwanted faxes are an unnecessary use of our resources and time.
As I thought about it…
Is faxing in general just bad for the environment? For that answer, you have to tune in tomorrow.