Junk faxes are one of the great domestic annoyances. They waste expensive paper, disturb you late at night and fill your ears with electronic sounds should you make the mistake of answering your phone when it rings. A federal law passed in 1991 makes it illegal to send any material by fax that advertises the commercial availability or quality of any property, goods or services without prior express invitation or permission. As a result, some people have chosen to sue companies in small claims court. Blocking junk faxes completely is an awkward and difficult process, but following a few steps should increase your chances of success.
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Go to the Junk Fax website and complete the form to receive details of the two master removal numbers for junk faxes. Junk Fax asks you to request the information so it can gauge the number of people in each state experiencing problems with junk faxes so it can petition legislators for increased protection. The website claims that by contacting the master removal numbers you could receive up to 60 percent fewer junk faxes.
Use your fax machine to block the Station ID. Some modern fax machines, such as the HP Officejet 600, allow up to 10 Station IDs to be blocked. This approach may work if the faxes are from a limited number of sources. If the offending company leaves its Station ID blank, you should consider another approach.
Threaten legal action. The Junk Fax website has useful information regarding legal action against fax companies. The website's FAQ recommends sending a demand letter to the company sending the faxes asking for an out-of-court settlement in exchange for not taking them to court. Junk Fax provides templates for making your own demand letter and advice for pursuing a case in small claims court.
Tips and warnings
- Keep all junk faxes you receive. They can be used as important evidence in small claims court.
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