Preventing Unwanted FaxesPosted: Updated:
New federal rules make it illegal to fax unsolicited advertisements without the recipient's permission.
You have the right to opt out of receiving unwanted faxes by contacting the sender. You can also pursue legal action through government agencies.
The Attorney General's Office has sued companies in the past for sending junk faxes, while the Federal Communications Commission has issued fines and citations.
According to Attorney General Rob McKenna, "all commercial faxes, whether permitted under an existing relationship or not, must include on the first page a conspicuous notice informing recipients of their right to opt out of future faxes. The notice must include a phone number, fax number and a no-cost mechanism such as an e-mail address, Web site or toll-free number that allows consumers to opt-out at any time. Companies must honor an opt-out request within the shortest reasonable period, not to exceed 30 days."
And if you are getting junk faxes, the Attorney General's office says you can file a private lawsuit for actual damages or &500, whichever is greater.
You can also file complaints with the Attorney General's office or the Federal Communications Commission.
To file your complaint with the Attorney General's Office Consumer Protection Division, call 1-800-551-4636.
To file your complaint online with the FCC, call 1-888-225-5322.
Or write to:
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th St. SW
Washington, DC, 20554
The Attorney General's office requests your complaint include your name, address, and phone number; the number for the fax machine that received the advertisement; and information about the sender and goods advertised. Including a copy of the fax is helpful. And they also want you to indicate whether you provided permission for the advertiser to send faxes or had other contacts with the sender.