Fax Back to Fight Back

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How a businessman beats junk faxers at their own game.

Email sent on Aug. 23, 2002

I agree with you that junk faxes are a major problem. Most especially since they seem to come in at night and maybe once every three weeks I'd run out of thermal paper. Therefore, since my business depended upon faxed orders, I never knew what orders I'd lost until I got an upset customer.

I've found that even calling the sending company did not help. The faxes from the same companies kept coming through. What follows is a solution that worked for us:

The first time I got an unsolicited fax from a company, I'd use the "remove name" feature on the junk fax.

The second time, I set my fax machine to call the 800 number listed. I found that most junk faxes include an 800 number to call for ordering. I'd have my fax machine dial the 800 number every several minutes all morning long.

I then would call the 800 number and tell them to take my fax number off their call list. I'd also tell them that if I get another fax from them I would set both my fax machine and my auto-fax feature on my computer to dial continuously for the next 24 hours.

I've never had a repeat fax after the first morning discussion.

For us, it was troublesome. It was time consuming. But it hit them right in the pocketbook by making them pay for the 800 calls and tying up their incoming ordering system.

Good luck in your quest. Ditto for junk e-mails and phone solicitations.

Edward DePouli

I recently found your site after finally getting pissed off enough at the various spam faxes that hit our office fax machine. While I dutifully save each one and call each and every cancellation number (and many do seem to work), it is clear that our fax number keeps making the rounds to the various new players out there who think that I would love a spam fax from them. After visiting your site looking for help for those sites that don’t allow you to respond, I found Edward Depouli’s Fax Back to Fight Back success story a great help in at least getting these guys to turn their call back numbers on. I recently blocked multiple phone numbers whose numbers ended in “network busy, try back later” messages simply by faxing back to their fax lines for extended periods (several hours). This seemed to block their ability to operate, and I gladly paid the phone bill even for those out of country calls I called back to. And it worked! No longer are their 800 lines busy, and I’ve been able to call back, ask to be dropped from their list, and the faxes seem to have stopped (for now). One more for the good guys. Thanks for being out there for us.

Len Bargellini
Seattle, WA