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Fax Advertising: What You Need to Know

 

 

February 28, 2014 (2014-05)

Contacts: Susan Ackerman, Chair, 503 378-6611, Stephen Bloom, Commissioner, 503 378-6611, John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611, Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
 
Salem, OR. Did you know you don’t have to put up with unsolicited fax advertisements? As part of National Consumer Awareness Week - March 2-8, 2014, the Oregon Public Utility Commission is reminding consumers that The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules generally prohibit most unsolicited fax advertisements.
 
In addition, the Junk Fax Prevention Act requires the sender of fax advertisements to provide specified notice and contact information on the fax that allows recipients to “opt-out” of any future faxes from the sender.
 
The rules say that it is unlawful to send unsolicited advertisements to any fax machine, including those at both businesses and residences, without the recipient’s prior express invitation or permission. Fax advertisements, however, may be sent to recipients with whom the sender has an Existing Business Relationship (EBR), as long as the fax number was provided voluntarily by the recipient.
Senders who receive a request not to send further faxes that meets the requirements listed in the next section must honor that request within the shortest reasonable time from the date of the request, not to exceed 30 days.
Registering a home phone number on the national Do-Not-Call list prevents only telephone solicitations directed to that number, not fax advertisements to your home or business fax number.
The FCC can issue warning citations and impose fines against companies violating or suspected of violating the junk fax rules, but does not award individual damages.
If you have received a fax advertisement from someone who does not have an EBR with you or to whom you have not provided prior express permission to send fax advertisements, you can file a complaint with the FCC. There is no charge for filing a complaint.
You can file your complaint using an on-line complaint form found at www.fcc.gov/complaints. You can also file your complaint with the FCC’s Consumer Center by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554
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