August 09, 2006

Just the Fax, Ma'am

What's more unpleasant than answering the phone and having a telemarketer on the other line? Answering the phone and having a telemarketer's fax machine on the other line. Thankfully, as of August 1, new rules regarding unsolicited faxes went into effect.

Under new rules created by the Federal Communications Commission, faxes can't be sent to residences or businesses without prior approval or an "established business relationship." In those cases, a fax advertiser must be able to prove that recipients provided their fax numbers voluntarily.

Advertisers must also provide a "clear and conspicuous notice" on the first page of a fax providing the recipient with contact information to opt-out of future advertisements. The law also requires that fax senders comply with an opt-out request within 30 days.

If you receive a fax in violation of the FCC's new rules, you may file a complaint on the FCC's website or by calling the FCC's Consumer Center at 1-888-225-5322.

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