Take back your freedom from suppertime telemarketing calls and late night faxes that disturb your sleep! Here is a point-by-point guide that will help you cope with this encroaching plague of the 21st century.
- Never respond to the toll-free number or website listed at the bottom of a junk fax. This confirms that your fax number is active. Before you know it, dozens of other companies will have it, and your fax volume will increase dramatically.
- Resist the temptation to call the toll-free switchboard number repeatedly and hang up. That approach is ineffective. In fact, the originating company can block your number very easily (or start sending multiple faxes if you call from the fax line).
- Try calling the main toll-free number and politely ask them to remove you from their database. Use whatever tactics you can to engage their sympathy. If you are in the US and a few other countries, you can threaten to sue.
- Save every fax you receive. If you decide to pursue legal action, you will need the faxes - complete with information about reception time and date.
- Make sure that your fax prints reception time and date on every fax. If necessary, get out your manual and change the programming. It only takes a couple of minutes.
- Find out what is legal in your area. In some parts of the world, it is against the law for someone to fax you unless you have an established business relationship.
- Sue the perpetrators if you can. Many people in the United States have successfully sued at the rate of $500 for each fax received after giving notice to the faxing company that further faxes would result in legal action.
- Make your number look 'unresponsive' to telemarketing software. If you pick up the phone and hang up within a second or two every time a certain company calls, the originating system will eventually classify your number as 'unresponsive,' and it will remove you from the database.
Junk Faxes and Telemarketers
- Block the originating telephone number. Some telephones and fax machines have a number blocking function. To make use of this feature, however, you must have call display on the line. You can also pay the telephone company to block certain numbers - but why should the telco get rich at your expense?
- Get an unlisted telephone number. For obvious reasons (including lining the pockets of the phone company), an unlisted number is not the best option. If you change your number, you will have to notify all your friends, relatives, and important business contacts. In addition, the telco could give you an unlisted number that is already in numerous telemarketing databases.
- Purchase a Telezapper or something similar. These electronic devices really do work for many types of dialing systems on the market. You can buy one unit and move it from line to line as needed.
Junk Faxes, Junk Mail, and Telemarketers
- Register with a 'Do Not Call' registry for your country. The procedures and regulations vary. In some countries, you must register once a year; in others, registration may stay in effect for three or more years. Some registries will remove you from all three types of advertising; others will only cover one or two types.
As more tips and information become available, the author will be updating this article about eliminating junk faxes and telemarketers.
Kathy is an author and webmaster who writes articles for 1st Rate Articles, travel articles for 111 Travel Directory, and foreign language articles for A-Language-Guide.