With the ease and popularity of scanning pictures and documents to send via email, the use of fax machines has steadily declined over the past several years. There are still individuals and companies who rely on fax machines as part of their daily routine, and these users have found they are not immune from the deluge of junk mail that typically ends up in computer spam files daily. Junk faxes are more than just an annoyance, though, as they increase office costs and tie up phone lines. While TCPA violation lawsuits have typically involved consumers who have been harassed by multiple calls, those who receive junk faxes may be entitled to compensation as well.
The TCPA and Junk Faxes
Junk faxes are unsolicited advertisements that are sent via fax machines. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the TCPA prohibits companies from sending these advertisements without your prior permission or unless you have prior business with the company and have given your consent to communicate via fax. Examples in which a fax advertisement may be permitted include:
- Area restaurants offering lunch menus and specials;
- Retail and web based stores offering discounts on office supplies;
- Contractors and other service providers, providing price lists;
- Potential employees, submitting resumes.
Those without prior permission or an existing relationship must include a cover sheet in any fax correspondence, listing the individual or company name and telephone number, which allows the fax recipient to opt out of further communications. Failing to provide this information could result in legal action.