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Tuesday, 05/31/2005 - 04:27 PM PDT
The topic: Junk faxers

I hate junk faxes. I really, really hate junk faxes. The company fax is here at home and it has its own line. And we got tons of junk faxes for junk stock deals. We got junk faxes for vacation deals. We got junk faxes for health insurance deals. We got junk faxes for mortgage deals.

When we first started getting them, I foolishly responded to the "call this number to remove this fax from our database" message at the bottoms of the faxes, thus verifying that our fax number was valid and available. I've spent many hours online trying to figure out how to stop getting this crap.

I finally got caller ID for that phone line. And I added an option available from the phone company for an extra charge, that was supposed to give the line even more privacy. Except that the people who were sending faxes had a hard time following directions and we weren't getting the faxes we so badly needed. After less than eight months, I discontinued the caller ID for that number. And the junk faxes just kept coming. And I just kept getting more and more irritated. Irritated because there was nothing I could do to stop them. And we got many more once caller ID was removed.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, Brian called and asked if some faxes had arrived, that were very important. No, they hadn't, but we had gotten a half of a junk fax (the fifth one in less than twenty four hours). I checked the machine. The thermal roll had run out. If we hadn't gotten so many junk faxes, we'd not have run out of this and Brian would have received the faxes in a timely manner. I called the phone company and got caller ID put back on that number. There were less junk faxes, but there were still junk faxes. See, the junk faxers got wise. Now, a number was showing. A Miami area code. And if the number shows, the call isn't considered anonymous and the junk fax comes through.

I finally started looking online for some help and I found a little box that claimed to stop all unwanted calls. You could block up to a hundred and seventy five numbers, as well as wild card numbers. I ordered one.

It took me a couple of tries before I finally got it set up correctly. And this morning, I watched as a call came in from a Miami number. I had programmed in this area code using the wildcard option and I waited to see what happened. Nothing. The call never reached the fax machine.

I was happy. Like I told Brian, it was a little expensive, but it will help my blood pressure (one time I called one of the numbers included and got into a yelling match with the lowlife on the other end) and paper and film won't be wasted on advertisements for products we aren't the least bit interested in (one of the stock faxes said "not an advertisement, for informational purposes"...yeah, right).

You do have to have caller ID for it to work properly, but I'm thinking it will be money well spent.

And I have a message for the junk faxers out there:

Kiss this!

Replies: 2 comments

Doesn't the federal do not call list include fax machines too? I listed my work phone number and have received no further calls. I don't know the protocol for fax numbers, but it is free, and that might make it worth the while.

Posted by May Ellen @ 06/01/2005 10:04 AM PDT

I put all of our numbers on it when the do-not-call registry came out, but I really can't do anything about the faxes as far as the do-not-call registry is concerned (fax numbers don't apply). To stop them I'd have to contact the FCC and boy, I'm just not into the idea of dealing with the gummint like that when this handy dandy little box is taking care of the problem for me. Got another Miami call last night that didn't reach the fax machine.

Posted by lisaviolet @ 06/01/2005 10:24 AM PDT

lisaviolet is fifty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

May 2005

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