From Where I Sit – Fax Fury

Replacement ink rollers for my Brother Intellifax 750 fax machine cost $52.19 for two. Not an insignificant amount! We have a fax machine for convenience. Our convenience and the convenience of people we deal with.

In yet another example of intrusive marketing, we have become victims of the discount travel marketing scam promotion. I began noticing faxes outlining unbelievable travel deals. As students of the “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” school, we never seriously considered the offers. Furthermore, we began resenting that this crap was eating up those expensive cartridges and wasting precious paper.

There did seem to be a way out though. Each offer has a toll-free number to call to be removed from their database call list. Okay, I’ll call and see if that does any good. How hard could that be?
When I began sorting the offers I discovered that we were receiving faxes from FOURTEEN different sources. This was going to take longer than I initially thought. Now I’m really ticked off! Who skimmed our number out of the phone book and sold it to these creeps?

Suffice to say that this wasn’t number one on my to do list. Like many annoyances, it continued to irk us until I finally sat down to make the calls. I needn’t have gotten too comfortable though, because 13 out of the 14 numbers I called were either “invalid or blocked from my area code” or “out of service” or “unable to connect the number from my area.” Surprise, surprise!

The originating fax number never appears on any of the pages so I couldn’t start faxing back the wonderful, time limited, unbelievably incredible deals. I may not have anyway because of long distance charges, but I was mad enough to enjoy thinking about it. We also began disconnecting the calls when our fax phone rang. We really showed them, huh?

This intrusion ranks right up there with the pop-up ads for penis enlargers, bored housewives available for fun, and Internet pharmaceuticals that regularly appear via email. They make users of the technology vulnerable to the most predatory, aggressive, ballsy promoters out there flogging their wares. If some little girl in Florida had to manually dial the numbers and feed the faxes, you can be sure they wouldn’t be bothering with some farmers at Andrew, Alberta. As long as mail and phone lists are available for sale, there will be buyers. Automatic dialing allows these people to reach out to larger and larger groups of potential customers in hope of hooking at least a few. I’ve discovered at least one couple who went on one of these junkets. The aim is to rather aggressively sell time-shares to a captive audience. Repeat after me, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

We just received our first real estate marketing fax. A pox on fax marketers everywhere, from where I sit.

*Reprinted with permission