Local News

Companies Can Be Liable For Unsolicited Faxes

Posted February 20, 2006 8:48 a.m. EST

— Spam, telemarketing calls and junk mail -- all of it can be annoying. Add one more to the list: "junk faxes" -- a dilemma for anyone with a fax machine, including Todd Owens.

Owens, who runs a business from his home in Cary, says unsolicited faxes are "driving him nuts" and costing him money.

"I'm paying them to advertise to me," he said.

Under federal law, only companies with which you conduct business can send unsolicited faxes, but they must include contact information on how to "opt out" of future fax advertisements from that sender.

You can also complain to the Federal Communications Commission, which has fined some companies for sending unsolicited faxes.

Although it is a bit of a hassle, you can also take companies to small claims court. Consumers have been successful, some winning up to $500 for each unwanted fax.

Owens said he plans to file complaints with the FCC.

As for other options, a number of Web sites have some useful information on how to complain and fight back, including:

  • JunkFax.org

  • FCC - Unwanted Faxes: What You Can Do