Unsolicited Faxing – FCC Rules and Regulations

At ClicktoFax, we prohibit unsolicited faxing. Unsolicited faxing is the telecom equivalent of e-mail spamming where unwanted faxes arrive at business and personal fax machines. The Federal Communications Commission has specific rules related to both e-mail spamming and fax advertising. Because the rules are very strict, there is only a very narrow band of permitted fax advertising. If you are looking to reach new customers, it is best not to use fax as a vehicle as you will likely run afoul of the FCC Regulations.

Here are the rules which you need to comply with when faxing either at ClicktoFax or from any other service or machine:

  • You must have an Established Business Relationship (ESB):
    • The FCC defines this as a two way communication between you and the other business or individual which is voluntary. If you do not have an Established Business Relationship with the receiving party, you may not send a fax to them, regardless of compliance with other parts of the FCC rules.
 
  • If you have an Established Business Relationship you can send a Fax to the recipient if you comply with all of the following:
    • Retrieve the Fax number from the recipient’s directory/website even if they had not provided it to you directly
    • Obtain the Fax number directly from the recipient through email/web form/membership renewal or other solicitation.
    • Make reasonable efforts to ensure the directory or solicitation listing was made with the recipients consent. For example, if the recipient was listed in an internet database but did not consent to have their information listed there, you cannot send a fax to their fax number even if you have an established business relationship (ESB).

If you pass the above tests, if you send a fax advertisement, you must include the following information:

  • Easy and conspicuous way to opt-out of further advertisement. It must be on the first page of the fax and very easy to spot.
  • Let the recipient know that they may opt out and failure to comply from the sender is unlawful
  • Include a cost-free mechanism including telephone number and fax number where a recipient can opt out of faxes 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

 

More information and interpretation can be found at the FCC site for Fax Advertising

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