Violating fax regulations results in big consequences, and many companies who engage in sending advertisements and unwarranted solicitations via enterprise fax servers are paying the price.
Expensive Lawsuits Are on the Rise
Over the past few weeks alone, numerous big-time legal cases have either moved forward or resulted in multi-million-dollar settlements against companies who engage in these types of practices:
- Senco Brands Inc. (SBI) agreed to pay $3 million to settle a class action suit due to unsolicited faxes that did not contain opt-out notice requirements.
- Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals is facing a resurgence of their class action case after U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously ruled that there was sufficient grounds for the claim.
The Dangers of Fax Advertising
While there is a lawful way to advertise via fax channels, we don’t recommend it. The rules and regulations that govern this practice are numerous and the penalties are stringent. A small step out of line can and will result fines, criminal sentences and in the case of these lawsuits, millions of dollars paid in settlements.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 (codified as 47 U.S.C. 227) mandates that advertisers must obtain explicit permission from recipients before sending fax advertisements to them. Fax numbers and permission must be obtained and an established business relationship must be formed between the two companies. On top this, all fax advertisements must contain the contact information of the sender as well as opt-out instructions that recipients may follow. These opt-out procedures must be clear, easy to find and free of any costs.
Avoid Fines, Don’t Use Fax for Advertisements
The law states that companies can be fined $500 for each unsolicited fax. This fine can increase to $1,500 per fax if the court finds that the violation was willful. Even if you think you are in the right, be cautious when sending out advertising faxes to thousands of recipients.
It’s even better to simply refrain from the practice overall.
To learn more about how you can avoid violating regulations from the FCC, TCPA, HIPAA, SOX, etc., contact The Fax Guys today.
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