Direct marketers in Australia are now barred from faxing ads, and will soon be fined 2,200 Australian dollars if they send faxes or call emergency numbers listed on the national Do Not Call Register, according to a news report.
Legislation was passed at the end of May to expand the list of forbidden numbers, according to the Sydney Morning Herald
, and direct marketers have until Aug. 31 to comply with the new rules.
Australia's Do Not Call Register, which began in mid-2007, contains about 4.9 million numbers. The government regulating faxes - is a strong indication of fax's very wide acceptance and growing use as a communications means.
Similarly, in the United States, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, TCPA, also regulates "junk" faxes. The act prohibits sending unsolicited advertisements to a fax machine unless the sender meets some basic requirements, says the law firm of Bingham McCutchen:
· The sender has expressed consent from the recipient.
· Or, the sender has an "established business relationship" with the recipient, the fax number was received voluntarily, and the fax has certain content requirements.
The law firm further explains that:
A fax is "unsolicited" if it is sent without the recipient's prior expressed "invitation or permission." Permission needs to be given one time, and may be given in oral or written form, including by electronic means, and must include the recipient's fax number.
If the fax is not an "advertisement" the TCPA's junk fax prohibition does not apply. "Advertisement" generally means "any material advertising the commercial availability or quality of any property, goods, or services," according to the law firm. Faxes used as part of "an overall marketing campaign to sell property, goods, or services," will likely be considered "advertisements" by the FCC (News
), the law firm says.
For now, an established business relationship lasts until the recipient opts out of receiving future faxes.
Each fax advertisement must contain a clear opt-out "notice" on the first page of the advertisement separate from other advertising text or disclosures. The opt-out notice must include a domestic contact number, a fax number, and at least one cost-free method for the recipient to use to opt-out. Senders must fulfill the opt-out request in the "shortest reasonable time" not to exceed 30 days.
The TCPA also requires that the fax comply with requirements applicable to faxes generally including indicating in the margins on at least the first faxed page the date and time sent, identity of the sender, and the telephone number of the sending machine or sender.
Telemarketers are also regulated on phone calls. In addition to state regulations, telemarketers must adhere to federal telemarketing rules
. State law enforcement officers now have the power to prosecute fraudulent telemarketers who operate across state lines.
The latest technology allows fax server software to provide features that help increase the efficiency of staff, as well as reduce costs. The latest architecture enables thousands of users in an organization to send and receive faxes from their desktop PCs via a centrally managed server. It provides Fax over Internet Protocol - FoIP - as well as server virtualization.
In a related matter, a Chicago federal judge recently halted a major telemarketing operation that made millions of illegal phone calls
for extended auto warranties and credit card interest rate-reduction programs.