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eFax.com business practices November 3, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices.

Last month some boneheaded secretary sent a 49-page fax by accident to my free eFax fax number. Free eFax accounts are limited to 20 pages a month. I immediately notified eFax of the mistake and thought the situation was remedied. I was apparently mistaken.

Since I was at the ATA conference I did not receive the notification warning of the suspension of my eFax number. I received that warning and an official suspension of service notice today that my eFax number had been suspended as of November 6. I wrote them explaining the situation, but they are unwilling to let the suspension slide and keep insisting that I should upgrade to a paid plan. I only get 1-2 pages a month – if that. I refuse to pay $16.95 to receive a couple pages a month. Too bad I didn’t get the suspension notice before the conference. I could have changed the fax number on my business cards. Luckily no one ever sends communication by fax any more. No wonder why they are so desperate to have people upgrade. I certainly will no longer be recommended eFax here or in my presentations.

Oh, and the suspension certainly hasn’t stopped them from sending me advertisements…

UPDATE: eFax has since assigned me a new free eFax number. It helps to contact customer service and be persistent.



1. Caitilin - November 3, 2009

I had a similar problem, but it was the sheer number of ads that came from eFax themselves that put me over the limit! I had to decide if it was worth it to give them my precious, spam-free gmail address to get a new free account to be able to send faxes. I decided it wasn’t, since I haven’t sent or received a fax in a couple of years now.

2. matt - November 4, 2009

I use MyFax and pay $10/month. Every year when I receive the renewal notice I consider cancelling but then decide against it because I do still need to receive a fax on occasion from the States – not a lot but just enough over the year to justify the service.

Does anyone know of any other services out there? I tried to sign up for the free eFax service sometime back but they have not offered that option for quite some time now it seems.

jillsommer - November 4, 2009

I suppose you could sign up for their free service when you know you are receiving a fax (http://www.efax.com/efax-free), but this has seriously made me reconsider how many faxes I receive and whether it is worth keeping the service. I agree with Ryan. No one faxes anymore.

3. translatormum - November 4, 2009

Just curious: why is a secretary boneheaded if she sends a document, no matter what size, by fax to a fax number that you’ve provided? She can’t know that you’re fax service is limited. And why should eFax just settle the situation because you’re telling them that the secretary made a mistake? You choose to use the free service that has limits. You exceed the limits (no matter whose ‘fault’ that was), and then eFax’s rules apply…
Having said that, I do agree that it’s not very client friendly to force you to upgrade to a paid service when you’ve only exceeded the limit once and when they can see what your regular use of the service is. A one-off payment just for one month would have been a better option.
I have a free fax number myself, but have never used it to send faxes. The only faxes I ever receive are from family members abroad (in a 2nd world country), that do not always have the opportunity to scan and email documents – about once every two years. I’ve never used the service for work-related matters; I just refuse any job that has no electronic source files…

jillsommer - November 4, 2009

You are right of course; however, I have never once sent a fax to the wrong number. When I was working as a secretary in grad school I always double- and triple-checked that the number was correct. I guess I forgot to mention that the 49 pages were an extensive sales quote with lots of confidential proprietary information. That was not something that should have been sent to the wrong number. I was also nice enough to fax them back to let them know they had sent it to the wrong number (I have a fax machine in the office for sending faxes, but prefer receiving faxes electronically through eFax). I could have chosen to ignore it altogether.

4. Ryan Ginstrom - November 4, 2009

Welcome to the club. I got rid of my fax to email service at the beginning of this year.

I had a paid service, even though I also got very few emails. When they raised their rates on me (they actually got rid of the yearly payment plan, where you paid 10 months and got a year of service), it gave me an incentive to review my need for the service, and decide that I didn’t need it. 🙂

5. J.L. Mendez - November 5, 2009

Actually, many people still use the fax as a viable way of sending personal documents for translation. many of these people, usually either don’t own a scanner or they feel it’s just easier to fax their birth certificates, academic transcripts, etc.

I have had no problem with efax.com, but will surely keep an eye for this type of thing.

Sorry to hear about your woes.

6. M.D. - April 24, 2010

My free efax account was suspended for the same reason – I had gone over the limit once. I hardly use the service so I have no reason to upgrade to a paid plan. Months passed and I did not realize they had suspended the account so I recently decided to fax something to myself at my efax number which contained sensitive information. I should have tested it first! Turns out they had suspended it and I had been sending sensitive information to someone else who now had my old efax number. EFAX RECYCLES FAX NUMBERS. BEWARE. Their response to me was to sign up for another paid account and to send the person with MY old efax number a fax asking them to kindly destroy what I had sent.

Unless you can be sure that the fax number you receive is yours forever, don’t print that fax number on business cards, don’t keep that number and most definitely don’t do the stupid thing I did which is send sensitive information before testing first.

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