Useless incoming fax messages may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
For a while fax communication was integral part of our business operation. We have a dedicated phone line to send and receive fax messages. The facility was great, communication was definitely faster than snail mails, and fax messages have been judicially accepted as official and business correspondence.
Until spammers (and scammers too) “discovered” and learned how to send and broadcast fax messages in bulk to randomly selected telephone numbers using a computer-based polling system.
And that’s when we started spending time and money to refill the machine’s paper tray and change the machine toner. All because our machine was spewing out long and multiple-paged fax messages from companies promoting products and services.
We did not have much option except to disconnect the service completely.
The ACMA has commenced developing a national standard for the fax marketing industry. It has released a discussion paper for public commenting.
The ACMA initiative is definitely a welcome relief. Although the move, in my view, is very late, I would still commend the ACMA for its action. It’s better late than never, as they say. After all, fax communication is still in use. Even with cheap internet connection, it’s not all emails. (Emails of course are another source of pain to ACMA, but that’s another story.)
“The standard will form an important part of the Do Not Call Register scheme, which was recently expanded to allow fax numbers to be listed on the register,” said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
“The development of a national fax marketing industry standard is intended to provide the community with greater certainty regarding the behaviour they can expect from fax marketers. It is also intended to encourage best practice in fax marketing.”
The discussion paper, according to ACMA, seeks views on the draft Telecommunications (Do Not Call Register) Fax Marketing Industry Standard 2010.
Areas included are days and times marketing faxes may be sent, as well as the kind of information marketers could be obliged to divulge about themselves and the organisations they represent.
The ACMA is inviting comments from consumers and industry about the draft industry standard by close of business, 18 November 2010.
The ACMA’s discussion paper Draft Telecommunications (Do Not Call Register) Fax Marketing Industry Standard 2010 is available on the ACMA website.