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I wanted to cancel our fax service, but then this happened

By John Toth

The Bulletin


I couldn’t remember the last time I used The Bulletin’s fax number. It was time to put it to rest.


When we started The Bulletin in 1994, we had a dedicated fax line, like just about every business at the time. The fax was our lifeline. We received most everything through it - from ad copy to a resignation letter.


The resignation was from a contract worker who could have just walked away and not said anything. He wanted to go out with a bang and faxed over a note telling us why he was resigning.


He pointed out that we didn’t know what we were doing and were disorganized and predicted that the paper would soon fail. He may have been somewhat right about us being disorganized, but his prediction was a bit off.


Most of the time when the fax machine went off, it was a more pleasant experience, mostly ads coming over and proofs being approved.


We lived in a world without the Internet, although there were rumblings about it by then. We even published an article entitled “What is this Internet thing, anyway?” We soon found out.


About 17 or so years ago, we switched to a computer-based fax line and disconnected the dedicated line. This worked out much better. We still received loads of faxes, even though the Internet was taking over.


Now, the line stays inactive months at a time. Everybody is sending pdf documents through email. Faxing has gone the way of film developing. It became a waste of money to have around, but since it was only $12 a month, I kept it, just in case.


We included our toll-free fax line in some ticket give-away contest entry coupons, but most of the entries we got via fax were unreadable. And there was no contact number other than a fax number, so we had to disqualify them.


I had been thinking about cutting out the fax service, but something else always popped up that took priority. To be completely honest, I dread canceling subscriptions or services over the phone. They don’t let you cancel them online. I have to talk to a specialist who most often makes it hard to cancel and tries to talk me into keeping the service.


I finally decided to do battle to save $12 a month.


Edward was very nice at myfax.com. There was no pressure, and he was ready to cancel our fax service number. He was probably looking at the records and realized that they were getting $12 a month for the last few months for doing absolutely nothing.


“I’ll cancel it for you if you have no use for it, but I have to ask you a few questions,” said Edward politely.


“I can’t remember the last time I used it,” I replied.


“O.K., but would it make a difference if I told you that you can switch you to a plan that costs only $5 a month and allows you to receive and send 50 pages a month?”


I had my mind set on just canceling the service, but $5 a month for 50 pages sounded pretty good. What’s $5 a month these days, anyway?


“I’ll take the $5 plan,” I said.


I changed my mind. How could I say no to that? Five dollars a month is worth keeping it around. Plus, I can always use it to fax documents to myself by email. I failed to close the deal, but it’s only costing me $5 a month.


Edward then reached for more. “Would you be interested in a digital document signature service for only $9 a month?”


That’s a good price also. Others charge $25.


“I would, but I don’t need it. If I do, I’ll call you back,” I said.


Edward then started to wrap it up. He probably ran out of offers. He asked me if he had provided me with excellent service. I said yes.


“I would appreciate it if you give me an excellent rating. You’ll get a questionnaire emailed by the company.”


Don’t worry, Edward. I’d hire you in a second to sell ads for us if I could. You’ll get five stars from me - a star for every dollar the fax service is now costing me, even though I’ll hardly use it.


Raise your hand if you still use a fax machine or service. If you do, please let me know why. You can fax me at 1-866-844-5288. Or, send  your comments to john.bulletin@gmail.com.

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