Fax machine holdouts find spam still arrives in hard-copy form

Businesses using fax machines are still being harassed by spam, prompting some to sue unsolicited advertisers for wasting their paper and ink. — 123rf.com

Businesses that stuck with fax machines in the age of email and texts have found unsolicited advertisers are still around too, filling their bins with hard-copy spam.

Two Illinois fax users – a podiatrist in Evanston and a veterinary practice in Orland Park – have filed proposed class actions against companies they claim keep sending them unwanted faxes. They’re seeking damages under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a law often invoked against robo callers or text ads.

"Unsolicited fax advertising damages the recipients,” Animal Medical Center of Orland Park said in a lawsuit filed Friday in Chicago federal court against Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., which allegedly spammed the clinic as part of a mass campaign for its pharmacy services.

"The recipient is deprived of its paper and ink or toner and the use of its fax machine. The recipient also wastes valuable time it would have spent on something else.”

Fax machines are still commonly used in the medical and veterinary areas, where they’re seen as a more secure option for sending and receiving potentially sensitive records.

The podiatrist, Dr. Robert Gerber, filed his complaint against Medcubics Inc., a seller of medical-billing software, over an unwanted fax that he said didn’t contain an "opt out” notice, as required by law.

Representatives of Walgreens and Medcubics didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The cases are Animal Medical Center v. Walgreens, 22-cv-00233; Gerber v. Medcubics, 21-cv-06394, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). – Bloomberg

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