Have you received a fax advertising a “Florida Bahama’s Cruise” for $398 pp? If so, read on.
Under federal law (Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, 47 U.S. Code 227), it is illegal to send unsolicited commercial faxes. The definition, in my opinion, is broad enough to include junk email (AKA “spam”), but IANAL and that’s beyond the scope of this post. The law makes it illegal
(b)(1)(C) to use any telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device to send an unsolicited advertisement to a telephone facsimile machine
and it defines ‘telephone facsimile machine’ as equipment that “has the capacity”
(a)(2)(A) to transcribe text or images, or both, from paper into an electronic signal and to transmit that signal over a regular telephone line, or
(a)(2)(B) to transcribe text or images (or both) from an electronic signal received over a regular telephone line onto paper.
The law allows individuals to sue the sender for $500 per violation. I am considering filing my first small claims court action due to an unsolicited fax sent to my toll-free fax number, even though the violator is in Florida. Why? The egregious nature of the fax and the company’s record of skirting the law.
The only identifying information on the fax is “SOTA License# ST-23944.” Turns out “SOTA” stands for “Seller of Travel” (I think), and Florida License ST-23944 lead me to a BBB report on a company, SPECIAL T TRAVEL SERVICE INC:
The company “offers travel packages through telemarketing and their web site… This company has an unsatisfactory customer experience history with the Better Business Bureau…. This company is licensed by Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The license number is ST 23944. This company also does business as Travel Shopping Spree T.”
From the Florida BBB Report:
Georgia: On August 1, 2002, the company signed an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) with the state’s Fair Business Practices Act Administrator. The respondents willingness to enter into an AVC shall not be considered an admission of violation. Specifically, the Administrator alleged that the Company: Solicited consumers in the state of Georgia by misrepresenting via an Internet advertisement that consumers have won discounted travel services. The Company entered into the AVC in order to resolve this matter without the necessity of formal legal action. Upon breach of any of the provisions of this AVC by the Company, the Administrator reserves the right to request initiation of formal legal actions against Company concerning the subject matter of this AVC.
Report as of: 5/12/2004
A Google search of “Special T Travel” yields a lot of unhappy customers. Here’s one thread and a Ripoff Report.
I found their address information through a WhoIs Search:
|Registrant:||Make this info private|
|Special T Travel Inc.|
|529 North Ferncreek Avenue|
|Orlando, FL 32803|
Of course, Network Solutions, like other firms, offers to hide the registrant address for a fee. Bah. Here’s another of their websites.
Neither phone number associated with the fax — 1-866-388-7739 to order, 1-866-670-5897 to be removed from our “opt-in list” — turns up on a reverse phone number look-up.
The fax blaster firm labels itself as “Flip Flop Market.”
If you received a fax, you can file a complaint with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. If enough of us file $500 claims, we could make them think twice before (a) fax blasting and (b) falsely promoting.
Why do I say falsely promoting? Because the website special — three of the four trips promoted on the fax — is being sold for $3896 per family.
6 replies on “Fighting Junk Faxes: Will You Join Me?”
Check your sources guys, your identification of the owners of Nothx.net and ActiveCore are seriously incorrect and this is potentially damaging to the individuals named.
I chased this issue down for a while due to similar frustrations, but whoever the idiot is on this thread that is naming individuals is completely off track. Kevin Birch left ActiveCore in 2004, Geno Villella around the same time or within a year after. ActiveCore was a POS penny stock that was taken over by spammers in 2005 / 2006, and Nothx.net was established as a fake opt out facility – of course it doesn’t work, but legally they’re covering their butts by having a facility like that in place.
Where did you get your bogus info, Ticked Off? This Kevin guy has been out of ActiveCore for 5 years I just found out through some digging, you should be more careful and check your sources before posting personal info like. In any case, apparently ActiveCore / Nothx was taken over recently by 2 guys named Joe and Dave, still trying to track down contact info but they’re definitely still in Toronto area.
866-388-7739 Scam Fax buiness owners / operators are the following:
Nothx.net registered to Geno Villella of 156 Front St W Suite 210 Toronto ON his listed number doesn’t work of course…but if in toronto pay him a vist to stop his scamming.
Nothx.net is also owned / operated by Kevin Birch at Activecore.com and his address is 814 Cabot Trail, Milton, ON his phone number does work and it is 647-477-1751
these scammers can’t hide anymore, visit them, call them and tell them unsoclisted faxes are unacceptable and we will search them out no matter how hard they try to hide.
Dear Wired Pen
I have filed a complaint with the Florida Ag. Dept. mostly because I am sick and tired of these special offers to employees who do not exist at my private line, and also because the number required to remove my telelphone from their fax list does not ring through, which is particularly annoying.
Hopefully my little complaint will add to the weight of others.
And for all the junk mail: either tear it up and post it back in their pre stamped envelopes, removing or not removing your name as preferred. Or switch the junk mail from one corporation to the other and post it back. (I noticed one junk mail offer that was not pre posted so maybe they are catching on)
[…] coming to believe that Florida is a horrible state for consumer protection. Last month I wrote Fighting Junk Faxes: Will You Join Me? about a Florida travel company that breaks the federal junk fax law AND makes questionable […]
Just filed a complaint with the FDACS.