Here are the best practices for sending and receiving a fax. Happy faxing!
Sending a fax.
Always program your fax machine or fax server with the actual sending number of the fax device. Using a voice number or your company name in the Call Subscriber ID field is not a best practice. Using a main number where someone is answering the call is not a best practice either. When fax transmission errors occur, it is important that the other side can tell what your fax number is for troubleshooting efforts. Without having the actual fax number, the phone companies and fax support people will be unable to solve your issue.
Use a fax cover page that is clean and simple with minimal artwork. Use a black and white document to achieve the best fax image results. Using color or grayscale images can cause image quality issues. The cover page should list the name of the person or company sending the fax with their voice number, fax number and the name or company who is receiving the fax. You can include the number of pages that are contained in the fax because that is helpful to the person who receives it. If you are sending personal information such as a HIPAA fax release form or something financial related, such as a tax return, your cover page should have some legal jargon on the bottom that addresses privacy, in the event that someone receives your fax by accident.
If your fax transmission is interrupted or if a fax error occurs, you should send the entire fax again. Don’t send missing pages where the fax left off, this only creates confusion and more work for the person on the other end. Send the entire fax within one transmission. Some fax software has a feature called “fax resume”, which sends the missing pages of a fax in a subsequent transmission after the first transmission may have been interrupted do to poor line quality. We recommend that you do not use fax resume either, as it just causes more human work and confusion for the receiver.
Receiving a fax.
Since most of us don’t have a fax machine at home, it is likely that someone would use a fax machine at work to send personal information to their doctor or banker. If you receive a confidential fax that does not belong to you, deliver the fax to the intended recipient. Do not leave it on the fax machine or in the fax inbox for others to read. Be respectful of other people’s privacy.
If you receive a partial fax, call the sender and let them know. Sometimes the sending fax machine will print out a successful “ok” message but the receiver may not have received all of the pages. We call this a false positive fax. It happens quite often when fax machine manufactures fail to test their fax firmware before manufacturing and shipping out fax machines to retailers like Office Depot. Its not surprising since fax manufactures release a new fax machine every 6 months to stay competitive.
What to do if you have fax issues.
Many people call us with their fax problems and we love that! The biggest issue we see today boils down to the actual fax lines being used in a fax machine or fax server. Since the FCC has allowed telcos to eliminate analog phone lines and swap them out with voip, we have seen a huge increase in unreliable fax transmissions for companies of all sizes. If you have a pots line (plain old telephone service), you should keep it as long as you can. Using an analog line from behind your cable modem is not the same thing. That it actually voip, which is much more error prone than regular analog lines.
We have seen a big shift from people who have used fax servers and fax machines make the move to our all-cloud fax service, faxserver.net. With faxserver.net you can easily send and receive fax messages as a pdf, right from your email. It is easy to use, HIPAA compliant fax and can be setup in minutes. For more information, visit http://faxserver.net.