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Internet Fax Buying Guide
Internet Fax Buying Guide (What you need
to know before buying any online fax service?)
Copyright © 2008 Titus Hoskins
Before acquiring any Internet Fax service you must ask
some pertinent questions before you sign on the dotted
line. Remember, getting a fax number and service for
your business or company should have your full attention
because this is a long-term service and doing your homework
now can save you significant money over the long haul.
Besides, picking the RIGHT fax service provider will
help you avoid serious problems/headaches down the road.
More importantly, like any business service you must make
doubly sure you get a high quality reliable service that
will enhance your business and not hinder it.
So with these concerns in mind, here are some basic
questions you should ask before buying any Internet
Questions About The Company
Who owns the company? How long have they been operating?
How many customers/clients do they have? How good is
Basically, you want to do some research on the Internet
fax company you're thinking about using. Check out the
company's history by doing a BBB search to see if there
are any major complaints about the company or service.
Check to see if there's a trial period and if there is a
30-day money-back guarantee if things don't work out.
Most legitimate fax companies provide this feature.
Find out how long they have been operating and find out
what their support is like? Check out the online fax
forums to see how the different companies are rated? What
problems are discussed? Check these forums to see what the
support is like for a company and/or if there are any problems
with using a particular fax company.
Keep in mind, many fax service providers have their own
forums... check these to see how well questions are answered
and how quickly problems are solved. You can even monitor
these forums for a few days just to see how quickly problems
are dealt with?
Remember to ask around to see if you can find actual
users of a particular fax service, there is nothing as
good as first-hand experience and advice when choosing
a service. MicroSoft's Office Marketplace is a good place
Questions About Your New Fax Number:
First, you will want to check to see what type of fax number
is supplied by the fax provider - local number with your same
area code or a Toll-free number? Can you get inbound numbers
in a different country in case you want to create a virtual
Check to see if a fax provider recycles old fax numbers?
On rare occasions this could present a problem with you
receiving someone else's faxes. Keep this in mind if you
discontinue your fax number, especially if you were receiving
sensitive faxes through your number.
Questions About The Transmission of Faxes:
How do I send faxes? You want to know the exact procedure
for your chosen fax provider? Is there a desktop or email
application I can use to send and receive faxes? Does it
work with Windows Applications?
Is there an online interface or site where I can send and
receive my faxes? (Most fax services have this.) Can I store
my faxes online? If so, how much disc space is provided and
how long before my faxes are deleted? Can I track the process
of my faxes online? Can I track how much each fax costs?
What attachment file formats are used by your prospective
fax provider? Most use the TIFF (Tagged Image File) format
but other popular ones are Acrobat PDF, JPEG/JPG and GIF.
If you have or use a different format, check with the provider
to see if they can handle it.
Can you change your email address to where your faxes are
sent? Can you have multiple email addresses? Do you have
control over your fax identifier (CSID) for outbound faxes?
The CSID is used to identify the sender of the fax and is
a legal requirement in many locations.
Finally, if security is a real concern, you must ask whether
or not your fax provider can send encrypted/signed email?
Encryption ensures only you and the receiver sees your
faxes. Can your faxes be sent and received via email with
Questions About Fax Broadcasting:
Does your fax provider offer Fax Broadcasting - sending the
same fax to hundreds or thousands of recipients? This is
useful in a business setting for such things as Newsletters,
Press Releases, Special Sales or Deals - not to be confused
with Junk Faxes, which is similar to email Spam!
If you or your company does a lot of legitimate faxing, you
must check to see if your fax provider is completely scalable
to meet your company's growing faxing needs? Can you easily
get multiple fax numbers for different departments or agents?
Can it handle high volumes on short notice?
Questions About The Costs of Faxing:
Perhaps the most important questions you have to ask concerns
the cost or price of your online faxing. Are there any set-up
costs? Are there any hidden fees? Is there a trial version you
can start with? Is there a money-back guarantee if you're not
satisfied with the service?
Fax services are paid for by subscriptions - you must
check to see if it's a yearly or monthly subscription?
Most companies give you an option and if you buy an annual
subscription, you usually get a discount - check this?
Regardless of how you pay, you must check how many faxes
can you send and/or receive each month with your subscription?
Fax companies all have different plans and fees... so it
pays to shop around... most services go for around $10-$15
a month. Heavier volume faxing will be more expensive.
Also check to see if there is custom pricing for companies?
What are your provider's international fax rates? This is
something you should really check out as you will have to
pay more for these types of faxes. If I go over my limit,
what are the costs of sending faxes? Receiving faxes?
Remember, as a general rule of thumb, page calculations are
done based on fax time with the 60-second per page limit
as standard. Most faxes are less than 40 seconds, but
faxes with large graphics may be counted as two or more
pages. Some fax providers base their fax rates on a per/minute
fee... 5 cents a minute.
When considering the costs of your Internet faxing, you
have to remember, with online faxing you won't have the
cost of a fax machine, or the cost of a second phone line.
Plus, you won't have to pay ink, toner and paper costs.
Overall, Internet faxing is a good viable alternative to
the old fax machine. It offers some very distinct advantages
because it is completely mobile, you can send your faxes
anytime, anywhere. And since it is computer and Internet
based, it can be much more efficient than the old fax machine.
For more information on Internet Fax Services & Pricing try this
handy online Fax Comparison Guide: Internet Fax
Titus Hoskins Copyright © 2008. This article may be freely distributed if
this resource box stays attached.
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