Many consumers have already registered with the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) by placing their phone number on the Tennessee Do Not Call List. Consumers who have taken advantage of this consumer protection tool are already well aware of the benefits. Presently, the TRA is seeking to stop unwanted fax solicitations.
Unsolicited faxes cost consumers and businesses alike, millions of dollars every year in time, ink, paper and general frustration. For these reasons, Tennessee lawmakers believe it is important to protect Tennessee consumers and businesses. In July of 2003, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted the Tennessee Do Not Fax Law establishing the Tennessee Do Not Fax Program. The new law, cited at Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 65-4-501, et seq., provides a mechanism whereby any person in Tennessee may request that no future unsolicited faxes be sent to the recipient's fax number.
The new Tennessee law requires that transmitters of faxed advertisements include a toll-free return fax number, a return telephone number or a valid address that consumers or businesses can use to request that no future faxes be sent to the recipient. If the consumer requests, by either phone, return fax or letter, that the transmitter cease faxing to that consumer's number, and the transmitter of the unwanted fax ignores such request and faxes to that person again, the transmitter of the unwanted fax solicitation is in violation of Tennessee law as well as the federal law, 47 U.S.C. § 227. The person or entity wishing to stop the unsolicited faxes can then file a formal complaint on-line or by contacting the TRA, who may begin enforcement action against the transmitter at no cost to the consumer or business filing the complaint.
To learn more about the Do Not Fax program or to download a complaint form, consumers can visit the TRA website. Consumers may also call in Tennessee toll-free 1-800-342-8359 ext. 200, or 615-741-3939 ext. 200 to request a complaint form.
The Do Not Fax program is making transmitters of unsolicited faxes rethink their business practices. Also, enforcement of the Tennessee Do Not Fax program gives consumers a voice and the TRA an effective enforcement tool, such as fines for violations of up to $2,000 per page of the unsolicited fax.