The Government is under pressure from Labour MPs to curb companies
that send out unsolicited ’junk faxes’.
Thirty-six MPs have signed a House of Commons motion attacking the
fast-growing pounds 18 million-a-year ’faxback’ industry for advertising
goods and services which consumers obtain by faxing or calling
Call charges can cost pounds 1.50 per minute, 60 per cent going to the
faxback company and 40 per cent to the telephone operator.
Dan Norris, the Labour MP who tabled the motion, said: ’Irritation and
inconvenience are caused by unsolicited faxes to domestic addresses,
often late at night. Children may respond to premium-rate numbers.’
The MPs urged the Government to protect the public by tightening the
regulations that apply to the communications industry.
Ministers are keeping the issue under review, saying they will be
prepared to act if the industry fails to put its own house in order.
They have welcomed moves to crack down on offensive and misleading junk
faxes by the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of
Telephone Information Services.
One company which sent out up to two million faxes containing crude
jokes was fined pounds 1,000 and banned from operating any premium-rate
service for a year after almost 350 complaints.