DIRECT NEWS: Labour MPs call for effective measures to curb ’junk faxes’

The Government is under pressure from Labour MPs to curb companies that send out unsolicited ’junk faxes’.

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

premium-rate numbers.



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.



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