Marketing faxes

01 October 2012

If you have a fax machine then you've probably received faxes you don't want.

Usually, they're trying to sell you something but the good news is that there is something you can do to stop these junk faxes clogging up your machine.

However, the rules differ depending on whether these faxes are being sent to you as an individual or to your company fax machine.

Individual

Anyone must have your permission before sending you sales and marketing faxes.

If you're receiving these faxes and you haven't given the sender permission to send them to you, you should complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) using the link below, or by calling its helpline.

Complain to the ICO

You can complain to the ICO by:

  • Ringing their helpline: 0303 123 1113
  • Going online
  • Or by post: Fax Preference Service (FPS), DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8SS

Businesses

No one should send sales and marketing faxes to any company which has:

  • previously asked not to receive marketing faxes on that line, and/or;
  • registered its number (s) with the Fax Preference Service (FPS).

The FPS is a free service which allows companies to opt out of receiving unsolicited sales and marketing faxes.

Once you've signed up to the FPS, everyone is banned from sending sales and marketing faxes to the number(s) you have registered.

For more information or to register for this service, visit the FPS website or call 0845 070 0702.

I've registered with the FPS but am still receiving unwanted faxes

Once you've registered with the FPS it takes up to 28 days for it to come into effect.

If you're still receiving unsolicited sales and marketing faxes after that time, you should complain to the FPS.

They will contact the sender concerned and ask them to stop, as well as reporting your complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) which enforces the rules in this area.

You can also complain directly to the ICO.

When making a complaint to either the FPS or the ICO, you will need to be able to provide a copy of the fax.

Complain to the FPS

You can complain to the FPS by:

  • ringing: 0845 070 0702
  • going online
  • or by post: Fax Preference Service (FPS), DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8SS

Complain to the ICO

You can complain to the ICO by:

  • ringing their helpline: 0303 123 1113
  • going online
  • or by post: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

I'm receiving unwanted direct marketing faxes from overseas

Firms based overseas who fax into the UK should still comply with UK law.

This means that they should screen their call lists against the FPS register before sending direct marketing faxes.

If you are receiving unwanted marketing faxes from abroad you should follow the guidance given above – registering with the FPS, or complaining to the FPS or the ICO.

Download a PDF version of this guide PDF, 88.1 KB

Download a PDF version of the complete Nuisance Calls and Messages Guide PDF, 1.2 MB