Fax Me? Fax you
Many, many years ago… maybe in 1999 or 2000, I learned about a nifty service called eFax. Instead of having to worry about keeping paper in the fax machine and ensuring nobody was using the phone line that was supposedly tied to the fax machine, an email was simply sent to my AOL address which I could open as an attachment. I could also send! I was ahead of the curve and for about 10 years wondered why anyone would ever use a fax again.
Here we are in 2021, and just as I think it’s time to stop spending the $9.95 per month on eFax because nobody uses faxes again, I run into an old timer who requires me to either write a letter, put it in an envelope, lick a stamp and mail it… or I can fax it.
Today it was the Massachusetts DOT… in order to change the authorized user on an old EZPass account that I assumed was dormant but every so often hits one of our company credit cards with… $30 at a time. So that doesn’t work. Especially since we don’t use the transponder we still have in our possession. As majority owner and founder and longtime CEO of the company, no information I could provide over the phone would suffice. I either had to send a letter on our “letterhead” to the address on the transponder or send a fax. After squawking at the very nice lady for a minute or so, I complied.
I then asked her how long it would take to process (maybe she’d be sitting at the fax machine, right?) and when I might call back. She said it takes MassDOT 5-7 business days to process faxes. One long, quiet breath later and I thanked her and said how much I appreciated her patience with me and my ridiculous expectations that something so simple could be so complicated.
The only other fax I’ve sent in the past year? To our friends at the IRS. Once I finally got them on the phone a week after Covid hit to find out why they had levied our bank accounts for just over $50,000 (all of the money that remained in that account), they let me know that the only way we could correspond afterwards was if I happened to catch them at their desk or via fax. So I’ve maintained a healthy relationship with a few case officers at the IRS via fax since that day in March 2020 when they dipped into our BofA account for an administrative error that took place in 2016. Please note that via fax, they did instruct BofA to replenish our accounts until they could figure it all out… so fax can still be effective.
I think I’ll keep my eFax account for the time being… just in case Uncle Sam and his/her State and Local Government agency offspring need to hear from me. For the rest of you, please feel free to send me an email or text anytime… or even a tweet.