Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon is suing companies blast faxing unsolicited advertising to fax machines in Missouri.
Nixon says the blast faxers are violating state consumer protection laws by sending the fax ads without first obtaining permission from the recipients, by sending the ads after being asked to stop, and by shifting the cost of the advertising for equipment, paper, toner and time to the recipient.
"These fax ads are unsolicited and unwanted by the recipients who have complained to our office, Nixon said. Its time to pull the plug on junk faxes.
"Small business owners especially are frustrated about the torrent of ads that choke off their fax machines, Nixon says. When they are waiting on a signed bid or contract to come through, it is particularly vexing to instead see junk faxes for cruises, stock tips and office supplies come pouring out of the fax machine.
Sending unsolicited fax advertising is illegal under both state consumer protection laws and the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Nixon has sued blast faxers under both state and federal laws. Last year, Nixon won a landmark decision from the federal appeals court when that court upheld the constitutionality of the federal law making it illegal to send unsolicited fax advertising.
Nixon sued the following businesses in state courts:
- Agape Mortgage Partners Corp. (formerly known as Community Capital Mortgage Corp.) and the president of both companies, Jeff Basler, all of Overland Park, Kan., for sending unsolicited faxes advertising financial services. The lawsuit was filed in Cass County Circuit Court.
- Global Vacations USA Inc. (formerly known as Tatis Travel the World CDs Inc.) and EZ Travel the World Inc., both of Orlando, Fla., for sending unsolicited faxes advertising discount vacation packages. The lawsuit was filed in Marion County Circuit Court.
- Blue Jay Inc. and Red Rose International Ltd., of Henderson, Nev.; and the president of both companies, Neil S. Luxenberg, of Las Vegas, for sending unsolicited faxes advertising Rescue 911 Aerosol Instant Roof Patch and Sub Zero Liquid Ice Melt. The lawsuit was filed in Cole County Circuit Court.
- Bridge 21 Inc., Casper, Wyo., and QB Easy Inc., of Los Angeles, for unsolicited fax advertising for seminars entitled QuickBooks Training Made Easy. The lawsuit was filed in St. Louis County.
- Info 4 U Ltd., Right 2 Vote Ltd., Greatgain Ltd. and Top 20 Ltd., all based in England, for sending unsolicited faxes directing consumers to call or fax a variety of 900 telephone numbers at a cost of $3.95 per minute to receive great fax offers on a variety of items. The lawsuit was filed in Cape Girardeau County Circuit Court.
Nixon is asking the courts to issue injunctions prohibiting the defendants from further violations of the law, and to order the defendants to pay all costs of the state connected with bringing the lawsuits.
The Attorney General also issued a cease and desist order against Fiducia Inc., a Lombard, Ill., company to stop it from sending unsolicited fax ads. Fiducia, which does business as Americas Toner, has sent faxes advertising toner cartridges. If Fiducia violates the cease and desist order, it could be charged with criminal consumer fraud.
Two other companies entered into agreements today with Nixon to stop sending unsolicited faxes. Candela Corp., of Wayland, Mass., had been sending faxes advertising cosmetic laser workshops. Syneron Inc., of East Dundee, Ill., had been sending faxes advertising hair removal and skin renewal technology systems, training course and workshops. Under the assurances of voluntary compliance filed in Cole County Circuit Court, both companies will stop sending their faxes.
Last December, Nixon filed a lawsuit in St. Charles County Circuit Court against the three individuals who were sending unsolicited fax ads for their business, North-West Roofing. Two lawsuits filed by Nixon last summer in federal court against Florida blast faxers were settled with the companies agreeing to stop sending unsolicited fax advertising into Missouri.