I seldom send faxes, but occasionally that’s the only way to communicate, as I mentioned in The quest for a magic incantation. In the past I’ve visited the Post Office, but recently when I had to send off 3 pages to Puerto Rico that option failed me.
The first Post Office I visited didn’t offer that service. The second and third happened to have no suitably nearby parking when I was in the vicinity.
I figured there must be an online solution, and there is — PayPerFax:
Pay Per Fax is an online faxing service that allows you to send and receive faxes from your computer at a per page price. No monthly fees!
After some Googling I’d found several services that required a monthly fee. That was no good to me as I send faxes only maybe once per year, so a per page fee was what I needed.
I signed up, scanned in my three pages and was ready to go.
First up I struck a glitch: I was sending to Puerto Rico and had chosen that destination in a drop-down menu. The confirmation screen before sending showed the destination as Andorra!
I emailed the Help Desk. A very prompt reply assured me that this was a temporary glitch and the Helpdesk would ensure my fax reached the correct recipient.
Happy with that I clicked the Send Fax button. Some prominent red text warned me that sending may take a few moments and I shouldn’t click the Back button. I switched to Preview and read some of an ebook.
Maybe 10 minutes later Safari came back with a huge Server error page. Presumably my fax had not been sent.
I sent off another email to the Helpdesk, but by then I suspect office hours were over; a reply came around 18 hours later.
In the meanwhile I tried again with a couple of different web browsers. In each case I stopped it after 10 or 15 minutes when the fax clearly wasn’t going through.
Once the Helpdesk did reply, they wrote:
Your fax has been successfully sent. In the future you don’t need to add the + symbol for US numbers. You can just put in the area code and phone number. We appreciate your patience and business
So, my mistake. But maybe their system should check for that kind of thing. It’s confusing for us foreigners, especially since Puerto Rico is apparently not a country in its own right, as I thought, but:
a self-governing unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeastern Caribbean
[Via : Puerto Rico – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.]
So, subtract one point from my knowledge of geography.
Overall , in spite of the glitches, I have to say that the service worked well. The Helpdesk responses were prompt(ish) and very friendly. The couple of dollars it cost to send my 3 pages of fax were comparable to, or even cheaper than, going to the Post Office. It was certainly easy to scan in the files (or create a PDF direct from files on the computer) and upload them.
The next time I have to fax something I’ll turn to Pay Per Fax first.