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Epinions Product Rating: Disappointing
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Your Confidential Information is NOT Safe with Efax!

Jun 7, 2001 (Updated Nov 8, 2001)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Disappointing

  • Site Ease of Use:

Pros:Great Concept. Convenient. Cuts down on excess paper.

Cons:TERRIBLE customer service and logistical problems.

The Bottom Line: I used to be very happy with this service, but their customer service is so terrible I'm looking for a new online fax service.

I used to be a supporter of Efax. I even wrote a positive review. In case you're curious, I listed it below my most recent Epinion. I still think an online fax is a great concept. However, Efax has some real problems.

I had my Efax account for over a year and a half and signed my boss up as well. I had the free service and he had the Plus service for which he pays $9.95 every month. We were both happy with our accounts. He even listed his as his fax number on his business card. Recently, both numbers stopped working. I went to their website to find their customer service number to call to find out what was going on. That's when the problems started.

Problem One: There is no phone number anywhere on the web site that enables you to talk to a human being. Therefore I followed their protocol of contacting them via e-mail.

Problem Two: Efax requires a PIN code to be able to fill out and send the "contact" form they provide. I didn't have the required PIN code. Yet when I followed their protocol of requesting a PIN code, I was told that my account number was not valid. It was an impossible catch-22.

Finally I located my boss' PIN code and sent the e-mail trouble report. The response I received did not address my request to speak to a human being. It also did not address the issue regarding my boss' paid account. It however, did inform me that my account number had been assigned to someone else.

I then called the parent company to try to speak to a human being. They listed the eFax phone number on their recording. Upon calling the eFax number, the recording informed me that wait times were as long as 30 minutes. After waiting about 20 minutes, I finally reached a human being.

Problem Four: The woman I reached was neither friendly nor helpful.

She informed me that my boss' account had been disconnected because of a billing problem. I was not surprised at this because his wallet had been stolen and I had reported his credit card missing. They claim to have sent him an e-mail regarding the billing problem, but he never received it. If he had, I would have provided a new credit card number.

I then proceeded to address the issue of my account number being assigned to someone else. I use my eFax for confidential business information. I had recently told several people to send confidential information to my eFax number, and my non-receipt of these faxes was my first clue that there was a problem (and I am assuming that my confidential information wound up in the hands of whomever they assigned my number to).

Problem Five: I was told that there was no telephone support for the free eFax service. I indicated that I had already used their e-mail contact form and had not had satisfactory results. I told the woman that not every issue can be resolved by e-mail.

There was no specific explanation of why my account had been assigned to someone else. Some general reasons she gave are that they close e-mail accounts that have been used less than twice in a given one-month period or that generate an error message back from an e-mail address.

I think that many people occasionally receive less than two faxes in a one-month period. Many servers occasionally go down for a day or two, especially with the recent Nimda virus. I think that Efax should give their customers some sort of warning before they go assigning their account numbers to other people.

However, at the time in question, I had been using my eFax regularly and my server was operating just fine. The woman told me the date that they assigned my number to someone else, and it was two days BEFORE the receipt of my most recent eFax. When I expressed my dismay at the situation, she told me there was nothing they could do. I stated that I thought the company could at least apologize for assigning my number to someone else without informing or warning me. There was a long pause, after which she stated that they "had their policies." I informed her that if it was a matter of policy, then I would contact her corporate office.

Problem Six: She then hung up on me. Rudeness on top of such a glaring error is inexcusable.

Conclusion: I will be researching a new online fax service.

I have been using efax since the service started (I think it was a couple of years ago). I have not tried any other online fax services. The ultimate place for an online fax is for confidential information in offices that share fax machines. In my job as an executive assistant, I deal with highly confidential legal and financial information. With an online fax, I don't have to worry about this information being seen by the "wrong" eyes, and I don't have to "baby-sit" the fax machine when I am expecting confidential information. I set up an efax account for my boss, and he loves it too. Online faxes are also easy to save without requiring you to keep a bunch of extra. The only problem I've encountered is that once or twice during the past couple of years, there was some strange fluke where a fax took an hour or two to reach me (it is almost always only a couple of minutes). The other downside is that while the service to receive faxes online is free, the service to send faxes from the desktop (also a convenience), recently raised its prices to $10 per month.

Recommend this product? No

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