Hot Tub Fax Machine

I’m in the middle of refinancing a loan, so I’ve been back in the 1980’s again with cover pages and thermal paper. But I read this article in Wired this month, which is a really good read if you are interested in how startups get funded and some of the new ideas people have for web businesses, one of them being HelloFax.
I wouldn’t think faxes would be on anyone’s radar for a lot of reasons, but I do still use faxing for some stuff, and I don’t like to use eFax because I don’t need to sign up for monthly fees when I don’t fax that much. I just don’t need to fax that often enough. I’d like to just pay per fax, but not have to drive to Kinkos because I can scan in anything I need to, and Kinkos charges too much. The only time I can’t just email someone a .pdf is if it’s something confidential or something that needs to be signed that I don’t feel like rescanning in. That’s what I am dealing with now. I keep getting emailed these papers to write my social security number and signature on, but then I refuse to email them back unsecured (is it just me, or do a lot of people still think it’s okay to email their social security number to someone?). I can send them something PGP encrypted, but most of the time that confuses or scares them and they can’t get them open. So I am stuck.
Then I remembered HelloFax, so I figured I’d check them out. Their monthly plan is $4.99 for 50 faxes, you get your own fax number, and they offer a free trial. That’s perfect. That’s all I need. I cancel anytime I want – and they are not sleazy about it. They have an actual CANCEL button under your account options, which is huge for me. If I had to call them to cancel, I am out. I do not want to have to do a DirectTV dance with them to cancel the service, because I won’t always need it, and I will have to cancel at some point and then rejoin. If I go over the 50 faxes, then I can pay 10 cents a page. I am cool with that. The website design is very clean, too. It’s iPhone interface clean. Everything is where you want it to be and it’s not confusing. The buttons and links make sense in placement and function. You can sign pages electronically and send them, that’s a key feature that you need.
I actually had an issue with my first fax and I got nervous. It was a 40 page fax and I was afraid I’d get recharged if I resent it – and also I wasn’t sure why there was a hiccup in the sending. The business I was faxing had gotten 17 pages and then it stopped. To be fair, the problem might have been at the business I was faxing , but I wasn’t getting the confirmation email saying my fax went through and it had been a while. HelloFax says longer faxes can take some time, and that sometimes there are problems on the receiver’s end, but I was getting twitchy. They had an email for customer service and I was skeptical anyone would answer, but I emailed them anyway. One of the actual FOUNDERS OF THE COMPANY emailed me back and made sure everything was good. The fax did go through, and everything was cool. I can’t recommend them enough. A company that “gets it” is rare and awesome. So this is me telling my friends. I’m also giving myself an A+ for the title of this Blog entry. Thank you.

Image courtesy of: RefreshCL Icon Pack by TPDK ©2005 www.tpdkdesign.net

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