Friday, September 30, 2016

An online chat with eFax (a j2 company)

Note: j2, which owns eFax and many other disreputable companies, has an F rating from the BBB with hundreds of complaints. Before you trust them with a credit card number, take a look at their Google search results.

 Stanley Kox: Hi, my name is Stanley Kox. How may I help you? 
 Michael: I am responding to your email saying that you have moved my service from Maxemail to eFax (both companies now say they are one company). I do not agree to the eFax terms and conditions. I have been saying this since your first warning that you were going to change the terms and conditions.

Regarding Account Number: [-----]
Fax Number: [-----]
Temporary Password: [-----]

As I have said before by email and by phone, I demand that eFax cancel this account immediately. I also demand that you refund the prepaid charges for the remainder of the year, since you refuse to honor the prepaid contract under the previous terms and conditions.

On February 4, 2016, I paid $ [-----] for one year of voicemail service for this phone number. The invoice number was  [-----]. The Visa card charged ended in  [-----]. Because Maxemail and eFax forced me to stop using that phone number as of August 30, 2016, I was only able to use 6 full months of the service. eFax owes me a refund of $ [-----]. That refund should be sent by check to the name and address on file. 
 Stanley Kox: I will be glad to assist you with the cancellation request via this chat session. Would you like to proceed? 
 Michael: Yes. 
 Stanley Kox: Thank you for providing the information. Please allow me a moment while I pull up your account. 
 Stanley Kox: As per the records, there is a voicemail service activated on your account. 
 Stanley Kox: I hope you are still online with me. 
 Michael: Yes. 
 Stanley Kox: Please type the number corresponding to your reason for cancellation: 
1) Moving to another provider 
2) Bought a fax machine 
3) Business or role changed 
4) Short term project completed 
5) Financial reasons 
6) Problems with faxing or billing 
7) Dissatisfied with quality of service 
8) Too costly 
 Michael: I told you. I do not accept your change in the terms and conditions. 
 Stanley Kox: I completely understand your wish to discontinue. I'd like to suggest that you make use of our service at least for the period you have paid for, so that you can receive and send any pending faxes. 
 Stanley Kox: This will also ensure that you make the maximum utilization of our service. The usage charges for sending faxes are applicable. 
 Stanley Kox: All you need to do is to just contact us once at the end of your current billing cycle. 
 Michael: No. I do not accept your change in the terms and conditions. 
 Stanley Kox: Please remember once this number is closed, your number will be reassigned and you will no longer have access to any new faxes sent to you at this number or have access to faxes stored in your online message center. 
 Stanley Kox: Would you like to keep your number active till the end of your current billing cycle? 
 Michael: No. I do not accept your change in the terms and conditions. 
 Stanley Kox: Okay, I will go ahead and cancel your account.
An e-mail confirming that your account has been canceled will be sent to your registered e-mail address.
Is there anything else I may assist you with? 
 Michael: Yes. Please send the refund that I have been demanding. 
 Michael: I do not accept your change in the terms and conditions. You therefore owe me a refund.
 Michael: See above for details. 
 Stanley Kox: I will go ahead an cancel your account. However, please contact our Billing Support department over the phone as they will be able to assist you better with your concern regarding refund. You can reach them at 1-323-817-3205. 
 Michael: Your billing support department on the phone has refused to provide a refund, claiming that eFax is under no obligation to provide any service or honor any contract at all. 
 Michael: They are not able to assist me better. 
 Stanley Kox: I am sorry, as per the company policy there is no refund applicable towards your account. 
 Michael: Because? 
 Michael: I do not accept your change in the terms and conditions. You therefore owe me a refund.
 Stanley Kox: I apologize for the inconvenience. However, as mentioned above there is no refund applicable towards your account. Kindly check paragraph 17B of our Customers Agreement at The paragraph clearly mentions that the activation fee, the monthly or the annual fee are non refundable. 
 Michael: That's the agreement that I do not accept. 
 Stanley Kox: Please contact our Billing Support department for further assistance regarding refund. 
 Michael: I have done that. They have refused. 
 Michael: I have now spent close to an hour on this online chat. 
 Michael: Will you provide that refund? 

 Stanley Kox: I am sorry, there is no refund applicable towards your account. 


irilyth said...

These people are obviously terrible, but one possibly stupid question: Did the previous terms and conditions say anything about the terms and conditions under which the terms and conditions could be changed? In particular, did they say changes only apply to you if you agree to them?

Michael said...

Yes, the previous terms and conditions say that changes only apply if I accept them, and provides for my right to reject the changes. (And even if they didn't explicitly say so, the UCC would require that I have the right to reject the changes.) If I reject the changes, I have to stop using the service. The previous terms and conditions do not say or suggest that payments are non-refundable.

Anonymous said...

Maxemail also had a no-refund policy. efax raised the prices, but they were honouring the year people already paid for. You chose to end it early because you didn't agree to their terms and conditions. So they don't owe you a refund.

Michael said...

eFax wasn't honoring the year people already paid for -- that's what the change in terms and conditions meant. One example is that if I had continued to use their service under the new terms and conditions, eFax would charge me up to $500 for me to take my own phone number to a new service and threaten to try to take ownership of my phone number. Maxemail had no such charge.

In the end, the credit card company agreed that eFax had no right to change the terms and conditions mid-year and refuse to offer a refund, and agreed with doing a chargeback.

Michael said...

A few important points: complaints have skyrocketed for every company that eFax has taken over. BBB has hundreds of complaints about eFax. There are far cheaper options than eFax, and companies with far better terms and conditions. And repeatedly stabbing a fork in your arm would be more fun than dealing with eFax customer service. The level of incompetence and dishonesty at eFax is astounding.

Michael said...

And any further comments from eFax employees will be deleted. If you want to hear lies from eFax, check out their web site or give them a call.

Michael said...

To any affected customer who is wondering about chargebacks: these are an effective tool in this sort of situation if the charge was in the past few months and you paid by credit card, and you're done with trying to do business with eFax. If eFax breaches the contract, call your credit card company and file a chargeback. Explain that you paid ahead of time for a year of service, and then eFax breached the contract. The chargeback is very likely to succeed, you don't have to continue dealing with eFax directly.

Anonymous said...

I'm not defending efax, they do have some questionable business practices, but nothing illegal.

So you spout your own lies, don't listen to reason, and silence anyone who doesn't agree with you.

Wait, are you a feminist? This would make so much more sense if you were.

irilyth said...

Anonymous coward:

This is his web site. He can post whatever he wants here. If you disagree, post about it on your own web site. If you post things on his web site that he doesn't like, he can delete them. It's his site. It's not yours.

If you've got plenty of time on your hands, maybe you could find a way to use it to do something fun or useful, instead of wasting it pissing off other people?


You should probably turn off anonymous comments, to keep at least some of the trolls away.

(And, of course, feel free to delete this comment if you feel it's not helpful.) This is, after all, your site.

Michael said...

I don't mind taking 10 seconds to delete the troll's comments, really. For people who read his crap before I delete it, it just shows what sort of company eFax is.

Michael said...

There are not many places with an F rating from the Better Business Bureau. j2/eFax is one of them, though.

BBB rating: F

Wow: "637 complaints" with the BBB for j2 (owners of eFax). For a little company, that's impressive.

Michael said...

Here's a list of j2 company names, apparently: how many others are they hiding behind?

j2 Global®, j2 Global®, Inc, j2 Global® Communications, j2 Global® Communications, Inc, eFax®, eFax® Broadcast, eFax Corporate®, j2 Corporate, efax Developer™, jConnect®, jBlast,™, Send2Fax®, SmartFax™, RapidFAX™, TrustFax®, MyFax®, MetroFax, eVoice®, eVoice® Receptionist, Onebox®, FuseMail®, Keep It Safe, Campaigner®, SugarSync

And now we can add MaxEmail, of course. Sad. Very sad.

Michael said...

For completeness, I'm going to quote the following from MaxEmail's old website:

"We are an accredited BBB member and take our customer satifaction very seriously. If you are not satisfied with our service for any reason, let us know and we will refund your purchase."

When eFax claims that MaxEmail had a "no-refund policy," eFax is lying. It's something of a habit with eFax, and this one is black and white.

Michael said...

MaxEmail had an A+ rating with the BBB, with 0 complaints. eFax has an F rating with the BBB, with 637 complaints. It's like the Gallant and Goofus of online fax services!

Anonymous said...

To be fair, BBB is one of the largest scams on the internet.

If a company doesn't pay them, people cant post positive reviews, and their rating will always suck.

Michael said...

Plenty of companies that don't pay BBB do still resolve complaints. eFax doesn't resolve complaints, possibly because there are so many complaints, or possibly because eFax is a dishonest company using dishonest methods to rip off customers.