Smartfax: Quick, Easy, Cheap.
Smartfax (www.smartfax.com) is operated by Data On Call, Inc. out of San Diego, California. Data On Call’s parent company, J2 Global Communications, is based in Los Angeles, California. Data On Call also operates fax.com, rapidfax.com and send2fax.com, all sites offering similar services.
Smartfax, Data on Call and J2 Global have poor records with the Better Business Bureau. Each of the entities has an F rating. According to the BBB site, the company does not address all customer complaints.
Cost and Benefits of Smartfax Internet Faxing
Smartfax provides fax to email and email to fax services for a low price. They also provide subscribers with a local or Toll-free fax number. For $6.95 per month you get 250 free inbound or outbound fax pages. If you send and receive more than 250 pages in a month, additional pages are charged to your credit card at 8 cents each.
Storage – Received faxes are stored in your online account. There is no fee for faxes stored less than 30 days. Faxes stored in your web inbox after 30 days will be charged a $.05 per fax per month.
Simple – Sending a fax is as easy as sending an email attachment. You create a new email message with your recipent’s country code (“1″ for the U.S.) and fax number as the name part of the address, followed by “@smartfax.com” . A properly formatted address for 555-123-9876 would look like this: email@example.com . Type a message in the body of the email if you wish, attach your documents and press SEND. It’s that simple.
File Formats – Smartfax accepts the following types of files: normal files from Microsoft Office (.doc, .xls, .ppt), PDF, TIF, HTML, .txt, .rtf, .gif, .jpg, .png and Access Snapshot files (.snp). These files will be converted and sent to your fax recipient by Smartfax on your behalf.
Keep This in Mind When Using Internet Fax
Defining Pages – Smartfax, like most online fax service providers, gives you X number of pages per month for your money. X pages really equals X minutes of time. If your page takes more than a minute to send, you will be charged for two pages. If your page takes less than a minute to send, you will still be charged for one page.
Who Owns the Number – Smartfax owns the number, even though you are paying to use it. If you end your subscription with Smartfax, you will lose access to the fax number. This could mean re-printing business cards or letterhead, if you have them. Advertisements you have take out would also be incorrect.
Number of Email addresses – Smartfax allows for two inbound email addresses (where received faxes are sent). You can have multiple outbound addresses, each of which can be used to burn through your subscribed page allotment. Be aware of the potential for billing surprises if you set up addresses you do not personally control.
The Bottom Line
Smartfax may be the perfect fax solution for you if your office sends and receives only a few pages a week. It is easy to use, and fairly inexpensive, certainly less expensive than a fax machine and phone line.Compare Online Fax Services.