HC Deb 22 January 1998 vol 304 cc652-3W
Mr. Jenkin

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations she has received concerning the use of unsolicited fax transmissions as a means of advertising; what plans she has to regulate this activity; and if she will make a statement. [23834]

Mrs. Roche

Ministers in this Department have received five representations concerning the use of unsolicited fax transmissions as a means of advertising since taking office last May. Measures are already in place to deal with the problem of unsolicited faxes. The telecommunications and telephone selling industries have established a Fax Preference Service to help residential customers reduce the number of faxes they receive. Customers who have a fax machine in their residential premises may register for inclusion in a database against which companies selling via fax "clean" their mailing lists. In addition, under the Telecommunications Act 1984, UK companies using fax marketing are subject to a class licence which contains measures aimed at limiting the nuisance which can be caused by unsolicited faxes. Anyone sending unsolicited faxes must cease doing so to any particular person on receipt of a written request from them, or face possible enforcement action, including the removal of their right to operate a telecoms system, by Oftel. The Department therefore has no plans at present to take further action against the transmission of unsolicited commercial communications through facsimile machines.