eFax is Raising Their Rates – Again – But There Are Low-Cost and Free Alternatives to eFax!

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eFax today announced that they are raising their already gouging rates from $12.95 a month to $16.95 a month, unless you want to “lock in” the $12.95 a month rate by paying it annually (i.e. pay the $12.95 x 12 up front to the tune of more than $150.00 a year).

I call it “gouging” because eFax originally started out with this model: you could either pay to get a fax number that was local to you, or get a free fax number which could have an area code in any part of the U.S. except local to you.

At that time it cost a mere $4.95 to have the local number, which was part of a service called “eFaxPlus”. So eFax Plus was only $4.95 a month, and that was as recently as the year 2000.

However, once they got you hooked (and having distributed your fax number far and wide) they boosted their fees to $12.95 a month – more than double what you’d signed up for – and you were stuck, unless you were willing to lose the fax number you’d given out to everyone. Still, it was month-to-month so you could make a decision each month as to whether it was worth it.

But now they are doing it again, saying either pay that $12.95 a month up front for a full year (a total of $155.40 a year), or pay the exhorbitant rate of $16.95 a month. And, if this prompts you to decide to cancel the service, let me tell you up front that there is no easy way to cancel your account (but I’m going to tell you how).

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Here is the relevant portion of the email that I myself received today:

“The monthly subscription fee for all eFax Plus numbers on your account will be changing.
Starting on your next billing date, the monthly fee for each of your eFax number(s) will be $16.95.

You will also receive an enhanced level of eFax service.

Receive up to 130 fax pages and send up to 30 fax pages free each month.
Store faxes up to one year with your eFax Message Center.
Get 24/7 live phone support.
To lock in the old $12.95 rate for the next year, switch to annual billing by clicking here.
Please respond by October 01, 2006.”

Oh, and did you catch that they have given their customers exactly 10 days notice? How generous.

Now, I understand that businesses have to make money – a profit, even. But getting your customers hooked and then raising the rates so dramatically is something which is usually reserved for the likes of crack dealers and heroin pushers. And I think that eFax is way out of line here demanding an up front payment for a full year, and charging you an extra 30% if you are unwilling to be pushed into the annual fee.

Especially when you consider this: you can still get the exact same service from other providers for half the cost – in fact, from some you can even still get it for free.

Examples of places you can get Internet fax services for less or free include send2fax.com (send and receive for $7.95 a month, and as little as $1.95 a month if you prepay), and FaxZero.com (send for free), and K7.net where you can receive faxes and voicemail for free, if you don’t mind a 206 (Washington state) fax number.

In fact, an organization with which I am involved has used K7.net for the past year, and we have been very pleased with the service. K7 we would gladly pay. They do it right, and they are honest about it.

In closing, eFax’s email of today said:

“We’re glad to have you as a customer, and look forward to continuing to serve your business needs.”

Ironic, really, as the first thing I did after receiving this was cancel my eFax account.

Then I opened a K7.net account.

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37 thoughts on “eFax is Raising Their Rates – Again – But There Are Low-Cost and Free Alternatives to eFax!

  1. We use FAXtopia.com They have a simple program at $9.95 a month and we’ve never had an issue.

  2. A service worth checking out is Foiply www.foiply.com super reliable and easy to use. also on the cheaper side as far as per page costs are concerned. Can easily port numbers to and from them (unlike some services ahem ahem) and you can also use your fax machine with the service (can you say awesome?)

  3. It’s all been said and EFax exposed. Let me join the chorus of disgruntled customers. Infuriating, token, time-consuming inter-continental phone center “customer service.” Raising prices while my industry switches to viable low-cost alternatives and this service becomes pretty much worthless. Annual contract for purposes of price-gouging and no refunds, rather than it bearing some relationship to company outlay, risk or opportunity. Conned for too long and switching.

  4. i had to cancel as they charged the 17 per month + 10.00 if i went over some ridiculously low page number.

    problem now, is i thought the sent fax data and my fax number database was local, i can no longer open them. unless i guess i re-instate the account.

    anyway to get into these data bases that are local and i thought were MY property?

  5. We still use fax in my business. Among other things, we need to exchange diagrams of trade show booths that often get marked up by the customer and sent back. Fax is really the only universal solution that works (but if anyone else has any ideas, I’d love to know about them). Anyway, we had eFax for years and got tired of all the crap (much of which has already been mentioned here). We switched to faxlogic.com about a month ago. What a breath of fresh air! They do everything that eFax does and much, much more (including letting us use a plain old fax machine to send faxes, while our inbound faxes come into our email). But the big difference is their attitude; very helpful and responsive! The only downside was that eFax would not let us take our fax number with us. Not a big deal, but just another annoying eFax thing. We kept both accounts open for a couple of months and then shut down the eFax account. We never looked back!

  6. Thanks so much! They just charged me 34.00 twice because the 1st payment didn’t go through my bank. So I am trying your alternatives.

  7. Un-freakin’ believable! I just got off the phone with an eFax rep (in India; that is first your first clue that you’re almost certainly not going to get quality customer service, with few exceptions), my head is still spinning from rep’s comment. I’ll get to that in a minute. I signed up less than two months ago at the 12.95/mo rate and used it for nearly a month, sending a few faxes. When the end of my first month drew near, I knew my service was about to auto-renew, and so I checked more closely other rates (which I should have done in the first place). In order to keep me as a customer, the rep gave me two free months; I accepted. Three days ago I tried to send another fax that did not go through. Then today I noticed a 10.00 debit taken from my bank account. I called up eFax to tell them that I should not have been charged, since I have about another month to go on my two free months. Here comes the head spinning part… The rep explained to me (in standard confusing India-speak) that the 12.95/mo charge did not include outbound faxes (WHAT!?!?!?) and that the 10.00 charge was a pre-paid fee for outbound faxes at .10 per page, so since I had tried (unsuccessfully) to fax 3 pages 3 days ago, I not had 9.70 left. Wait… it gets better… way better. I asked “Bill” (not his real name, I’m sure) if he was aware that there were other online fax services that charge far less and faxes can be sent and received. He informed me that he was aware, and that the eFax business model would not change, or some words to that effect and… are your ready for this?… “eFax does not try and compete with other businesses”!!!!! My jaw dropped, for a few moments, I was completely speechless. How can a business expect to survive unless they compete. I await with much eagerness the demise of eFax.

  8. I have been paying really high rates with eFax and just signed up for a whole year last October and they say they won’t refund the remaining amount if I want to cancel due to ‘Company Policy’ – I had to go to level 2 support and they are going to review in the finance department. Also they won’t allow me to port out my number either. I have been a customer for more than 10 years and they don’t seem to care.

  9. @Koby: I heard that RingCentral really does. Actually, they -internet faxing providers are there to meet your needs

    @Jay Lav: Good for you Jay. I’m happy that they didn’t frustrate you.That’s cool!

  10. @Digital Brian: Some business establishments need this. It’s not just they can’t let go but they just want the fax messaging style for send/receiving documents.

    That’s why more and more people ready to help their business needs. Take note much faster, easier and affordable.

  11. After reading this page i called up eFax and told them i was jumping ship. They gave me a special rate of $50 a year. This pleased me since i only need fax service for 2 clients. I think i now get 30 faxes a month which is plenty for my needs.

  12. Comparison sites are making the faxing industry more competitive. RingCentral has recently made their plan more attractive by now offering 500 monthly pages for $9.89 per month. I believe their old plan was 300 monthly pages for $9.99 per month. Looks like good things to come if you like internet faxing.

  13. Personally I like the best. They have a really nice web portal to manage my faxes and they are priced quite right.

  14. Yeah – I’m in Australia and these guys did this last week. So frustrating, but I don’t accept bullying and have switched to http://www.traitel.com.au – these guys are great at only 18c for a whole fax.

  15. Thank you for this post. I signed up with K7.net as a free alternative to eFax. Sounds like a good solution to a simple digital fax problem. I truly appreicate the links and suggestions from this group.

  16. efax would not let me port my number so I just switched to a different provider http://www.faxtopia.com

  17. Hi, my name is Michelle and I am an apprentice at Balestriere Lanza, a trials and investigations law firm in New York. Our firm has been investigating eFax’s potential misconduct for several months and would be interested in hearing more from you about your experience. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience at michelle.luo@balestriere.net, or call Analyst Sarah Goodman at (212) 374-5400 x 132.

  18. I think way back in 1999 I registered at eFax but never really got to use it much. You are right about their pricing, its expensive and I think the most expensive amongst the other online fax providers.

    The service I use at http://www.onesuite.com called Onesuite Fax only charges 2.5c every successful outgoing page sent and comes with unlimited incoming fax. All of that is for $2.95/month versus $17 with eFax.


    by 12thsonofisrael – AKA NobleHead

    Pros: They’ll send your faxes, that is where the trust should stop. Any attempt to complain about hidden charges result in a fast talking sales scam where they conduct a hit and run on your bank account. I’ve turned them over to the Better Business Bureau.

    Cons: They pretend to not understand you then.. Any attempt to complain about hidden charges result in a fast talking sales scam where they conduct a hit and run on your bank account. I’ve turned them over to the Better Business Bureau.

    Review: eFax has managed to raise my ire to the point of suing them for fraudulent practices.

    Disbelieve me at your on risk.

    They caused me much grief with my bank causing overdrafts and telling me outright lies.

    Choose another reputable internet fax service.

    The Office of Attorney General for the State of Florida can be found here in case you need any info on eFax myfloridalegal_com

  20. Try Fax2Me.com No monthy fee, then per minute fee. Not everyone needs to send or receive that many faxes anymore.

  21. Efax does charge alot more than other providers. I don’t fax often maybe about once or twice a month so that doesn’t work for me to pay $16.00. I found a website called http://www.PayPerFax.com where I can send on a per page basis and I like the option of not making a commitment.

  22. HOW are you comparing these cheese bucket free fax services to efax? eFax provides the ability to send hundreds of thousands of emails. and your “free fax” services limit you to little or none daily, or just receive faxes.

    $15 is well worth sending out 100,000 faxes daily. compared to the cost of delivery at .39 each = $39,000.00. That’s a savings of $38,984.00, and about 40 hours labor daily at another $400.

  23. Forget Efax, I use an integrated electronic signature and fax solution called Sertifi that enables me to send, get electronically or hand signed, store and file my documents electronically. Finally, no more paper!

  24. Earlier we opened account with eFax but rates are so high for Indian clients and service is so pathetic…We find 2 year old Indian company www.faxmyway.com just $ 6 per month support gie resolution in just 30 mins…

  25. Forget efax — It takies an “Act of Congress” to cancel their service. After 10 months of emails & phone calls, I still can’t get the billing cancelled. And forget credits — efax’s billing department is absolutely atrocious.

  26. well, i recently signed up with 101Fax’s monthly plans and i was really surprised to discover how low their rates were!!!! i can even send fax internationally and fax broadcast. i surely recommend it! definitely worth it. !

  27. I hate to toot my own horn but if you are looking for an affordable Internet Fax Service, this is the company I work for. 1000 pages for $12.95, just 3 cents per page thereafter per month. :-)

  28. Greatly appreciate the info! In shopping for a new fax & copier, I was told about efax and am glad to come across this info. Along with Gibu’s fax on “How NOT to serve your customers”, I sure will be looking for better alternatives. Oddly, several people have commented on it being a lot easier to sign up than to sign OFF, but I sure haven’t seen anything impressive in the way of a sales pitch! In trying to decide whether efaxing would meet my needs, I’ve seen nothing that answers my questions, at all!

    Not to mention the fact that every sales pitch there is, is unattractive! That makes me nervous … shouldn’t an online service know about colors, fonts, etc?

  29. Thank you so much for this article. I will be looking into these alternatives for the company I work for.

    I cannot beleive that a company could adopt such a lousy policy! I don’t particularly like freemiums (Offering something half-decent for free and charging for the full service), but efax makes companies with freemiums seem like angels!

  30. Thanks! I just logged in to efax and saw that their service is now $16.95? what freaking rip off. Between vonage and efax, companies like that give the Internet a bad rap. thanks for the faxzero.com tip, that worked great for the little I fax!

  31. Thanks for taking the time to post that info. I decided to finally cancel my eFax account once and for all when, not only did they increase the monthly rate to $16.95, but then insist on billing my account for incremental $10 amounts too. Way too expensive when, yes, there are other ways to send your files (via email) as well as using the free services you told us about. Thanks again. eFax can kiss it.

  32. Well, they did it again. This time they billed our card for the higher annual fee without checking first. We cancelled immediately and were refunded.

  33. Do people really need a fax anymore? there are so many other forms of communication you can use.

  34. I thought it was outrageous when they went to $12.99/mth
    I haven’t got the “we’re raising prices again” email yet, but I won’t pay $17/mth
    They just pushed passed the “I want to keep my fax number that I’ve given out” barrier

  35. Math time:

    $17-$13 = 4
    $4 * 12 = $48

    I can get new business cards printed with my new non-efax number for not a lot more than $48.

    $17-$8 = 9
    $9 * 12 = easily enough to justify switching to another vendor.

    And that’s even if I weren’t still pissed about when they raised the price to $13/month

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