The unethical business practices of eFax

Some companies can’t be satisfied by simply earning their revenue through the provision of a service. For these companies, a part of their business strategy depends on making it as difficult as possible to leave, and even unethically continuing to charge you after you’ve cancelled your account.

On January 28, 2014, I received an email notification that eFax had charged me $50 for another year’s worth of service. Unlike decent companies, eFax doesn’t email you in advance, giving you the opportunity to cancel prior to being charged. No, you just get an email once it’s too late.

At that point, I decided to cancel my account, and hoped to perhaps get a refund.

Like similar companies, I found that you can’t cancel your eFax account through their website. To make the process as painful as possible, you have to call and argue with a representative. Once I got someone on the phone, I was informed they could not issue a refund for 2014, and that if I wanted to cancel my account, I should just wait until January 2015, and call them before the 28th.

So on January 1 of this year, 2015, my Mac alerted me to the reminder I’d set last year, and once again I got on the phone with eFax. After some discussion about why I wanted to leave the service, the representative finally agreed to let me cancel, and gave me a case number as confirmation of the cancellation.

I crossed my fingers and hoped that would be the end of it. But of course it wouldn’t. It never is with slimy companies like these.

Sure enough, today, January 30, I received an email from eFax confirming that they’ve again charged my credit card for $50 for another year of service.

Update: The story gets worse. The email alerting me to the new credit card charge states that if I have any questions about the charge, to send an email to [email protected], where people are stationed around the clock just waiting to help. So I sent the following email:

Dear Sir or Madam, With reference to case number 08912513, I canceled my eFax account in early January, and so I’m tremendously upset to receive the attached notification. Please refund my credit card for the $50 you just charged, and CANCEL MY ACCOUNT as I requested in early January.

Then, I nearly fell out of my chair when I received the following reply:

Please note that cancellation requests may be processed 24/7 by calling (323) 817-3205. Please note that your account will remain active until your cancellation request is confirmed by Customer Support. Sincerely, Doug M.

Un-fucking-believable. Is Doug M. illiterate, or did he not even read my email? Such utter disrespect and disregard for their customers.

So, once again, I had to spend further time and effort getting on the phone with eFax. According to the representative, it’s a good thing I hadn’t discarded my fax number, my “telephone PIN” number, and my case number, or he wouldn’t have been able to locate the previous cancellation.

He stated that his colleague unfortunately forgot to process “Phase 2” of the cancellation process, which he’d do now. He promised that within 24 hours, I should receive the $50 credited back to my card.

So the wait continues…

Update 2: Speaking with the second eFax representative, he promised two things would happen within the next 24 hours:

  1. I would get an email from eFax with confirmation of my account closure.
  2. I would see a $50 refund on my credit card.

Two days later, I have received the first (the email confirmation), but, of course, not the second (the $50 refund.) Those bastards. At this point, I’ll just try to perform a charge-back on the original charge.

4 thoughts on “The unethical business practices of eFax”

  1. Thanks for the reminder – I’m going to cancel mine too. Fax is so last century. Sadly, my original company got taken over by eFax.

  2. I canceled efax over a year ago, but (shame on me) it was billed to a little used credit card that I only used for my internet/tv provider and I pay the card automatically every month (like all my cards). I was going to cancel that card and noticed that efax has continued to bill me on a monthly basis, so I tried to go online again to cancel & of course, could not. I dialed both phone numbers for the company and it would simply disconnect if I stayed on the line or pressed 1, which was the only choice. I then called my credit card company, Capital one, & they stopped the payments, but said that this would only be in effect for 15 months and then efax would again be able to charge my credit card, so this simply solidified my decision to cancel my capital one card. Now I am almost as upset at Capital One as I am at efax.

  3. So late to this party, but I never signed up for, heard of, nor used eFax ever … and realized today they were fraudulently charging my credit card with a bogus email address. I filed a complaint with my bank as well as the BBB today.

Agree? Disagree? What do you think?