How to get upset

October 25, 2012 at 7:46 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , ,

Hate unwanted faxes? Spit that dummy!

Pythagoras said, ‘In anger we should refrain both from speech and action’.

Someone else said, ‘Never send a message in anger’.

But they never had to struggle from sleep, stumble down the hall and switch their printer to fax mode – just to receive an unsolicited 10% OFF!!! toner cartridge offer.

Buddha said, ‘Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned’. I prefer this idea, so couched my coal thus:

Dear Team

I just received an unsolicited fax about your firm.

This annoying waste of time is deadly to your brand.

The fax number and ID at the top of the fax have been (intentionally?) truncated.

My fax number is XXXX XXXX.

I’d like to get off your distribution list today.

Shall I contact the Communications Ombudsman, or can you handle this yourselves?




This email was informative and concerned. It showed that I’d tried to resolve the issue myself. It had a clear call to action and a relevant, tangible consequence for inaction. The response was remarkably swift and pleasing:

Yes I will remove this number.

Regards, Customer Service

This is rare win. Usually, if I voice the faintest objection about anything, I’m ignored, derided, insulted, threatened and/or punished. Complaining has become a dangerous affair. Even tooting your horn at someone who cuts you off can get you shot.

To control your communication lines, channel your anger constructively and diminish your chances of drama, I recommend the following industry and government sites. They’ve been set up to discourage people from abusing your fax, phone and snail mail.

If you know of other sites or (non-violent) strategies to maximise the peace we need to run our businesses, please drop us a line.

Sweet dreams!


Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer,

Comments to date:

  1. Paul Hassing

    March 17, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Firms ignore Do Not Call laws at their peril, as this news article shows:

  2. Adam Finlay

    March 17, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Fabulous post Paul! Helpful and amusing.

  3. Dani

    March 17, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Oh My Goodness!

    I received yet another fax this morning, and it’s not soo much the cost that bothered me, rather I got excited thinking it was news of some sort (communication in construction is pathetic but I digress) can you imagine my poor little heart when it’s just a can of spam?

    No website.

    Similar websites needed a 4 digit code.

    So I found you. My awesome awesome spam fax saviour!

    I got a reply within minutes.

    We will have your details removed immediately.
    Apologies for the inconvenience.
    Customer Service


  4. Paul Hassing

    March 17, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    That is fabulous news, Dani! I’m so pleased you got value from this post. Thanks for sharing your story; it makes all the effort worthwhile. :)

  5. valerie

    March 17, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    yes, brilliant – & should be “no fax” form letter. So right to channel anger into constructive criticism. Thank you. :-)

  6. Marcia Johnson

    March 18, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Thank You for sharing this… it is so true…just when you get everyone to sleep and you find yourself stepping into the perfect dream…The fax rings…NO I don’t need my carpets cleaned, help with my credit nor do I want to buy a computer! Thanks anyways.

    Keep sharing your wisdom.
    Most Humbly,

  7. Paul Hassing

    March 18, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Thank you for making the pilgrimage from Twitter, Valerie and Marcia. I appreciate your comments very much and look forward to keeping in touch. :)

  8. Chris Owen

    March 18, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    GO Paul!
    Can I please copy and paste your brilliant little reply? Sadly the irony and sarcasm may have gone over the recipient’s head, but who cares if it worked!
    Yippeee I’ve got a solution. Yet again thank heaven for Twitter!

  9. Paul Hassing

    March 18, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Great to meet you, Chris. Please use and distribute as you see fit. You may fire when ready! :)

  10. mason

    March 18, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    nice stuff

  11. Arthur Harries

    March 18, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Nice one Paul. I don’t have a fax machine but I am plagued by unsolicited phone calls (mainly offering me debt solutions – which I don’t need in any event) – I usually leave the phone off the hook and let the message trundle on in the hope that it is costing the caller (probably not – they’re probably on some block deal with the provider). I must get round to finding out how I can prevent getting these calls in the first place. When there is a human being at the other end I am very curt as I put the phone down – my wife says I should be more pleasant as they are just doing their job – but what a job eh! – ringing people who don’t want their calls!

    Good to meet you on Twitter Paul.



  12. Paul Hassing

    March 19, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Thank you kindly, Arthur. I also used to be rather curt to the humans, until I saw ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. Now I’m more circumspect. Having registered with Do Not Call, however, I’ve not had a chance to test my newfound empathy! :)

  13. Sikantis

    March 19, 2009 at 10:27 am

    I like the quotation of Buddha. Thanks for your post about anger.

  14. Paul Hassing

    March 19, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Thank you, Sikantis. I don’t know if Buddha imagined being quoted in this context, but the intent is pure. By the way, I love your Esteem News site; what a wonderful concept (and execution)! :)

  15. Kate James

    March 19, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Great post Paul and thanks for the links. I’ve turned my fax machine off for the last three months because of all the fax spam. Maybe I can turn it back on again now!

  16. Paul Hassing

    March 19, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Good on you, Kate. Yes, these measures really work. I’ve had nothing but kosher comms for many months; it’s bliss! :)

  17. Paul Hassing

    May 13, 2009 at 3:26 am

    Latest info @ ‘The controversial Do Not Call register will be extended to include businesses and fax numbers under an initiative announced in the federal budget.’ Yay! Thanks to SmartCompany’s excellent newsletter for this story. Subscribe at It’s a ripper! :)

  18. Paul Hassing

    May 14, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Have you lately been getting phone calls from strange firms offering to collect your unpaid client invoices? This latest development may interest you:

    It seems to have ignited quite a debate. :)

  19. Paul Hassing

    July 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    NEWS UPDATE: ‘The number of complaints from consumers about the Do Not Call register has plunged 60% in the last year, according to data from the Australian Communications and Media Authority.’

  20. ross wilson

    July 20, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    please help me my fax machine runs day and night with ad material my fax is 0740680681

  21. Paul Hassing

    August 19, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Telstra fined for breaching Do Not Call laws:

  22. Kim

    August 27, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I have copied your “quip” hehehe. I am at work going thru over 50 faxes that I need to return fax to have them remove me. Of them I have the same problem with about 10 of them having “missing return number”. I believe your nice little message should get my point across.. Thanks Paul!
    Kim : D

  23. Paul Hassing

    August 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Good on you, Kim! Thanks for letting us know what you’re up to, and please let us know how you get on. We love hearing how these stories end. Best regards, P. :)

  24. Kim

    September 15, 2009 at 9:54 am

    It’s me again! I can’t believe the quick responses I received in reply to your letter. Within the hour almost. As a receptionist, this is turning into my most valuable email draft. So simple, yet so effective. You rock Paul!!!!

  25. Paul Hassing

    September 15, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Dear Kim, that is so ace! Thanks very much indeed for taking the time to fill us in. Come back soon and tell your friends! Best regards, P. :)

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: