Forbes: Fax And Friction

LOS ANGELES – Pity the hapless travel agent or car dealer whose fax advertisement happens to appear on a fax machine belonging to one Ben Livingston of Seattle, Wash. A self-described “small-claims warrior,” Livingston has made a side business out of suing these companies and many more for the sin of sending him unsolicited fax ads, better known as junk faxes.
“Rather than just hang up, recycle or delete, I’ve been filing small claims against these obnoxious marketers,” Livingston declares on his Web site, which also offers an 11-chapter guide on how to turn tables on telemarketers, junk faxers and spammers. To further humiliate the businesses, Livingston posts all the court documents and letters he sends, in which he typically demands a standard $500 fine, or $1,500 if the fax was sent knowingly. In all, he says he’s collected about $6,000 in three years.
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