Kokua Line

Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Thursday, February 11, 1999

Unsolicited ad faxes
violate federal law

I used to get one or two marketing faxes a week, but lately, I've been getting two or three a day! I understand that it is illegal to send unauthorized faxes, and to not identify your firm and fax number on every page of the fax sent. No faxes received give that information. I called one of the firms and asked for their fax number so I could send them a copy of an article explaining the law, but they were very rude. Does Hawaii have a state law regarding this? To whom should we report infractions or complaints?

The state doesn't have a law on this, but relies on the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which imposes restrictions on the use of automatic telephone dialing systems (autodialers), artificial or prerecorded voice messages and fax machines to send unsolicited advertisements.

The TCPA directed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt regulations to protect the privacy rights of residential telephone subscribers.

An FCC rule that addresses your complaint: "No person may transmit an advertisement describing the commercial availability or quality of any property, goods, or services to your fax machine without your prior express permission or invitation."

Also, the FCC requires that "any message sent to a fax machine must clearly mark on the first page or on each page of the message: the date and time the transmission is sent; the identity of the sender; and the telephone number of the sender or of the sending fax machine."

All fax machines manufactured after Dec. 19, 1992, and facsimile modem boards manufactured after Dec. 19, 1995, must be able to clearly mark such identifying information.

You can file a complaint with either the state Office of Consumer Protection (587-3222) or the FCC, c/o the Common Carrier Bureau, Consumer Complaints, Mail Stop 1600A2, Washington, D.C. 20554.

Your letter should include your name, address and daytime phone number; the action you are requesting; the dates and times you received calls and faxes from the organization; the phone number of the fax machine which received the unsolicited ads; and copies of any unsolicited ads.

Although there is no state law on this, the Office of Consumer Protection is interested in hearing any complaints.

Executive Director Jo Ann Uchida said her office has been getting "more and more" complaints about telemarketing by phone and fax, and plans to seek more controls during the 1999 legislative session.


Fewer cold shoulders?

When several readers said they prefer aisle bus seats even when window seats are vacant because the air conditioning was too cold (Kokua Line, Jan. 30), Roger Morton took note.

As senior vice president/director of operations for Oahu Transit Services, which operates TheBus fleet, he is in a position to do something.

The arctic-like environment that some riders complain about is mostly an issue on the newest buses "because they have the powerful systems and they blow a lot of real cold air," he said.

Drivers on those buses are able to set the air conditioning at one of two bands -- "cool" (74-75 degrees) or "coolest" (about 68 degrees). Since doors open and close all the time, the temperature very seldom may be at those levels.

However, the coolest band will be raised two degrees -- to 70 degrees, Morton said. The change "will take about six weeks to cycle through the fleet," he said on Monday.

"Hopefully, this will make bus riding more pleasant for the great majority of people. We don't think anyone will be inconvenienced or feel it's too warm in the bus."

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to kokualine@starbulletin.com

E-mail to City Desk

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