FAQs - Fax
 
Your Flextel service is designed to give you powerful control of your incoming calls. So you can only receive faxes using your Flextel Number using FaxMail at this time. If you need this service please contact us and request it.
 
 

This is often called 'Fax Blasting'. It is not provided by our Faxmail service however, your email service provider allows forwarding of emails to multiple addresses.

You can have Fax Blasting by setting up a generic email account, [e.g. yourflextelnumber@yourdomain.com] to which the email with the fax attached will be sent by us. In your email client account, set up email forwarding from this address to all the addresses you want to receive copies of the fax. Now, in the 'Number Settings' screen of your Flextel account set the 'Notification by Email' box to the generic email you want to use.

 
 
Yes, it is a quality service, but unfortunately some fax senders use poor quality budget phone networks that use the internet (e.g. VoIP) to lower their costs.

Fax isn't compatible with VoIP

There are still millions of old fax machines still in service that are not compatible with the internet. Put simply, fax was designed for traditional phone networks and does not travel well over digital networks using VoIP. The reason for this is that fax communication uses the phone line in a different way to regular voice calls, and VoIP is set up to digitize and compress analogue voice communication, not fax!

VoIP and User Expectations

Most traditional fax machines need a good stable voice connection to work properly, which ordinary VoIP rarely delivers. Many people don't know much about fax technology so typically they just plug their old trusty fax machine straight into their new VoIP phone socket or dial over a free or low cost network (using VoIP by stealth). What they find is that while their fax machine does work properly sometimes (such as when the internet is not too busy to cause data jitter or delay), at busy times it just sends rubbish or dials repeatedly.

Solutions

For the technophiles amongst you, if you want to continue using your old fax machine, and you want to connect to your VoIP phone system, its best to use a VoIP Gateway and an analogue telephone adapter, (ATA) that supports T38. Otherwise, buy a new fax machine or get modern, high-quality fax server software.

Likely Issues that can cause faxing to fail

Success depends not only on Flextel, but also on the call equipment, call network, fax machine settings, and other factors. These include:
  • Type of line (e.g. VoIP, low cost/free call networks, etc.)
  • Line quality (check connections and listen for noise on the line)
  • Other equipment on the same line (particularly credit card readers, burglar alarms, redcare, bad/missing ADSL filters, etc.)
  • Special services on the line
  • Fax transmission quality setting (very common error) - Use Black and White, Fine - do not set to colour (color mode) as this is not widely supported.

Please contact your fax sender to check, if any of the above factors are present if you experience problems such as:

  • Very small file attachments
  • The text looks stretched
  • Black and white blocks are shown
  • Lines across the page

Our Experience

Flextel use cutting-edge systems and processes, which are monitored and tested regularly. So, in the rare event of a fault, we find it before you do and act quickly to rectify it. Each day hundreds of faxes are processed successfully by our servers. We also put our money where our mouth is and use the Flextel FaxMail service ourselves. Our experience, over a number of years, is that the problem is always at the sender's end!
 
 

You should choose an alternative viewer - while the fax appears to be in landscape, the problem is actually the software you are using and not all viewers handle this properly.

There are many good quality viewers that will display your faxes correctly.

Alternatively, try selecting fax to be sent in either (tif) or (pdf) file formats.

 
 

Fax is normally stored as a TIFF file (with a .tif extension) because TIFF is a true document format. But while some programs, like Quicktime, associate themselves with TIFF, they can't actually open this format properly.

If you have a quality TIFF viewing program on your computer then you need to reset the file association within the Options menu of your browser and re-establish the correct association.

There are many good quality viewers on the market, which will correctly present your faxes and you should choose one of them. The free document suite Open Office (www.openoffice.org) works very well, as does Windows Picture and Fax Viewer (XP), Windows Photo Viewer (Vista, Windows 7) and Preview (Mac OS X).

Alternatively, try selecting FaxMail to be received in (pdf) file format. You can then use one of the many pdf file readers to view your faxes.