Junk Fax of the DayTwo today! The first is for wall maps. I love wall maps! In college I decorated my wall with a huge collage of National Geographic maps. I am immediately interested in this offer. Let’s find out more.

A Delaware-based company, the reputably-named ACCURATE MAP CO. (there are an awful lot of capital letters crammed onto this defenseless piece of paper) wants to sell me North Carolina wall maps. But I could instead choose any city, state, county, or foreign locale. I am very excited by the prospect of lamination being available for writing on these maps, which is advertised as a “write-on, wipe-off surface.”

  • Use of clip art? A business guy pointing out a map of North Carolina, who informs me such maps are “GREAT FOR BUSINESS”.
  • Is there a website I could use to get more information, considering this is 2011? Oh goodness no. You have to call.
  • Can I stash this ad away for a later time in which my demand for laminated wall maps has reached a critical point of need? You may not! This is a “ONE TIME FAX OFFER ONLY”.

The second ad is for “Finally, Affordable A+ Rated Health Insurance!” Here, we are opting for a Whole Lot of Title Case Rather Than Pure Capital Letters. Except, wonderfully, when it mentions COBRA coverage, which as an acronym should be capitalized, but is instead written just as “Cobra”.

  • Use of clip art? A happy family, gathered around the dinner table, enjoying their meal and the knowledge that they have a top-tier insurance plan.
  • Is there a website I could use to get more information, considering this is 2011? Oh goodness no. No phone number either. You are awkwardly instructed to fill out the form and “Fax To Our Computer Fax”.
    • OK, but is it at least a local number? Nope! Long distance.
  • So do they mean: those with COBRA coverage, or some sort of insurance against cobras? It is but a tantalizing mystery.

At a glance, the insurance services offered are everything you could ask for and I don’t see what could possibly go wrong…oh wait. Should I be concerned that the company never provides a phone number, address, website, or e-mail address? Or, as it happens, its name? Should I worry that my potential health insurance provider has overlooked multiple typos (unless there is such a thing as “-Xrays”)? And is a “computer fax” the same thing as a regular fax?

Today’s junk fax: roofing! The business itself is certainly still an important one. But…

You are a small business. You would like to reach more customers. You approach an advertising agency for help.

They say: “We will hit up the public with a junk fax barrage! They are sure to be swayed by your grasp of one of 1987’s top technologies.”

Do you:

a. Sign up, celebrate with a Seagram’s Golden Wine Cooler.

b. Walk away from cash money like a fool.

I do not know how to operate our fax machine. I have sent approximately three faxes in six years of employment here. (So: I fax biannually. The next time I send a fax, if there is a next time, I will use the joke that I am sending my biannual fax. Be ready for this!) Though I’m not saying society as a whole no longer employs faxing as a means of transferring documents. Students ask us if we have a fax service all the time. However, that is not to say I am not baffled by this need.

This topic emerges out of my love for our ceaseless flow of junk faxes. It is, to my knowledge, 2011. We get junk faxes daily. It is, evidently, still a viable business model. We easily get more junk faxes than real faxes. Somehow this makes me happy. It makes me think the world is a simpler place. Many days I spend time thinking about ways to effectively monetize my interest in doing largely nothing, and failing of course, and realizing that I will need to continue to do something for someone else who has thought of a way. Then I think of the junk faxers. Somewhere, there are people who report to work every day to send out junk faxes. I don’t know how it works–I like to think someone is standing over a fax machine, feeding an ad in, and punching up numbers from a prospect directory. They wait for it to go through for the 15 minutes or however long a fax takes, then they flip the paper over, re-feed it, and punch the next number on the list. They have no further questions about the proper orientation of the paper. They have mastered this craft. However, I suspect that despite the end product it’s exclusively done with automated faxing programs. Regardless, the rate of return is such that everyone still goes to work every day.

The junk faxes seem to mostly be for travel agencies, no less, which is even more mystifying.

However, today’s junk fax implores me to fix my credit for a mere $89. I cannot think of a more reliable way to repair my credit than via an agency advertising via junk fax. Oh wait, there are those handwritten signs advertising this service taped to streetlight posts…

My favorite bit from today’s fax is the text: “Never get turned down (for credit) again!” They just wanted to specify that all promises made therein were it regard to credit, on this document advertising credit services. You can of course expect to continue to be turned down IN LIFE. But not for credit, my good sir.