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eFax: In-Depth

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eFax: the World's Largest Internet Fax Brand

eFax, a subsidiary of j2 Global, is the largest and one of the oldest brands in the online fax industry. Parent company j2 Global has also been active in acquisitions in this market space and has absorbed 13 other online fax brands since 2005.

At FindAFax.com, we have been testing, evaluating and studying eFax as well as the rest of the j2 Global brands since 2007 and consider ourselves an authority on the company.

What is eFax

eFax is j2 Global's flagship online fax. It is available in 49 countries on 6 continents and offers local numbers in over 4,100 cities. The company claims over 11 million customers worldwide. eFax offers two primary levels of service, eFax Plus and eFax Pro. eFax Corporate is the company's custom service level that caters to larger businesses willing to pay more for custom plans and better service. The company also offers eFax Developer and eFax Broadcast (through jBlast) for companies with very specific faxing needs. eFax also offers a very limited version of their service through eFax Free, but the company no longer promotes this product. Considering that all of the combined j2 Global brands only service roughly 2 million paying customers and eFax claims 11 million customers, it is clear that this free service is the most widely used. You must either have a direct link or search for eFax Free to even find this offering.

eFax Fax Samples (click images to expand)

eFax's Primary Services

eFax Plus: eFax Plus is eFax's least expensive paid service level. The service costs $16.95 per month or $169.56 per year ($14.13 per month equivalent) and includes 150 inbound and 150 outbound fax pages per month. They typically charge a $10 setup fee, but people using our link have this charged waived. Even with the discounted setup fee, as you can see in the grid, eFax Plus is substantially more expensive and offers far fewer pages than MetroFax's "Essential," Nextiva's "Single User," or RingCentral's "Fax 700" plans.

Like well established brands in other industries, eFax charges a premium. They do offer some unique features as well as the largest database of local fax numbers in the world, but for most U.S. customers, eFax is the equivalent of a luxury brand.

From our experience, price and number of included pages per month are two of the biggest factors that people consider when choosing which fax company to use. On the other hand, eFax offers the most feature-rich services available. eFax Plus (as well as eFax Pro) offer more features than any of the 36 other plans reviewed by FindAFax. The only feature that it doesn't include is a BlackBerry app (which is only offered by RingCentral and MyFax).

For Mac users, eFax capabilities are considerably reduced. Although all the basic faxing capabilities are available through eFax's online interface, advanced options are only available through eFax Messenger, which is not Mac compatible. Without access to eFax Messenger Mac users will not be able to customize their cover page or preview a fax.

Two things that are worrisome about eFax's service are related to terminating the service. Over the years, many consumers have complained about difficulty cancelling service. You cannot cancel your eFax service through their website. You have to either cancel through a special live chat link or after-hours via phone. Furthermore, they state that your account is not officially cancelled until you have received written confirmation from Customer Service. There are numerous complaints online from people who thought they cancelled their account, but continued being billed. The practice of requiring people to cancel online services via phone rather than online is actually becoming more common practice.On the Better Business Bureau website, eFax's rating recently moved up from a C to a B- but is not accredited.

The other issue relates to number porting. If you port a number you already have into eFax, you will be able to port that number out when you cancel the service. However, if you received your number from eFax and want to port that number out at some point, you will not be able to. This is actually pretty common amongst online fax providers, because they are not governed by the number portability laws that apply to traditional phone service providers. The thing that is unusual is that their Terms and Conditions state that they will charge you $500 for attempting to port your number out (item 20, "Rules Regarding eFax Numbers"). This is unique to j2 Global fax companies and seems a bit excessive, considering the service only costs $17/month.

eFax Pro: eFax Pro offers the same features as eFax Plus, but includes more incoming and outgoing pages at a slightly higher price. The monthly fee is $19.95 or you can pay the $199.50 annual fee (equivalent of $16.63 per month), which include 200 inbound fax pages and 200 outbound fax pages. This number of included pages still doesn't exceed the least expensive plans of eFax's top competitors, so it is a very poor value on the basis of cost/ page. Here is a comparison of eFax Pro.

Other Online Fax Companies Owned by eFax's Parent, j2 Global

j2 Global, eFax.com's parent company, owns jBlast and jConnect (no longer a separate service) and has acquired several other online fax companies over the years. Those companies (and their acquisition dates) are:

  • UnityFax, February 2015
  • MetroFax, March 2013
  • MyFax (which had already absorbed Packetel), December 2010
  • TrustFax (which had already absorbed FAXaFILE), February 2010
  • CallWave, February 2009
  • RapidFax, December 2007
  • Send2Fax, July 2006
  • Fax.com (which had already absorbed FaxMicro, OneFax and 101Fax) and SmartFax, July 2005

 

Additional eFax plans and services

eFax Corporate Solutions: eFax Corporate Solutions are targeted to businesses that are sending and receiving hundreds to thousands of pages of faxes per day. This is an ideal fit for companies with hundreds of employees who need custom implementation, high security and a scalable system. eFax, like their competitors, provides custom quotes for businesses interested in this level of service. You can learn more about this service here: http://enterprise.efax.com/

eFax Corporate services include:

  • eFax SAP Connector
  • eFax Developer API
  • eFax Mobile for Corporate (apps to send, receive and sign faxes)
  • eFax Secure (keeps faxes secure and in compliance with HIPAA, GLB and other regulations)
  • eFax Compliance (also ensures corporate faxes are in compliance with federal regulations)
  • eFax Messenger
  • eFax MFD Integrate

eFax Developer eFax Developer is designed for companies with high-volume fax needs, who want to use eFax's fax sending and receiving technology and security, but prefer to build a custom application to manage their interaction with the services. eFax offers a free trial of this service, and pricing is quoted on a price per page basis. Each customer is given their own price quote based on estimated volume.

eFax Broadcast eFax Broadcast is actually powered by their sister service inside j2 Global called jBlast. This service is a no monthly fee service designed to let companies send out one-time or periodic fax blasts to a large number of recipients. The pricing is based on number of pages, country being faxed to, size of pages being faxed, and whether you need to use a "mail merge" function on the fax. Pricing for this service can be found here, but you will need to either call or email a j2 representative to sign up.

eFax Patents

eFax's parent company, j2 Global, holds 25 patents and patents pending, many of which relate to the use of email and/or the internet to transmit messages to facsimile machines. j2 vigorously defends these patents.

Contact eFax

People wanting to contact eFax have a number of options. Here are a few:

eFax Customer Support:

  • Toll Free: 1 (800) 287-3499
  • US Local: 1 (323) 817-3205
  • Technical or Billing Questions: 1 (800) 958-2983
  • @eFaxCares: Customer service Twitter account

eFax Social Media:

  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/eFax
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eFaxmarketing
  • Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/company/efax.com
  • Google+: https://plus.google.com/106122993332352864453/posts

Cancel eFax account:

  • Live Chat: http://www.efax.com/cancelLiveChat (6AM-6PM Pacific Time, M-F)
  • (323) 817-3205 ("after hours")

 

eFax Live Twitter Feed


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