Once again, we found a company that was owned by j2 Global. SmartFax is an easy-to-use Internet fax service that lets you push your faxes either with the online dashboard or with your email. SmartFax is one of those “barebones” Internet faxing services, only letting you use your email application or the online portal to send and receive your faxes. These types of services do not include a mobile setup and encourage users to just use their browser or email app on their smartphone for sending faxes.
j2 Global is one of the leading providers of communications solutions for businesses, putting communications solutions into the cloud. This company was founded in December 1995. The company has gone through several name changes and acquisitions over the years, picking up several websites that are used for cloud storage, digital media, and communications. Essentially, all of j2 Global’s Internet faxing solutions use the same backend framework.
When we checked out SmartFax, we were okay with the prices. We felt that $6.95 per month is a pretty fair price, on par with some of the other providers in the industry. With SmartFax, you get 250 pages per month. You can also select a fax number for your business. This is a somewhat easy process. If you want to purchase additional fax numbers, the service costs $6.95 for each additional fax number and comes with the same 250 pages per month.
We found that overuse fees do apply for SmartFax. After you exhaust your page quota for the month, you will have to pay $.08 per page every time you said an additional fax. While this is one of the cheaper overuse fees in the industry, we find that it can be quite easy to go over your page limit with inbound and outbound faxes.
This platform is cloud-based. With SmartFax, you get up to 30 days to store and access your faxes. When we called in, we found that many users will often use a Dropbox account or other cloud storage service to store their faxes after they've downloaded them.
It is pretty easy to configure your email account to use SmartFax. With this service, we found that you have to set up your email account within the online login portal. After your email is registered with SmartFax, you don't ever have to log in to send faxes if you want. You can also send faxes from SmartFax by typing the fax recipient number in the form of an email address.
One of the nice things about j2 Global is that they have streamlined all of their fax services to support the same types of files. With SmartFax, you can send:
We think that is very important to be able to send materials directly from Microsoft Office. In fact, you can simply open up a new Outlook message, type in the fax number as an email address, and drop the file that you would like to send.
There is another important feature of this service. We found that, when sending Internet faxes via email, you can activate a password feature. When sending a fax, you will be prompted for a password. This is a powerful way to control the number of outbound faxes, so that you do not exceed your page allottment.
Like j2 Global's other Internet faxing services, we are not really impressed with SmartFax. The company simply does not have that good of a reputation. There are numerous instances of overzealous marketing.
Overall, here are some of the things that we don't like about SmartFax:
We really wanted to see a mobile app when we were looking at this faxing service. There are many mobile apps in the industry that let you send and receive faxes, as well as sign your documents on your touchscreen.
Another feature that was missing? Better cloud storage. You can keep your faxes for up to 30 days, but then they are automatically deleted. You can get a Dropbox or Google Drive account, but you cannot automate the process of putting your faxes in the cloud with your preference of cloud storage service.
Another problem that we found with this service was that you have to register your emails for faxing within the SmartFax dashboard. Failure to do this will mean that you won't be able to send your faxes over the Internet.
While we found that SmartFax was affordable, it is very easy to go over your 250 page per month limit. After this you are billed $.08 per page. There are also not any scaling potentials with this service. If you choose one of the other j2 Global faxing products, you will be able to get the page allotment per month that you want.
Can I give a zero? Their phone number doesn't work - their chat tells you to call the phone number - their customer service reps tell you to call or chat. They charge without allowing access to the account. Just look at all the unanswered complaints in their Better Business Bureau file. Unanswered tells you all you need to know. And the complaints are similar to mine.
I canceled my subscription months ago, and they continue to bill my card. I have submitted requests for cancellation and refund and they continue to bill. Run don't walk away from this company.
I don't like anything about SmartFax. I used their Smart Fax once while on a free trial. I had trouble with it and then cancelled my subscription within a couple of weeks (it was suppose to be a 30 day free trial-cancel anytime. I called them at 877-SMART-15 and cancelled my subscription. I was told I would receive an email verifying cancellation. I didn't think much of it until 3 months later I realized they were still taking the monthly $6.95 from my account. Again I called the number: 877-SMART-15 to cancel and the machine said they were no longer providing customer service through the phone and it gave you a chat line to contact. Which I did today, and hopefully I will not see another charge on my account. This time I didn't let the chat guy go until I had received a cancellation email in my box. I did get it. My experience with SmartFax is definitely negative. I looked them up on BBB and found that many others have had similar experiences as myself. It's not the money its the dishonest advertising and terrible customer service.
Was unable to send even one successful fax and when I attempted to cancel via chat, the chat was always down. I have called several times and waited for 20+ minutes to speak with a representative, but giving up. I am on hold RIGHT NOW (18+ mins so far,) and am STILL trying to cancel. They make it so arduous to cancel in hopes that you will just pay them for the service that they do not even deliver on.
In one word, AWFUL. Super expensive compared to other vendors, "customer service" reps don't care and no way to transfer / port your fax to another provider. Looking at the parent company J2 Global, I'm not surprised.
Stay away from this company! It's a fraud. They get your billing information and it is IMPOSSIBLE to cancel. They should be sued in a class action lawsuit.
Stay away from this company. The fax service is inconsistent and it was nearly impossible to cancel the account.
If I could give this company a no star rating, I would. Their customer service is HORRIBLE! I cancelled my membership after the trial period, but apparently they never processed it, and so I have been getting charged for a membership that I haven't been using. The customer service rep (a term I use very lightly here) was blase and disinterested in the whole process of attempting to assist me, and went so far as to try and resell me on continuing to use their product, even when I explicitly stated that I wanted to ensure that my account was cancelled and my money refunded. To top it all off, they refused to refund my money, therefore stealing money from me for services not rendered. If you want to get ripped off, and get treated like dirt while doing it, this is your company. Never again!
Melissa L Patton
The worse company ever. The service never worked. They refuse to cancel after me requesting them to do so. I had to call. Very horrible customer service.
impossible to cancel .... the chat "button" on the website is fake ... you have to call and they will place you on hold forever ...
This company's customer service is horrendous!!! The interface for the taxes that you send and receive is terrible! Do yourself a favor and go with another vendor!!!
I just cancelled our "Smart"FAX account, after only 9 days. We were on a 30 day free trial. Tried to send several FAXes, but without success. At least we have not been billed. If there were a 0 (ZERO) rating, I'd use that. The agent did give me a cancellation number, so we'll see.
Horrible is all I can say. I was charged over 1,000 for a 908 page document that was constantly sent to my fax # for over a week and a half. Yes, I contacted the company that was sending this fax to me to stop but it took a 1 1/2 week before the fax stopped (their fax machine had it in a loop and it had to be manually removed). After the bill was received of course we contacted Smartfax to let them know the issue with the company that was sending fax but they would only credit us back for $72.64. That doesn't even put a dent into the bill over 1,000. I'm beyond angry. I've had the same problems with Smartfax customer service as other customers. Representatives don't speak good English. I was hung up on. Long hold times. I was told they would call back after they reviewed my concern (never got a call back of course). So frustrated !!!
A negative rating system would be ideal for this company. This is the worst company ever. We signed up, couldn't get it to work and needing to send a fax before the end of the day, we physically went to an office supply store to send. It was canceled almost immediately yet we were charged. Calling them and explaining, I was told that they do not do refunds AND proceeded to offer deals for us to keep the service. We have now been told a second time that it is canceled as they have charged a second month. Run, don't walk, from this company.
Worst company ever! I canceled 3 times over a year and they continued to charge me. Each time I called they claim I never canceled! I canceled online when the button was working, via chat, and then I had to call and have been on hold now for almost 20 minutes. The service rep refused to give me a manager until I yelled so loud my voice is hoarse. I'm now waiting for the manager...
Have been using this company for about 2 years. Little problems but nothing major until now. We do not use the fax for long stretches but when we need it, we need it. Our fax has been down for several days. The number shows a disconnect when you call it. I called them and they said they are having issues and do not have a timeframe for it to be restored. They know they are down but do not notify their customers and not having a timeframe for it to be up again is outrageous. Faxing is their business, they can't even get this right.
Our fax was down for OUR BUSINESS for four straight days. We were not receiving any incoming faxes. There was NO NOTICE to their clients. We called them and that is when they advised us that our fax was done. We cannot risk a mistake like that again. How do they not have a way to reach their clients when things like this happen? Very disappointed - don't make the same mistake
I needed to send ONE fax and it did not go through with my SmartFax account. I could not find a way to cancel my account online and you have to wait until business hours to chat with an agent to try to do so. It is a very trying process as they keep asking you questions to try to get you to keep your account. Stay away!!!
If I could give NEGATIVE stars, I would have. I had 2 accounts w/this company. I closed one and opened a second that was in my area code (for the fax number). At least I cancelled and was told my card would no longer be charged for the closed account. Fast forward 3 years later they're still charging my card (yeah my bad for not being more careful to see that they were double charging me). I called in to cancel again and nope they kept on billing. Cancelled my second account in July, and low and behold - August - charged again. These people didn't even apologize for screwing up the first time. I'm so fed up and out over $200 in excess fees. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY unless you like to be scammed. They lie when they say they'll cancel the account and your card won't be charged (they'll ask for the last 4 digits of the card on the account to "confirm," but that goes nowhere to helping you actually cancel).
I don't understand how Best Company can show these guys as 4.6 stars when all I see are ALL 1 star reviews (and that's only because 0 stars is not an option)! My experience was the same as everyone else's... free trial and then IMPOSSIBLE to cancel! Luckily, I changed my credit card to a temporary one with only a $5 limit, so they are unable to charge it. Hopefully that will be the end of that! STAY AWAY! SCAMMERS!
Plainly put - disappointed! Fax transmission is slow - but it goes through after a while. But the main issue I have is trying to cancel this service with SmartFax - it was a drag to get it finally done!!! I tried to cancel my service on 4/22/18 - as instructed in their Support Center window. The Cancellation Website does NOT work, and it gives the following trash feedback: Secure.smartfax.com says Validation error 5pp Undefined 500 Internal Servier Error Internal Server Error >p> The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request. Please contact the server administrator at [email protected] to inform them of the time this error occurred, and the actions you performed just before this error. More information about this error may be available in the server error log. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I email the webmaster the same day, and no response for a month! I requested cancellation via email, no response, and they charged my account on 4/23/18 - they completely ignored my request! I finally called the Start Your Free Trial phone number, and I got a hold of someone (Paul). He finally cancelled my account, but said SmartFax does not issue refunds, even though they ignore my cancellation request for that month! Find a more professional e-fax service; I do not recommend SmartFax at all!
Horrific customer service, cancellation will take months, and they will continue to take monthly fees even after canceling. They still owe me money back, but now refuse to contact me back after numerous attempts to get resolution. Worst communication and bad business policies. DO NOT RECOMMEND!
I would rate this company ZERO stars if I could. They had me on hold for almost an hour and refuse to cancel my SmartFax account but have no problem withdrawing money out of my bank account for almost a year!
0 STARS *Hard to cancel *Cancel button does not work, and will give you an error code. *Customer service is impossible to get in touch with and hold times for me personally were 50 minutes, 42 minutes, and the last one, 1 hour. *Call center does not speak good English. Good luck trying o understand them. *Be prepared to be hung up on, "While looking up your account" to cancel when you finally can get through. *Be cautious during your "free 30 day trial". Many people have been charged super high fees for faxing if your pages exceed time transmitting! BAD BAD BAD overall! AVOID this company and its "affiliates".
If I could give 0 stars I would. Their cancellation button does not work and keeps coming up errors just like other people having the same issue. Customer service puts you on hold and at 50 minutes, I gave up. I am calling my bank to cancel the "free trial".
The service works, but is not especially intuitive. Persistence and tolerance for ambiguity are required. Be prepared for the runaround when you choose to cancel. No simple process is provided for cancellation, and, when found, is denied by the company. Surely there must be better alternatives to the questionable business practices of this company.
PAINFUL to cancel, either need to call or chat online.... Ridiculous. Of course, when I played the game and contacted them to cancel they offered tp cut the monthly fee by 80%. Equally as ridiculous. Never again!
Signed up to use the 30 day trial and realized on the first day it wasn't going to work for me. My initial attempt at sending a fax failed. I started to cancel my account with them the next day and 6 months later still getting a hard time from customer service. Their agreement says you must receive a confirmation via email to cancel your account. However, the link online to cancel the service failed and directed me to contact the company, After calling the company, and wasting 30 minutes, I never received an email confirmation. I then took the 3rd route and emailed billing and customer service that they no longer had permission to use the credit card I provided them and that I had trouble canceling the service. Not one person offered to assist me, they repeatedly said the same thing over and over again. I finally submitted one last email reporting to them that I revoked the permission of the credit card, and using it going forward would be illegal, and they continued to charge my card for 6 months. This is NOT a company to even try. It cost me over $100 in canceled work time to deal with this, and customer service is not helpful. Too many others to try.
I have had enough. We receive very few faxes throughout the year and the number of times clients have called us stating problems sending a fax is disgraceful. Customer service is also pretty clueless. Highly recommended that you go elsewhere.
Nikki Cotton Candy
I began using SmartFax March of this year, the price is cheap - about $7 a month. However, I will echo what other reviewers have said: they continue to charge you without notice or invoicing me directly out of my bank account or any other reminders about automatic payments. Frankly, I do not receive e-mails from SmartFax at all, likely because they don't want to remind you that you've ever signed up for this service so they can continue charging you. I attempted to contact SmartFax previously to cancel my account, however despite submitting my help request ticket, I have been told it was not received. Upon trying to use the system this evening, I realize it is likely because none of my previous attempts to contact this company have been processed because it does not process your requests. Finally, I have e-mailed them regarding this problem and have received the following response: "As per our record, there are no cancellation request made in your account in the past. Please note that cancellation requests cannot be complete via email. Your cancellation must be processed by contacting our customer support no (877) 762-7815. Please note that your account will remain active until your cancellation request is confirmed by Customer Support.." I am too assume they intend to charge me on the 15th, as they have been, unless I call as soon as their customer service opens or, possibly, not even then since it is an automatic payment. I do not see why I get absolutely no communication from this company, why I cannot cancel online after confirming my account and the e-mail I used to sign up with this service, nor why they claim that cancellation is an easy process. I will be requesting a refund as soon as possible and a chargeback if all else fails.
Charged me for faxes that were not there. Claimed I had not deleted the faxes as instructed. When I sent screen shot showing I had deleted the faxes, they claimed I could not prove I had deleted them before the date of the screen shot. Would not correct their error in billing. They charged me roughly $10 more a month than they should have for 2 months in a row.
I signed up in April with my credit card, sent one fax, and just realized (3 months later) that they've been charging my card $6.95 each month WITHOUT emailing or mailing any sort of receipt or invoice. Nothing to remind me that I'm paying for something I don't need. So, not having noticed the small charge on my credit card statements, I opened a support ticket requesting that my account be closed and charged refunded. I find it very unprofessional and shady to not email receipts during automatic payments. A few days passed, so I just called in to explain myself. I deal with online companies all day long and I've never been automatically billed without seeing an email confirmation of sorts. I was told "I can't guarantee anything but I will request the refund". That's it. At least my account's cancelled, so they say. Shady business. Get what you pay for.
Of 17 faxes sent to me, 14 failed. The three that arrived were all from the company's customer support - after I called to complain three times!. Don't waste your time with this horrible service, product and customer service. Thank goodness it did not cost me anything as I canceled before the free trial expired. I will pay more for a better service.
This company makes its difficult to cancel the service. Even though you send email to cancel, they want you to call the call center which typically has hold of 15 minutes. If you fail to do this, they will keep billing you monthly charge.