Why am I receiving blank faxes from one number?

I am receiving blank faxes from one number (my main source of faxes which was working and now is not) but other faxes come through and print. I have had people check my machine and the sender has checked their machine, and it works for others as well.

The message on their side says, “check readability.” But we don’t know what that is either! Help us.

A “check readability” message must be particularly annoying when you’re receiving a fax that is completely blank. You’ve already checked the readability by determining that you can’t, in fact, read the thing. It’s the next step that’s giving you trouble.

The problem is, there isn’t a lot out there about this. You’re not the first person to experience this problem – searching the Internet, it seems like the majority of the people with it are using Brother fax machines. But while there are several hits about the problem, there aren’t many regarding a solution.

It seems as though you’ve already verified that you can still receive faxes from other phone numbers, but if you haven’t, please do that. You can send yourself a test fax from a free web service like FaxZero, and if that works, then the problem is definitely on the sender’s end. If it doesn’t, we start hunting for solutions.

The Brother website itself indicates that this could be an issue with a poor telephone connection, or with other equipment connected to the telephone line, such as an answering machine, modem, or another telephone. Their solution is to disconnect these things and try your fax again. (Frankly, this seems like a bunch of B.S. to me – I can understand other equipment injecting noise on a line, but that wouldn’t make a completely blank fax.) If it works, then one of those disconnected items was the trouble all along. If it still doesn’t work, then you’ll need to call the support line for your fax manufacturer.

But since that might not be an option, depending on who manufactured your device, let’s not give up just yet. If you are using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) for your phone service, you need to be sure that the telephone line is connected to the jack on your machine labeled “line.” If it is, and you’re still having problems, we move on to the next possibility.

Unfortunately, the only other option is for you to switch up the game by embracing the new technology available for faxing. You can set up an account with an electronic fax service like K7.net, which provides free incoming faxes to your email box. You will get a free phone number that you can provide to all your contacts, or just to this one that is causing you this problem. They can send the fax to your number from their own fax machine, and you will receive it like an email.

Do you have a question about faxing? Send me your fax question.

One Response to “Why am I receiving blank faxes from one number?”

  1. Can you tell me more about ECM mode? Says:

    […] correction at all.”In a related technical issue, I recently gave advice to a person who was receiving blank faxes from one particular number . While I offered several solutions to this issue, JM believes this is yet another example of what […]