How to get through to a busy fax machine

Last Update: August 9th, 2021

Some fax numbers are just busy. Every so often a pair of law offices are faxing a 200 page document, which can tie up the phone line for hours. Even when the document’s done, everyone who has been trying to fax is now trying to catch up.

Here are some ways to get through to a busy fax.

Make sure you have the right number

Whenever we’ve found a really busy (or no answer) fax line, it’s usually because we have the wrong number.

A fax number is just a phone number, and one wrong number will connect you with someone else’s phone.

Double check that number first, just in case. This may mean calling the office to be sure you have the right fax number.

We’ve heard many stories of someone trying to fax an office over and over but it just keeps ringing someone’s home phone. Not a good time!

If at first you don’t succeed…

Try, try again.

Just make sure you have the right fax number.

Most fax machines will try 3 (or more) times if they aren’t able to connect the first time. After three attempts, they will print out an error page detailing the attempt.

Trying multiple times through the day can help get through.

Schedule for late at night

Or get up late at night.

Even busy fax machines slow down outside of business hours.

Some fax machines will let you schedule a fax for a later time. Some online fax services have this feature too.

Call and ask for alternates

Some offices know they’re busy, and keep a second fax line available for faxes that can’t get through.

Call the office and ask if they know of a better way to get your fax through.

Sometimes this lets them know if there’s a problem – maybe somebody left the fax off the hook?