Your article "Thousands fall for pounds 1 fax 'poll' on referendum" (13 April) touches on the wider issue of "cold faxing", the sending of unsolicited material. Unwanted telephone calls can be cut off and junk mail binned unread, but there is no de- fence against unsolicited fax transmissions.

My husband and I run a small local-history publishing firm and we find ourselves plagued with such material from printers, paper merchants, debt-collectors and directories, including Gordon Ritchie's own. We have been advised that this constitutes illegal abstraction of electricity, fax paper and toner, and that victims are entitled to invoice the perpetrators for materials. It is, of course, unlikely that these bills will be paid, so our response is a more practical one to persuade offenders not to repeat their trick. We make up a good heavy packet of waste paper, old telephone directories etc, and send it by post to the perpetrators. Without stamps, of course, and marked "Freepost". A note is enclosed requesting our fax number be removed from the database.

If no address is given, a complaint should be made to the Nuisance Calls office, giving the fax number supplied.

Name and address supplied

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