Just the Fax Sir

By Bob Larrivee posted 04-24-2013 11:21



I know, the title sounds like an old Dragnet episode. (For those of you who are too young, it was a cutting edge TV Detective series about the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1950's.) Anyway, this sentence is what was given in response to my question about emailing information to an insurance provider.

What started this is that I made a change and consolidated all of my insurance to a new carrier - to be managed by one agent who is local to me. In doing so, I had to cancel the other policies which were not all under one carrier or agent. In this case, the only way to cancel is to call the carrier directly for instructions on how to cancel the policy. (If you live in Florida, you can probably guess who this is). Anyway, I got on the phone with the service representative who explained all of what I needed to do in order to cancel, part of which was to either mail the request in through the postal service or by Fax. When I asked if it could be emailed, the answer was no, we do not accept email or digital copies as viable.

Having done work in the insurance sector of Florida, and knowing agents use digital signatures as binding for the signing of a contract, I found this somewhat unsettling and pointed this out, only to be told, “sorry sir, I do not make the rules, I can only take just the Fax sir, unless you wish to mail in the paper documents.” Needless to say, I say I was a bit frustrated with this but nevertheless, I plugged the land line into my Office Jet 8600 – good thing I still have a landline – and sent him, just the Fax. Of course I could have done this digitally if I subscribed to a Fax service but I do not, nor should I have to in these times.

In my view, there is no reason why, if at all levels of government digital information is accepted, that companies like this cannot do the same. I keep hearing about how companies are struggling, profits are down, and costs are rising yet we are still in some cases living in the stone age when it comes to information and information sharing. It amazes me that in an age where information is digitally born, managed and destroyed, there are still organizations who refuse to make the move forward. What is the fear preventing the human from trusting the digital? What is the barrier preventing a “modern day” organization from being modern? In the words of Sergeant Joe Friday, “I would like just the facts sir.”

If you are ready to move forward and are finding yourself stuck or unfocused and are not sure where to begin or what to do next, seek professional assistance and/or training to get you started. Be sure to investigate AIIM's Enterprise Content Management training program.

And be sure to read the AIIM Training Briefing on ECM (authored by yours truly). Click on the image to download and read. 

What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.

Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor – AIIM
Email me:

Follow me on Twitter – BobLarrivee

I will be at the following events:

May  - Fusion 2013 in Orlando, FL

August - NIRMA 2013 in Las Vegas

#fax #Collaboration #ElectronicRecordsManagement #InformationGovernance #paper #Insurance