In 2003, this blog gave out a number of Business Idiocy of the Week awards, on an occasional basis, as a recognition to enterprises that seem to aspire to the corporate form of Darwin Award.
With the New Year, it's time to formalize this custom. To this end, and for the furtherence of alliteration, the Due Diligence idiocy award will henceforth be known as the Dubious Distinction, and when I get around to it there will be a sidebar link to the rogue's gallery of winners.
To get 2004 off to a good start, the first Dubious Distinction of the year, for continuing efforts in operating a business plan which is largely illegal, goes to fax.com. This is occasioned by the FCC levying a $5.4m fine against the company for repeated and flagrant violations of junk fax/do-not-fax regulations. Yes, before there were spammers, there was fax.com, and they are still at it, as I can attest. Pacifica's inbound fax is a known good number, and we get ads for fly-by-night insurance and refis, with the characteristic fax.com footer format. After a few, one of us gets annoyed enough to call the remove number, and they stop for a while - and then start again. This has happened enough times that it has clearly moved from incompetence to 'enemy action'. At $11,000 a pop - the fine levied by the FCC for flagrant violations - each of these could be a significant step toward bankrupting these bozos, so maybe I'll start saving them...
Update: Sounds like the fax.com clowns need a RICO investigation more than fines which they ignore.