Easily contact Italian comunes with International Fax online

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adamf
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Easily contact Italian comunes with International Fax online

Postby adamf » 08 Nov 2008, 21:54

I originally posted this is another thread. wldspirit suggested I post here for anyone who would be interested.

I wanted to make the board aware of a potential method of communication that I have used successfully.

International fax. And I don't even have a fax machine. It cost me less than a stamp, and was received in Italy immediately.

Here's how I did it. I use Skype to communicate with my brother in Korea. Skype is a free internet phone service that anyone can sign up for. So, I wondered how I could use skype to communicate all these Italian genealogy inquiries. Thats when I found www.pamfax.biz. I used Pamfax, through Skype, to send an international fax for $.18 per page.

So, with this program, you don't even have to print your letter. You type it up in a Word file, then upload the file to Pamfax. Then Pamfax immediately faxes your file to the appropriate fax machine, anywhere. Its as simple as that. Took me like 10 minutes to figure out how to type in the international fax number. But now that I know how to do it, I can send a fax within 2 or 3 minutes of finishing the letter on my computer.

For example, I sent a fax to the comune of Montese on October 17 and it was received immediately, my fulfilled request was mailed back to me on October 30, and I received it here in Illinois, USA today November 8. Just over 3 week turnaround. Not too bad. Now, I did benefit from the fact that no payment was requested, as that would likely have increased the time. But the Italian letter writing website suggested on these forums said not to send money until its requested, so I followed that advice.

If anyone has any questions about how to do this, just ask. This method is so much easier than printing out a letter, addressing an envelope, finding a stamp, and going to the post office. It takes 5 seconds to transmit, and cuts weeks off your response time.

P.S. I'm not sure how easy it is to find fax numbers generally. Maybe I just got lucky. But I was able to get them off comune websites fairly easily.

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Re: International Fax over computer-Expeditious "comune

Postby wldspirit » 09 Nov 2008, 02:52

Thanks Adam!

Now to locate information for your town of interest, such as address, email and fax:

Comune

If you do not understand Italian, use the following as a guideline:

Provincia = Province
Comune = Town
Ricerca = Search
Indirizzo = Address
Cap = Zip Code

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Re: International Fax over computer-Expeditious "comune

Postby adamf » 09 Nov 2008, 05:09

Thanks wldspirit, that site makes it even easier.

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Re: International Fax over computer-Expeditious "comune

Postby wldspirit » 09 Nov 2008, 07:04

Your welcome.... :)

To properly format your address, use the example below:

Comune di Town Name Here
Ufficio di stato civile
Street name and Number
Cap, Town, (Province)
Italy

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Re: International Fax over computer-Expeditious "comune

Postby qnana » 09 Nov 2008, 22:31

Wow!!! Thank you both, very, very much for simplifying the process. :D

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Re: Easily contact Italian comunes with International Fax on

Postby Italysearcher » 21 Feb 2009, 15:10

This is potentially a great suggestion however I live in Italy AND have a fax machine but still some towns won't accept fax inquiries as they want an SAE. eg. Rome, Naples
Even those that do accept faxes (I always telephone first and ask) often have to be reminded after one month.
Still its worth a try! Good luck.
Ann Tatangelo
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ANNOYING THE SAINTS - Stories of my Life in Italy. http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-b ... ly/7731505

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Re: Easily contact Italian comunes with International Fax on

Postby PeterTimber » 21 Feb 2009, 20:07

Can someone advise me as to what is the advantage of the use of a fax machine when an e-mail does the same thing at much less cost???=Peter=
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Re: Easily contact Italian comunes with International Fax on

Postby jcat » 21 Feb 2009, 21:30

I have also tried faxing the Comune afew times and only until I sent my request by mail did I receive any replies. Calling is good too. I think the fact that a lot of Comunes' still do not have email addresses and only fax #s make it more appealing to send. It probably differs from town to town, although, as I stated the Comune in which my grandparents hail from only responded with my mailed in request.
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Re: Easily contact Italian comunes with International Fax on

Postby adamf » 21 Feb 2009, 22:33

Well technically Peter, email would be the ideal way to communicate requests for all inquiries.

But my experience is that the comunes prefer some level of formality in the requests they receive. In that way, fax is much quicker than sending a letter through the mail.

I think all our research would be much easier if email requests were accepted throughout Italy, but I have not had as much luck with email requests as I have with fax requests.

And thats not to say no comunes accept email requests. I've only communicated with about 5 different comunes. But those five were never responsive to email, sometimes responsive to fax, and if that failed were generally responsive to regular mail.

A researcher's best bet still is likely to be through regular old snail mail, but if you get a response through a fax like i did, it sure cuts down on your waiting time.

I'd be interested to hear other people experiences in communicating with comunes.

Adam

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Re: Easily contact Italian comunes with International Fax on

Postby PeterTimber » 21 Feb 2009, 22:50

over the past many years snailmailems to have been the choice way to go but certain locations seem to be more responsive to e-mails but my experience with Fax are limited. When You send an e-mail no is anticipating its arrrival and same for Faxes it is onywhen someone is expecting a fax does nit become the way to go!!. Thanks for the chat old chum!! =Peter=
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Re: Easily contact Italian comunes with International Fax on

Postby nuccia » 22 Feb 2009, 03:38

Well I have tried all three methods and personally, snail mail is definitely best. Some comuni accepted the emails the first time and then never again, but were responsive to faxes (although Riccardo generally had to follow up with those too). Snail mail so far has been best, but then again, long wait times lately and Riccardo has called for me yet again.

As for the skype fax process..it ate my credits and the fax NEVER went through. I was quite disappointed. Then again, it could be my configuration although I tried everything possible to fix it. I won't be using it again. I do have a fax machine though and once I hook that up upstairs I may try it instead.
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Extractions of various Comuni in Reggio

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Re: Easily contact Italian comunes with International Fax on

Postby adamf » 22 Feb 2009, 03:53

Sorry you've had issues Nuccia. I'm not sure what could be the problem. I have sent probably 15 total faxes through skype. The ones that did not go through did not deduct credit.

I suppose its one of those use at your own risk options. It has worked for me, but perhaps its best for each to try it out themselves. We all have decided to devote time to this hobby, but its a shame to waste money.

Adam

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Re: Easily contact Italian comunes with International Fax on

Postby Italysearcher » 22 Feb 2009, 13:32

Where I live the 'anagrafe' has one computer between 3 clerks and I doubt it has internet access. Internet access for many towns is seen as a temptation to waste time. The Mayor often has email but to print it out and send it through the 'protocol' is often too much trouble for a busy Mayor who probably has another job in some of these small towns. I can see it working in the bigger cities but for the small towns I recommend snail mail.
Ann Tatangelo
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ANNOYING THE SAINTS - Stories of my Life in Italy. http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-b ... ly/7731505


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