Research Before Starting Your Photo Preservation Project
It’s a nightmare scenario: you finally decide to save time and money by packing up and shipping your precious print photos to a scanning service to digitize but the photos disappear in transit.
“In the process of scanning all my photos, I decided to try another photo scanning company. I live in Prescott and they’re in Phoenix (less than 100 miles away). I boxed up an order and sent it to the company, but three months later, I found myself at the point of filing a theft report. I called the company several times for updates but my calls and emails went answered. It was as if the company fell off the face of the planet and took all my photos with them! Then, months later, I opened my front door and the box of photos was back—it looked the same as when I sent it with no further information provided.”
Irene shared this story with us after the positive experience she had at ScanMyPhotos. She was exceedingly lucky to get those photos back.
Because we have our finger tightly on the pulse of photo scanning news, we, unfortunately, hear similar stories that happen to unsuspecting customers. Our customer service specialists are engulfed daily with stories of companies charging a hidden $15 reoccurring monthly fee to store your pictures — with weighty, hidden obstacles to make opting-in and out a punishingly arduous chore for unsuspecting customers. And, taking weeks or months, rather than days to complete your photo scanning order. Gasp!
To make sure this nightmare situation never happens to you, we encourage you to take the following into account.
Ask for recommendations
Word-of-mouth recommendations are vital to the livelihood of a business. When one person has a fantastic experience, they usually can’t wait to share it. One of our recent customers actually found out about us at a cocktail party!
So don’t be shy to ask friends, family, and even acquaintances what they did to preserve their precious print photos. And once you get some good leads, make sure you follow them up.
Research, research, research
This is your #1 priority to ensure your precious memories are in capable hands. You’ll need to ask around and hit the Internet to find out everything you can before choosing a reliable photo scanning company for your project. Here are a few things to consider while conducting your research:
- Contact the company
Anyone can put up a flashy website and look like a total rock star these days. And while a company may seem to talk the talk, it’s up to you to discover if they can walk the walk. In order to find out how responsive a scanning company really is reach outcall, email, use the live chat (if available), etc.—before you decide to do business with them. Pay careful attention to how and when they respond. Some red flags to note would be: not getting straight answers, emails that go several days without a response, or phone calls with exceedingly long hold times.
- Find out how long the company has been in business
Usually, the longer the company has been around the block, the better. We’ve been scanning photos for 27 years and have the experience needed to get the job done well. Unfortunately, it’s recently come to our attention that some other scanning companies have needed to re-brand themselves with new names because of their customers’ bad reputation. With some digging, you should be able to find out who these companies are by discovering how long they’ve been around. Get as much info on the backstory as possible!
- Read the reviews both internal and external
Most companies should have customer reviews right on the website. In fact, on the ScanMyPhotos website we regularly post our latest customer testimonials and we share the amazing stories we hear from customers in our . The more positive reviews and testimonials a company has, the better. It’s all about influence. Spoiler alert: paying a blogger to write a glowing review is vastly different from being in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, TechCrunch, and more.
- But don’t stop at what the company is saying on their own website—take a look at what customers are saying on third-party sites. Yelp, Google, and Facebook will often provide customer reviews of the company. We also find that many major magazines, news sources, and expert bloggers will often review several scanning services for new articles—read everything you can to make the best choice! The juiciest stuff on Yelp and the “real” experiences are often at the bottom, nearly hidden, but you can find it by clicking on “other reviews that are not currently recommended.” Many are duzzies.
If you ever have any questions about the photo or video scanning process, feel free to contact us by phone, email, live chat, or even stop by a say hello in person (if you happen to be in Irvine, CA area!). We’re more than happy to answer your questions so you can have some peace of mind before deciding to digitize your precious memories.