Opinion: Comparing and contrasting (mostly contrasting) Southtree® and Legacybox® withScanMyPhotos.com®
Let’s start here to set the scene:
Are you familiar with any business that reports (without including the methodology) having “at or above 97% customer satisfaction rate?” We aren’t. Yet this Businesswire news release claims that to be the case at Legacybox. How about when the same company posts comparative reviews for two of their same services, but with different names. Posting “reviews” without a disclaimer that they are one and the same parent company? The story: “KODAK VS. LEGACYBOX”
A personal narrative on Legacybox and Southtree’s business practices. This is tough to share as we celebrate all competition.
Before reading this report. An update. ScanMyPhotos.com professionally digitizes all your photos this fast.
While we have scanned six hundred million images, it is news stories like these that made us so popular, but no order is more precious or important than yours. We are here to help. For loads of photo tips, news updates, and crazy-discounted deals, sign up to receive free updates.
Before choosing a photo digitization service, and there are many smart options available, But, first read the reviews. Sure we all get an occasional one-star review and there is usually a backstory behind it.
What you are hearing and reading about Legacybox and Southtree is why we are sharing our opinion. Listen to their customers. This below narrative explains why to review every company before ordering.
You know you are in trouble when former customers share their stories with the competition. In the case of ScanMyPhotos, our order desk regularly hears stories from people who first went to Legacybox and its other brand Southtree [“AMB Media LLP“].
[12/19/18 UPDATE: The new Legacybox Sirius Radio advertisement we just heard proclaims that they are the “most trusted” photo scanning service. We beg to differ].
Character counts in relationships and when deciding whether to trust a business. It is often the intangibles, those signals you pick up that determine how credible a company is. When it comes to businesses, an easy monitor is to Google them. Type: “[business name] + complaints,” “[business name] + reviews,” “[business name] + BBB,” or “[business name] + Yelp.”
The best way to win over customers is by being honest. Work extra hard as a service provider and to excel with a higher level of service. Honesty is always the best policy, especially when supported by a guarantee of exceptional service! When you order from them, see if there is an added charge for digital media? When you buy gas for your car, should you pay extra to pump it, or ordering at a restaurant and forced to pay extra for it to be delivered to the table? We are reading more complaints that they charge extra to get your digitized content returned.
We compiled an ocean-sized list of reviews and even three consumer affairs TV news links from Massachusetts, Arizona, and California that were shared with us. Having pioneered bulk photo scanning, ScanMyPhotos had looked the other way when digital imaging vendors infrequently did things that hindered the important legacy of helping many preserve their pictures.
Beyond the complaints are these separate TV news consumer reports filed across the nation in three top markets concerning Southtree and Legacybox. Check for yourself, but here is a sampling of the worst of the worst NBC-10 Boston TV Consumer Report
Sitejabber Reviews*** Hey, funny to see nearly a dozen updated all five-star reviews posted within days of our report being published. #Ethics!
Better Business Bureau(r) *** Search Google for “Southtree+BBB” to view
Well, you get the picture. And it is not pretty. Why so many negative posts?
Competition is always embraced at ScanMyPhotos, as it raises the tide of awareness for digitizing pictures. With trillions of still-analog photos to scan, the market is bigger than any one company. But, when a company egregiously records a stream of complaints, it is time to stand up. And, standing up we are.
We actually embrace and recommend other specialty scanning services all the time for work that they excel at. In the case of Legacybox and Southtree, not so much.
Many may be aware of our decades of consumer and business advocacy campaigns, from litigating against the banks and credit card companies (leading to massive reforms to the runaway hidden costs of accepting credit cards and a $6.2 billion settlement), championing women and diversity issues, climate change, to supporting and occasionally challenging the photo imaging industry. Now, our sights are aimed at Legacybox with the hope this becomes a teachable moment to have them improve their game and improve the issues that are publicly shared by their customers.
This narrative explains why when comparing Legacybox and Southtree to ScanMyPhotos, ScanMyPhotos “gets the edge,” just as they penned on their “Analog: A Legacybox Blog” as they compared themselves to Costco, ScanCafe, FotoBridge, iMemories, and get this, even Southtree without identifying they are one and the same. One more. They even compared themselves to “Kodak Digitizing Box” which is all part of the same company.
Charging about $1.10 to digitize a single photo ($11,000 for 10,000 photos is …. well, you fill in the word. Why pay $1.10 each and wait “6-8 weeks? And that may be without including the final digital media. Just the scanning. Want DVD’s with that? The price is an added $79.99.
Then there was this from Tech Crunch as they tried to rebrand again. “The corpse of Kodak coughs up another odd partnership.”
There are even tools for identifying real versus fake review posts, like ReviewMeta and FakeSpot. Click on each to see what we saw. While we are not drawing any conclusions, and can’t verify this content, the data raises questions from the company’s Amazon Marketplace reviews.
[Editors note. This content first appeared in Digital Imaging Reporter]
The entire photo imaging industry has been through a typhoon-like ordeal as film transitioned to digital. Creativity and reinvention revitalized the photography industry and spared many. Every photographer and everyone with decades of still-analog snapshots understands the effects of today’s all-digital world.
It is not just the metaphoric technological storm that threatened the business of pictures but real ones too. Billions of photographs are lost to wildfires and hurricanes. Just the storm surges from North Carolina’s Hurricane Florence damaged 150,000 homes. With the average accumulation of 5,500 still-analog photographs per household, that represents nearly one billion irreplaceable photographs destroyed–lost forever. If only everyone planned ahead.
In today’s all-digital world, the “Three-P’s” adage (people, pets and pictures) has been partly mitigated. Nobody should ever rush back into a home threatened by a natural disaster to rescue their photo albums if those nostalgic memories are backed up, uploaded and secured off-site.
The race to digitize is on: Yet, along the way there were missteps. Navigating the learning curve has been a long road with many obstacles. The good news is the business of photography boasts so many new players, products and services. Just look at each January in Las Vegas. CES – The Global Stage for Innovation bustles with beyond imaginative new ways to celebrate photography. Thanks also to online photo-sharing sites and social media platforms, the luster of the golden-age of pictures had never sparkled brighter.
Throughout the transition, competition has not just been robust but inspirational. In the case of photo digitization–where there are trillions of still-analog photographs to scan–the market is vast, healthy and thriving. While competition helps raise the tide of awareness for scanning pictures, it can also have a dark side.
For nearly three decades, as a leader in and a student of the photo imaging industry, I have seen it all. Of grave concern is a new storm cloud on the horizon. The biggest threat since film transitioned to digital just happened and eclipses anything I have experienced before.
The problem: When a company may need to re-brand to conceal their negative reviews it affects many. “Credibility is like virginity, you lose it but once” was the first lesson learned on day one as a student at the University of Southern California’s School of Business and Entrepreneur Program. This TechCrunch article dives into the credibility factor with “The corpse of Kodak coughs up another odd partnership.”
An important message: Always apply due diligence before trusting anyone to digitize your irreplaceable photos. Research before sending pictures to be digitized.
To paraphrase the political advice “when they go low…,” I urge you to respond by researching each company first. For businesses, study your core competency. What is your “sizzle?” How are you innovating and creating a game-changing experience?
Everyone has a unique selling proposition: At ScanMyPhotos.com it was always speedy-fast professional scanning. That was what sparked David Pogue’s “Your Photos, Off the Shelf at Last” review on ScanMyPhotos.com. The popular technology writer and TV science presenter put photo scanning on the map. With each subsequent news profile, more people were inspired to preserve their nostalgic photo memories.
When they go low, ScanMyPhotos.com fights back with innovations. In a world where everything is instant, it was a natural progression to follow our core competency and the trend towards super-fast service. That is why ScanMyPhotos.com just launched same-day photo scanning with instant uploading.
Epilogue: With many trusted photo digitization services available, why send your pictures to a scanning service that may take months to complete? Use a smartphone app? Spend hundreds of dollars on a DIY scanner before your first picture is digitized? Or as was reported by ABC, NBC, and CBS’s investigative consumer reporters, and posted on top review sites, risk never getting your pictures back?
No wonder that photo scanning company may be seeking to re-brand yet again. It reminds me of the scene from the film “Casino,” where Robert De Niro’s character could not get a casino license so he kept changing his title to buy time and distract that it was the same guy applying each time.
From The Weather Channel to Accuweather This Week in Photo and CNET profiles you see why people are desperate to preserve their pictures–before a hurricane or natural disaster strikes. Yet they should not face similar losses by unsuspectingly trusting a service having a deep history of complaints to help them preserve their irreplaceable memories.
So, how does ScanMyPhotos stack up? We added below links to several more recent reviews and news profiles:
[Credit: KTLA-TV News]
[Credit: The Los Angeles Times]
Editors Note: Product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Reported by Mitch Goldstone, President & CEO, ScanMyPhotos.com
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