Allow option to scan only a few pages of large envelope contents (Flex Scan)

Tracy Bahm shared this idea 3 months ago
COMPLETED

Sometimes I receive large envelopes, and I'm not sure how important the documents are or whether I want to have it forwarded to me. I would like to see the first page or two of the contents so I can decide what to do.

Comments (11)

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11

Hi Tracy,

The problem with this is we scan for free as long as you stay within your limits and it could become very costly if we have to touch items multiple times. This is why we put in that page scans don't count towards your limits when you use quickscan and that is why we added rollover scans as well.

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Hi Travis,

I want to 2nd the request to be able to only scan the first 2 pages of a mail piece. I understand your position that it would cost you time if we then ask you to go back and scan the whole thing later on, so maybe there would be a charge to us if we asked you to do so (like maybe you'd re-scan the entire thing if we asked you to go back, and thus we'd get charged for those 2 pages again).


I consistently get mail from my insurance company that is 10 pages long. The first 2 pages contain what's important, and the other 8 pages are in other languages. I of course hate burning up my page count on 8 wasted pages.


Other than this, love your service!!!


Dean

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10

Dean,


You described what I think it a perfect solution to the exact problem I have been having. I do not need all the legal-ease papers that are included in most insurance and atock-related paperwork.


I just need the first couple of pages that have my name on it so that I can figure out whether I want to have the item forwarded to me or shredded.


Most of the time, I don’t need 30 pages of cookie-cutter printout scanned.


I agree that I’d be willing to get “re-charged” page scans if I decide to have more of the mail item scanned.


Hope Traveling Mailbox can figure out something.


-Tracy

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11

Hi Tracy,

What would be the problem with us going ahead and scan everything and presenting it to you ... Then you simply input how many of the pages you want to count towards your limit?

This will keep us from having to go back and rescan a second time to scan further pages if we have to.

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Hi Travis,

Your solution sounds good if I don’t have to pay for the extra pages. I just hate that you guys could/would be scanning useless documents. But I hate even more that I avoid opening large envelopes because I’m scared it will waste a ton of my page scans.

I look forward to having some reasonable solution.

Thank you,

Tracy

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11

Hi Tracy,

Our scanners are high speed and its no problem to scan everything. What we don't want is to have to deal with going and pulling items again and again and having to rescan potentially. It increases our workload and it increases the chances an item could be misplaced. Our data tells us the more we touch things, the higher this risk goes up.

We get thousands and thousands of envelopes every day and we have bins and bins of mail so it can be very time consuming to go and retrieve items. I realize most customers don't understand the setup or understand our point on the operations side but our goal is to touch the mail as little as possible.

So I would rather present you with the scans and you decide what should count towards your limit. Personally, I don't care if you select 1 page even if you need more because you are paying for the scan and that is more than we get now :p

Hope this helps!

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8

Perhaps a good middle ground is some way of estimating how much is in the envelope?


I paid the fee and got a measly 2 pages of junk mail scanned, which was not a great experience. When I asked about how to view the weight (which is my best guess of how page count could be estimated) I was told I had to contact support each time.

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Hi Andrew,

There really is no way for us to reliably weigh each item and pass that information a long. All we can really do is scan it. We do provide an estimate on oversized items but it can be off.

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Hi Dean,

Thanks for writing in! We would definitely have to charge somehow for this service. We put in the feature with QuickScans where page scans do not count and the charge for that is $5. So perhaps a $2-3 dollar charge for any items that we have to go back and rescan?

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That works for me! A "scan first 2 pages" option would save my quota from useless pages (almost every mailpiece larger than 2 pages contains 100% of what I need on pages 1-2), and then if it's important based on my view of the first 2 pages, I'd be happy to pay extra for rescan or forward of the entire mailpiece. This is especially important for documents that appear small from the envelope view but then wind up being surprisingly huge.

If your concern is double-touch of the same physical piece, perhaps the solution is to scan and store the entire mailpiece, but only present to me pages 1-2, and thus only count 2 against my quota, but then if I request the full document for an extra charge, you already have it digitally scanned and do not need to touch it a second time but you can incrementally bill me instantly and automatically.

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Hi Tim!

Yes this is our plan. If you request this scan, we will present all of the pages to you but you will have told us prior how many pages you wanted so that will only count towards your limit. We will still present everything so we don't have to pick the item back up again to scan in more pages if needed.

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12

Hey Dean,

Just had a thought. What if we add an option called Flex Scan ... We charge say $2-3 to scan the item, we scan all of the pages, and then you tell us how many pages you want to count towards your limit?

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Hi Travis,


Thanks for considering this and trying to find a way that would make it work.


If I understand QuickScans correctly, that's us asking you to rush the scanning process; you've already got it set up to "not" count against page count it sounds like, but to me, it would have been fine if it did count against them because what we're paying you extra for is your effort to rush the service...the scanning process still costs you the same amount of time.


On doing a partial scan, in an example like I gave where I want 2 pages of 10 scanned, and then the other 8 pages scanned later, paying $2 for that would be exactly the same as me paying $0.25/page for the extra 8 pages to start with; i.e., if it's going to cost me the same as having the whole thing scanned, then I may as well just have the whole thing scanned to start with like you allow now.


I really thought what I suggested was the most fair based on your effort involved: as things are today, if I were to ask you to scan a 2-page piece of mail, you'd do that now (under current pricing model) in exchange for 2 page counts (or $0.25/page if I had exceeded my allowed page count). If I were to ask you to scan another (different) 10-page piece of mail, you'd do that now for 10 page counts (or $0.25/page if I had exceeded my page count). I don't see how it is any different effort on your part if I ask you to scan 2 pages of a mail piece, and then all 10 pages of that mail piece sometime later, vs scanning 2 of 1 mail piece today, and 10 of another (different) mail piece tomorrow. So it seems to me they should cost me the same either way.


So if you wanted to call the new option FlexScan (or PartialScan), it seems that selecting FlexScan should simply prompt us for how many pages we want scanned, and they would count against our page count. (And our only 2 options would be to scan the first n number of pages, or scan the whole thing.)


What am I missing on how the effort would be different than what I'm describing?


Regards,

Dean

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11

Hi Dean,

It would be difficult to bill in small increments as such as that and the goal would be for us not to process the items a second time.

So my goal would be to present all the pages to the customer and let the customer (in good faith) decide how many pages should count towards his/her total scanned items. In addition, if an item was 10 pages, and you only need 2 page scanned, we would still provide you with all 10 pages scanned but only 2 would count towards your limit.

Furthermore, I wouldn't think as a customer you would be able to tell us to scan the first 2 pages because it is likely we would need to go back and scan more in some cases. So my method just presents all of the scans, and you decide how many you need to keep and those count towards your limit. For a bit more, you can do the QuickScan and get no pages counted towards your limit.

We really don't want to get in the business of counting pages as it can be cumbersome and time consuming and then it would be difficult for us to take away the pages that you did not want from the PDF.

Let me know what you think Dean!

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Hi Travis,


It still makes no sense to me what the difference is between asking you to take a piece of mail and scan 2 pages today, and then take another (different) piece of mail and scan 10 pages tomorrow, versus asking you to take the very same piece of mail and scan 2 pages one day, and then 10 pages of it the next day. In both cases, you touch 2 pieces of mail (just happens to be the same envelope in 1 case that's already opened), you scan 12 pages, and you charge me 12 page counts (or an extra fee if I've gone over my page count allocation for month).


You didn't make any attempt to answer me asking that when I asked it above (how the effort is any different), so there's not much use in going back and forth; I've given you my input, and you can do with it what you will.


Best,

Dean

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By the way, I definitely don't think it's fair to you to scan and present me with all 10 pages, and then have me decide that I only want to pay for 2 of them after I've already seen all 10 pages.

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Hi Dean,

Under the method that I have proposed, we will not touch the same item twice. You will request a Partial Scan / Flex Scan and we will charge you for that. We will provide you with all of the pages and you can tell us how many pages you need and we will simply put those pages towards your scan counts and disregard the others.

If we only scan the first two pages of an envelope, you may want more, then we have to go pull the envelope again and scan it again. We don't even do this now. We certainly wouldn't do it with this feature added.

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Hi Dean,

Everything seems perfectly fair to me.

1) We give the customer the ability to only have a few pages counted towards their limit.

2) We only touch the item one time.

3) There is a small fee associated with this.


So on my end ... it seems like a win win for both parties.

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Update: This Idea has been accepted by our Team and we will begin implementation soon.

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Hello everyone!

This feature is now in the works and I expect it to be released within a week or so.

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This feature has been published to your Traveling Mailbox! Under the Request Action you will now see "Flex Scan". You can tell us how many pages you want to count towards your limit for $2.50. Note: All pages will be presented so we do not have to perform any rescan requests.

Please let us know if you have any questions!

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Thanks for your swift action to implement this. While I appreciate the effort, the implemented solution does not quite seem to match the request. Most of the time, I do not know how many pages an envelope contains, and therefore do not know whether to use Flex Scan ahead of time. And so I may pay an extra $2.50 to scan the first two pages of a document that only has 1 page. Or alternatively not choose to use this option on a piece that I believe is small, only to be presented with 15 useless pages.

What I would like to propose instead is that you offer the Flex Scan option free of charge so that I may choose this option without risk. In the case of large mail pieces, you scan all pages so you only touch the piece once, but only present to me the number of pages I choose, and then if I decide to see the rest of the pages, I pay to reveal them or forward the whole mail piece.

Thanks for this awesome service.

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Hi Tim,


We have implemented this solution the best way we know how. There is no way to provide this for free because we already provide free scans and this tasks requires extra work on our part. So either way we would have to charge for it. This option works the smoothest for us and really does accomplish the request. I realize in some cases there may not be a lot of pages in an item, but it doesn't really matter, there would be a charge for it either way.

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i appreciate your reply... As implemented this is a feature I will never use and does not match the original nor subsequent requests. Its a gamble as to cost effectiveness... I may pay extra to scan a piece with a single page while I choose not to pay the fee on a piece that turns out to have 15 pages of junk.

That said I do appreciate this service and your willingness to work with your customers on mutually beneficial solutions.

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OK, so customers only want to pay for a certain number of pages and TravelingMailbox only wants to scan a letter one time. If the cost to scan one page vs 10 pages is very similar as per Travis' quote, then the solution is simple:

Scan all the pages and tell the customer exactly how many pages were scanned. Then use a Page Scan credit for every page the customer actually views. If the customer only views 2 pages, you deduct two Page Scan credits. If the customer wants to download a PDF to view the letter, then get them to select the number of pages they want to be included in the PDF - If they select 2 pages, from a 10 page scan, only charge them 2 credits.

This is much better than the flex scan system, as Flex Scan feels a lot like gambling - you were betting there is more than 10 pages to make it cost effective.