Top critical review
Lousy help from Fujitsu, but thank heavens for Amazon!; rating for service only
January 25, 2018
Buyers beware: don’t expect help from Fujitsu customer support. (Note: My rating is regarding service, not the iX500 itself, averaging Fujitsu and Amazon service, combined. Buyers should know what they are getting themselves into!) If I could rate Fujitsu customer service on a 1 to 5 scale, I would give them a zero. However, on that same scale, I would rate Amazon with a 6. Unbelievably, Fujitsu included outdated software licensing key (for Nuance PDF converter 5.0 instead of 6.0). This issue may be limited to Mac users, but I am not sure—I do not know what version of Nuance for Windows is available. It took a LONG time to find how to contact Fujitsu support and much longer (6 days) to get a reply about whether they would provide a current version of software included in the ScanSnap iX500 bundle. I tried reaching them by phone and email. Typically the first response was that it wasn’t something the person or company could do, and the next was that it was a different department, or even subsidiary company that handled the matter. So, I had to spend more time getting nowhere. Fujitsu’s final answer?: “No”! Amazon was able to handle the same request in minutes: “The answer was “Yes”! Admittedly, I had done research and got a reduced price offer from Nuance before contacting Amazon. Nonetheless, Amazon staff immediately recognized the problem and responded appropriately. By the way: one of the CDs that was to be included with the scanner was omitted. The company reply to that was that they no longer had a relationship with Adobe (!). That apparently absolved them from doing anything about it.
I have been a loyal Amazon customer for years. In the extremely rare event that I have needed assistance from Amazon, I have never been disappointed. Their staff take the time to provide needed information and to resolve issues. This one tops the heap with a cherry on top. I had resigned myself to needing to return the scanner. As I had researched scanners and thought this would be best for my needs, that was quite disappointing, to say the least.
I think I must be crazy to keep a Fujitsu product under the circumstances, but I did not want to go through all the research required to find another scanner.
Now: for the scanner itself: It scans quickly, and handles printed documents with ease. OCR is fine for printed matter, but not for anything hand written, as might be expected. The quality of OCR drops off for receipts, particularly if faded at all. It did not read the total cost on receipts if the price was white letters on a black background, and left garble instead (wrong). Luckily, it is possible to edit and correct the garbled entry. I have not tested all the software at this point, but can say this much so far: The ScanSnap software does not do well regarding any sorting, beyond separating documents from receipts, for example. It arbitrarily enters a title for what was scanned, which is unlikely to be useful in most cases -unless you ONLY care about when you scanned something, and not what is in it. It becomes labor intensive to need to change the title of the document. As for retrieving a document, one needs to go through another step, to import to Nuance PDF converter. All of this makes scanning inefficient, at best, if one is trying to scan receipts for tax purposes, for example. However: It is possible to scan directly into NEAT software. That software does not do as good a job at OCR recognition and often gets data wrong, again requiring ands on to make corrections. (It is much improved if one scans the doc, then imports to Nuance, then imports to NEAT from Nuance scanned docs. Whew! Who wants to do that. Why not just buy a NEAT scanner to start with?? Well, I had one, and am junking it (to be replaced by the ScanSnap): NEAT said it no longer supported my scanner and/or software. There were so many glitches that the scanner often would not scan, or one needed to go though repetitive steps like opening the software, putting in a document to be scanned, close the software and reopen it, and then, maybe, just maybe, it would scan. If I wanted to pay a hefty monthly fee, then perhaps they would help. I found the monthly fees prohibitive. Time to replace.
As I say, I have not evaluated all of the software options available for the ScanSnap iX500, and hopefully will come up with something more effective than I’ve found. I’ll update if I do find something better.