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      October 24, 2020

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Earth Class Mail vs Mailbox Forwarding

Best Mail Scanning Services

To help you find the Best Mail Scanning Services, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Earth Class Mail and Mailbox Forwarding.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Mail Scanning Services, please Click Here

Where can you find the best mail scanning services? If you're one of the millions of Americans who travel frequently for work or pleasure, living as an expat in far-flung locations, or just needing a virtual mailing address for other purposes, you'll need a service that can handle a variety of tasks.

Today there are a wide range of companies offering to relieve you of the burdensome task of having your mail chase you around the country - or the world - by providing not only a physical address where your bills, letters, and other important paperwork can be delivered, but also the processing that lets you know when you've got mail. The best mail scanning services not only scan the outer envelope but also its contents - though some providers include it as part of your monthly fee, while others require you to pay as you go.

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Best Reviews

2020

Mail Scanning Reviews

3 stars
Earth Class Mail

EARTH CLASS MAIL

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Cost:

$69/month for a virtual address

$129/month for mail automation (plus $50/month for scanned mail content)

$179/month for mail & check automation (plus $50/month for scanned mail content)

Customized plans available

If you're looking for a Mail Scanning service with a long history in the industry, you may be considering Earth Class Mail. Since their start in 2008, the company has processed more than 10 million pieces of mail! Their reputation is solid, with an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau and very few complaints from customers on the BBB site. However, our research led us to believe that the company may have gone through a bankruptcy and ownership change over the last few years, so let's take a look at what your experience with ECM might be now.

In your face

First, be prepared to get a LOT of pop-ups when browsing the Earth Class Mail site. While we're generally big fans of live chat help, and we're happy to help a company understand our shopping decisions, the three pop-ups we got in the first three minutes of our most recent visit were a little much. But, at least you know that Earth Class Mail stands at the ready if you have even the smallest question, and they definitely want to know what it takes to earn your business.

Mail scanning services

No matter which plan you choose, here are the services you can expect from Earth Class Mail:

  • Unlimited Cloud Storage
  • Unlimited Secure & On-Site Shredding
  • Unlimited Users/Administrators
  • Rule-based Mail Automation Options
  • Encrypted Data Protection - Transfer + Storage
  • Cloud Service Integration Options
  • Secure Online Account Access
  • Complimentary Notarized Online Activation

Both small and large customers

If you have zero clue about what some of those are, don't worry! This company also services large businesses who want help in managing their mail, so some of the features mentioned above would primarily apply to those companies. As an individual consumer, you don't need to be concerned with HIPAA compliance or industry-specific regulations (law firms, medical offices, and so on).

Cancellation fee

You should also be aware that Earth Class Mail has a $50 cancellation fee on every plan. That might seem stingy until you consider that the company will still have to handle physical mail and paper during your cancellation period - which could take up to 6 months to complete.

Focus on business

As for plans for individual customers, Earth Class Mail still offers plans for Mail Scanning - but you'll notice on the site that the focus is definitely on business customers. In fact, when we tried to find pricing for individuals, we quickly got lost. We found three tiers of pricing, but they were so much more expensive than our last review that we weren't sure we even had the right information:

  • Virtual Address: $69/month already sounds pretty steep. But add in the $15/month for scanning incoming mail envelopes, and another $10/month for opening and scanning mail content, and you're already at almost $100/month.
  • Mail Automation: at the $129/month level, you'll get unlimited scans of incoming mail and up to 3 recipients who can get mail at your designated address. You'll still have to pay $50/month for scanning any mail content.
  • Mail + Check Automation: this package probably wouldn't apply to individual customers, but if you need check handling as part of your mail scanning package, you can get up to 30 deposited each month. This service level costs $179/month - and yes, you guessed correctly if you thought you'd still be paying $50/month extra for scanning your mail's content.

Friendly chat

So, we took advantage of that handy chat feature we mentioned earlier, to find out what services were available for people, not just businesses. The very friendly agent who responded agreed that the pricing details on the site were confusing, and that if we could set an appointment with an account specialist to see if Earth Class Mail could come up with a customized plan to meet our needs - and our budget.

Why so expensive?

When we connected with the rep from ECM, he explained that yes, we would need to sign up for the $69/month plan. It included 10 pieces of scanned mail content each month and unlimited shredding of junk mail, and an 8% discount was available if we signed a year-long contract. The rep also acknowledged that their services are more expensive than their competitors', saying it was due to the extra security protocols (like HIPAA compliance and all employees doing the scanning being under non-disclosure agreements). He also said that ECM's technology is a big plus, with all scans being fully text-searchable, and their platform having full integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, and so on.

Customer complaints

However, while we were waiting for a response from the account rep, we took a look at what people were saying about Earth Class Mail on other sites. What we found was disappointing to say the least: numerous people said that it was literally the worst customer service experience they'd ever had, with lost mail (including checks!), drastic price increases despite being promised a fixed lifetime rate, and many other complaints.

Disappointing

Unfortunately, all of this combines to drop Earth Class Mail much lower in our rankings than they were in our earlier review. If you're looking for affordable, reliable Mail Scanning services, you'll probably need to choose another provider.

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1 star
Mailbox Forwarding

MAILBOX FORWARDING

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Cost:

Plans range from $14.95 to $49.95 per month

Mail scanning included (15 to 150 pages per month, depending on plan)

At first, you might find Mailbox Forwarding attractive as a Mail Scanning service, based on their pricing alone. Unlike many of their competitors that charge per page, this company charges by the complete piece of mail and even includes a certain number of scans per package.

3 mail scan packages

Their packages are also reasonably priced:

  • Basic: $14.95/month. You'll get up to 50 envelope scans and 15 complete mail pieces scanned, unlimited shredding and recycling, and unlimited recipients and names.
  • Professional: $24.95/month. You'll still get the same unlimited benefits in the Basic plan, but your mail scanning goes up to 50 per month and you can receive an unlimited number of envelope scans.
  • Premium: $49.95/month. If you expect needing a high volume of Mail Scanning done each month, this plan gives you 150 at no extra cost, along with the other benefits in the lower-tier packages.

Less than professional

But don't be taken in by these low prices and seemingly customer-friendly approach to Mail Scanning. Notice how the site looks extremely outdated and less-than-professional, compared with rival services? That should be your first clue that this might not be a great choice for your mail scanning and forwarding needs.

No phone number or physical address

Your second indicator is the fact that the only way to contact the business is through an online form: no live chat, no toll-free number, not even a physical address where you can reach them. Do you really want to have your mail processed somewhere that you can't reach by phone if there's a question or an important letter gone missing?

Failing grade

The nail in the proverbial coffin is Mailbox Forwarding's reputation with the Better Business Bureau. Because of the company's failure to respond to complaints ranging from billing errors to mistakes with processing mail, the BBB gave them an "F" grade. You literally can't get any worse than that.

Run away, don't walk

Fortunately, there are many top-notch companies offering Mail Scanning and Forwarding services you can rely on - this just isn't one of them. For all of the obvious reasons, this is our lowest-ranked provider of Mail Scanning.

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Continued from above

Typically, mail scanning services give you an online dashboard and/or mobile app, so that you can review the PDF images of your incoming mail and then quickly and easily determine what should be done with each piece: recycle, save, or forward to your current location.

In order to authorize the Mail Scanning Service, you select to receive your mail, you will probably have to fill out USPS Form 1583. Keep in mind that it will need to be notarized - and your preferred service may even offer an easy way to do that remotely! Once that form has been taken care of, your service will begin.

However, with so many services out there that all want your business, especially with something that tends to be a long-term need, how can you decide which one is the best for your needs? Because it can be a hassle to set up your initial service, and even more so to change to a new Mail Scanning Service if you don't like the first one, here are several criteria to keep in mind - so that your first choice is your best choice:

  • Range of Services. What does the Mail Scanning Service offer? There are lots of possibilities, from check depositing to document notarization. Does the company have what you anticipate needing in the future?
  • Quality of Addresses. If you need something that comes up as a street address but the service only offers box number-style addresses, you'll have to look elsewhere. Also, some providers have addresses that come up as a private residence or a third-party business! Not all Mail Scanning services are alike!
  • Pricing. What will you spend per month for the services you need? Is scanning included as part of your monthly fees, or will you have to pay for each letter/page you need scanned? Will you have to commit to a certain length of time for the service to get the best prices?
  • Reputation. What do actual customers say about their experience with using the Mail Scanning service? Has the company been rated by the Better Business Bureau? Can you expect reliable, honest service from the company that will be responsible for your most sensitive documents?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Mail Scanning services available today. We hope this information helps you determine which provider will give you the best value for your money, as well as save you considerable time and hassle by taking care of your mail!

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