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      October 24, 2020

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Traveling Mailbox vs Earth Class Mail

Best Mail Scanning Services

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

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

3.5 stars
Traveling Mailbox

TRAVELING MAILBOX

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Cost:

Plans range from $15 to $55 per month

Some mail scanning included in each plan

No contract required

Enterprise plans available for businesses

Serving thousands of customers throughout the United States - and nearly 50 other countries! - since 2011, Traveling Mailbox offers Mail Scanning and Forwarding services that won't break the bank. In the last 8+ years, the company has scanned nearly 3 million envelopes, nearly 5 million documents, and shredded more than 25 tons of mail.

3 mail scanning plans

Traveling Mailbox has three main plans, plus several enterprise-level packages. Since most customers will be looking for the services offered in the primary tiers of service, we'll focus on those:

  • Basic ($15/month): this plan includes 40 incoming envelopes and 35 page scans per month, free mail shredding, junk mail filtering, unlimited cloud storage of your scans, and the ability to change plans at any time with no long-term contracts. You can have up to 3 recipients on this plan (spouse, kids, business, etc.).
  • Extended ($25/month): if you expect a higher incoming volume of mail, this plan is your best value. You'll get 100 incoming envelopes and 80 page scans, and if you don't use all of your scans in a particular month, they'll roll over (just like some mobile phone plans have offered). You also get up to 5 recipients included.
  • Small Business ($55/month): if you have a very large household or need mail scanning for your company, this plan gives you up to 10 mailbox recipients, 200 incoming envelopes and 180 page scans each month. Those scans also roll over as in the Extended plan.

Extra scan pricing

On all three plans, you can opt to pay for extra scans if needed, at a rate of $0.50 per page. And, if you get more mail than your plan covers, you'll pay $0.25 for each additional envelope.

2-month-free discount

While all plans are month-to-month with no contracts, Traveling Mailbox does offer a 2-months-free discount if you pay for a full year in advance.

Mail forwarding

If you need to have your physical mail forwarded to you, expect a flat fee of $2 per shipment, plus any applicable postage. You can have it sent to you on demand, or schedule it at the intervals you prefer.

As with most Mail Scanning services, you'll need to provide a USPS Form 1583 to authorize Traveling Mailbox to receive your mail. Your account can't be activated until they've received this notarized form from you.

Potential delays

One of the bigger drawbacks we found with using Traveling Mailbox is that all mail is routed from the physical address you select to their processing center in North Carolina, then scanned and/or forwarded to you. That adds extra time to the procedure, and some customers have said that the wait is much longer than they'd expect.

3rd party forwarding

You should also know that the physical address you choose may go to a third party for forwarding company. For example, looking at the list of possible choices on the Addresses page at the time of our review, we found that one of them was for a private residence and another was for a UPS Store - and yes, some customer reviews mentioned that connection and wondered if Traveling Mailbox just rents out space from places around the US.

Strong reputation

On the other hand, this company has a strong reputation with the BBB, both accredited and with an "A+" rating. There are also positive reviews from social media posts and other sources on both the BBB site and on Traveling Mailbox's page, which is a good sign. One perk of using this service is that you can reach a customer service rep via phone, live chat and email 7 days a week - while many of their competitors make it much more challenging to get help if you need it.

Good option

Ultimately, you'll have to decide for yourself if Traveling Mailbox's services are a good fit for your situation: how much do you care about having your mail rerouted before getting scanned to your dashboard, compared with the savings you'll get compared with other companies who might make you sign a long-term contract? Traveling Mailbox has a reasonably good track record for customer service, making them a good option for most Mail Scanning needs.

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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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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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