28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2011
I am writing this review to inform of my poor experience with the Neatworks desk scanner and with the Neat Company customer service and tech support departments. I sent this same review to the Neat Company today as a letter to their executive office. This poor experience resulted in my calling today to return the scanner and I will be looking into purchasing a Canon or Fujitsu scanner for my home office/ home business needs.
I purchased the scanner on 9/23/11 and received it within a week. I attempted to install it over the weekend on my laptop which has Windows Vista and I was unable to do so despite following the instructions provided. I attempted to look for help online at Neat support and did not find anything related to my problem. I attempted to call and realized there is no tech support available on weekends. I then attempted to install it on my desktop computer which has Windows XP and after 4-5 attempts to install (error messages kept coming up), I was able to install it and have it working. This process took 3 hours.
Both my fiancé and I sent numerous emails and made 4-5 calls to tech support at Neat to get help with installing the program. These phone calls and emails took over 2 hours of our time. On 10/24 my fiancé was told by a tech support supervisor that "my laptop had problems with downloading software and he was not able to troubleshoot the error messages that kept coming up during installation". My fiancé informed that my laptop was downloading other programs fine. In fact we installed a Logitech webcam and a Kodak picture printer on 10/23 without a problem and both were working. My fiancé asked the supervisor if Neat would reimburse for costs to take the computer into Geek Squad IF there indeed was nothing wrong with the computer. The supervisor stated this could not be done. I took the laptop to Geek Squad on 10/26 and the tech worked on it for 2 hours while I was there. He ensured that he downloaded the latest version of the software from your website, that it was the 32bit version for my computer and also that the anti-virus on my computer was off. Nothing worked, including attempting to change permissions and move program files. My laptop was found to be in perfect working order too. I went back on 10/27 and had another Geek Squad tech work on my computer for 1.5 hours while I was there. Nothing worked, and my laptop was found to be in perfect working order again. At this point I realized I had to return the scanner.
I would rate the Neat scanner as poor due to the following:
* Lack of tech support after 5pm or on weekends. This is the time people are home and will be working on installing the neat scanner.
* Difficulties installing the program on Windows XP. Very long process to install due to error messages and program glitches.
* Impossible to install on Windows Vista. Ongoing error messages and program glitches. Even with extensive tech support in person at Geek Squad, they were only able to get the scanner program working and not NeatWorks program.
* Poor customer service and tech support from Neat company. The customer service reps only extended my intro period by 7 days, despite my numerous emails and calls and their being aware that I had not been able to install or use the products in the 30 day period. Tech support did not know what they were doing. They insisted that my laptop had problems with downloading software and were not able to troubleshoot the error messages that kept coming up during installation. Geek squad had far superior tech support and they don't work with the Neat company. That's unacceptable to a consumer.
* A scanner in this price point ($400) should have superior tech support and customer service. It also should have software that is compatible with Windows XP and Vista and Mac and does not have installation problems and "glitches".
I sincerely hope that Neat company improves its' products and also establishes better customer support and tech support. Otherwise, I don't see this product competing with other better quality scanners that are in the same price point and those companies offer tech support 24/7.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2010
overall the product is sleek, functional, and useful.
unfortunately problems lie in company support and backing of product. having to spend the better half of day resolving installation issues the effective cost for us was $900+ (and i own/operate a tech support company!)
as will most hardware, the provided software is 50% of the equation. in this case the software is decent but leaves much to be desired.
- nice form factor.
- scans cleanly.
- lack of adjustable width feeder causes many items (biz cards) to scan crooked.
- small cards (moo mini's) dont feed well at all and either jam or come out looking like a CAPTCHA.
- OCR does a pretty good job, but requires a once-over before accepting to make sure it got everything right.
- occasional docs give it trouble and take forever to be processed (if at all).
- lacks ability to have presets for different itmes (biz cards/receipts), thus it requires some manual intervention, and makes the auto-detect feature useless.
- leaves a lot to be desired for customization. only changes within the software's framework can be modified. there's no way to add your own field. for instance, i wanted a simple field for biz cards labeled "Date met" but couldnt create it.
Neat Co the Company and support:
- i was initially delighted to find an 800 number easily listed within the software installer- but calling it just burned mobile minutes. dead-end menus and no voicemail to be found anywhere.
- license key on software was not accepted by installer. after calling and hunting i eventually found a link on their support site to resolve this... but it wasted considerable time.
- upgrade release to 2.8 rendered my device useless. caused driver malfunction and necessitated re-install.
product is promising, but company does little to back it and provide support.
if doing it again, i might consider the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 instead hoping a better known brand might have better support.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2010
Frequent Data Loss due to Crashes
False Advertising--No Live Support No Phone Support
If you actually do receive a response it is completely irrelevant to your issue
Actually had an executive tell me to just return the product without ever extending anything other than excuses
Do Not Recommend
This should go back to the drawing board clearly not operational on a MAC
No Quickbooks compatibility, marketed as a professional must have, falls far short!
System constantly crashes causes data loss, cannot remove Canadian tax fields, causing additional time inputting data. Advertised inside and outside the box Live support both online and phone--NEITHER IS AVAILABLE! Fail to address issues in a timely manner, offer no legitimate solutions. This was a waste of time and money. Actually received an email from executive telling me to just return the product. Clearly this product should not have reached the market it is far to buggy to actually work productively, maybe great for a soccer mom to keep track of personal bills, kids artwork and notes, nowhere near a professional user product. This product has far too many shortcomings for the professional user, it should go back to the drawing board and create software that actually works and is compatible with real accounting needs. Ashamed that this product comes from my home state.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2012
I rarely write reviews, but this unit does not do what it says it does, and I'd like to save another potential buyer from going through what I did. If all you want to do is scan and organize papers, I think that this unit would be FABULOUS once you get it installed and start using it (this is not a quick or easy task). However, IF YOUR GOAL IS TO EXPORT, I would not buy this unit. Since that is my purpose, I'm returning it.
I bought this with the intent of scanning charge receipts from my business and exporting them into Quickbooks. The box and information say that Neat will do this. I hate this task, and I thought the money would be well worth the time savings.
Installation: The box comes with version 4 of the software. However, version 5 is out, so you are directed to the internet to obtain it as prior problems have supposedly been fixed. Their website is slow, freezes, and often links you to a non-functioning page. After multiple tries, I was able to download the software. It directs you to disable any internet firewalls or anti-virus software. Seems easy, but Firefox didn't have a pull down menu for this. Had to go to help and finally found out how to do this. (The time required for this was my ignorance and not Neat's, however, the same might be true of others as well).
Usual policy to close all other programs during installation of a new program was followed. Finally ready to install, and it freezes and crashes my computer (Windows XP) and my wireless mouse multiple times. I had to endure many restarts of my computer (most had to be without proper shutdown and by using the on/off switch on my computer), and unplugging and plugging the USB connection to the computer for the wireless mouse. Three hours later, it finally installed.
Starting: I'm pretty intuitive and usually start using a program and exploring menus without a problem. However, menus are not intuitive until you read the directions. Again, this is more time invested. Once reading the directions, I have to admit it was no problem using the machine, but it was cumbersome. The first thing is that although the scanning is pretty quick, it takes a while for the software to convert the data into a viewable receipt. Perhaps the best thing is to scan in a bunch of receipts, then go do something else while it works and come back later. I wanted to see if it exported properly before I invested a lot of time scanning. If you do have to go away and do something else while it is processing the scans, it takes away from the time saving purpose of using Neat.
The next problem is each time you export a receipt, you have to drill down to tell Neat where you want it to export. This involves many clicks from My Computer, All users, shared documents, documents and settings, shared documents, Quickbooks, Company, etc. You can't set any or preferable locations. Then, you have to choose the account from Neat software to the account in QB's each time. Takes a lot of time. Batching the exports is definitely the way to go to make things efficient, but still not as much of a time saver as I thought it would be, especially when you have to keep selecting the accounts in QB's.
Practical use: This is where the Neat fails miserably. I have an account in Quickbooks where all the charge receipts go. They are listed with the vendor, date purchased, and the account that they go into e.g. office supplies, hardware, software, etc. When Neat exports them, the accounts are all listed as accounts payable and not the account that I selected. To get that information, you have to then go to accounts payable. Therefore it is an extra step to go to accounts payable to see the detail to make sure it was correct as well as to look at it for analysis on another occasion. Although that's not the way I record I QB's, I could live with that if it meant that I didn't have to enter all those receipts.
However, the final thing that killed the deal was that the exported items all come in with the date exported, and not the date of purchase. I tried several different things, checked online forums, help, but there wasn't anything about correcting this. There is no live help; help and customer service are only available by email. I got an email back that says they will get to me when they can. Given that, I went through all the menus, help info, and user forums. My conclusion was that there appears to be no fix for that. If I have to go into each receipt to fix the date, I might as well just enter them.
Conclusion: The problems using this to export to Quickbooks make is such that it just doesn't do the job. There are multiple steps to define the program to export to each time, define the account to go to each time, then go to accounts payable to view the details of the export, and then to change the date on the transaction. This kills the whole idea to create efficiency and save time.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2011
I need to scan a high volume of documents (200+ pages a week) for work, and a "friend" recommended this scanner. Since it was purchased for me through my office's procurement department, returning it and getting a different model could take weeks, so I'm stuck with it. Right out of the box it was trouble, and for high volume scanning it's a nightmare. I've tried the equipment and software on three different computers, and have the same problems with all of them.
I scan straight to PDF using the QuickScan mode since I don't want to use their software for organizing and backup. This lets me use my own folders to organize and easily back up to a flash drive. In theory, this should be easy, but it's not. I am scanning only 8 1/2 by 11 and 8 1/2 by 14 documents as PDFs, but I still have constant issues.
It freezes up CONSTANTLY. I'm lucky I can get through two or three scans without having to turn it off and turn it back on again. Sometimes that doesn't work, and sometimes it causes me to lose the items in the queue that have been scanned but not processed.
It scans quickly, but then takes forever to process and save each document.
The feed mechanism is focused on a central 1" wide or so wheel, that often causes the feed to go off center, pulling pages through on a diagonal and crumpling them. I have had originals destroyed by this machine, and once they're wrinkled, it's almost impossible to get them to rescan cleanly.
You can't permanently set scanning preferences. For example, there is a toggle button that switches between scanning things as a multi-page document or scanning single pages. I only scan multi-page documents. However, you have to change this button every time you restart the software (and you will- a lot- because it locks up). So when you inevitably forget to change the setting each time you start, you have to delete the muliple files it creates and rescan as a multiple document.
Even worse, you can't change things about how it scans- it will always be the same resolution, saved the same way. It's insane that a $400 scanner won't allow you to change the resolution.
It has an auto-rotate feature you can't turn off. Some of my documents are hand-written. Sometimes, in a multi-page document it will decide one or more pages are upside down (they aren't) and rotate just those pages, so I end up with a multi page pdf where some pages are rotated (some 90 degrees, some 180, some not at all) and some are not, with no way to correct this or turn off the feature.
It often mis-scans, leaving large black bars across the scan- if you don't catch this in the preview, you may not realize you saved the document with areas not scanned.
The paper support on the feeder is not tall enough to hold 8 1/2 by 14 documents, causing them to fall over and exacerbate a feed mechanism that is already prone to pulling in documents off-center. I taped a ruler to it, but it's not ideal.
Overall, this is a poorly designed machine, unreliable-buggy software, and just a nightmare for anyone trying to scan high volumes of documents. For $400, the quailty is just total crap in every way.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2011
I really wanted to like this scanner as well. The scanner scans but there is an annoying message that keeps popping up and saying "Program was unable to load the necessary component and it is going to terminate. Please reinstall your software". I did that three times and it has not worked. I have sent three emails into Neatco and have been told to resolve the issue that I need to go their website and look up the answer! There was no answer on the website. There was no 800# for customer service or support listed on their "Quick Start Guide" so I had to go online to look up the number. Then when I called, I was told that I had to go back to the website or PAY to get customer support.
As the consumer advocate Clark Howard says it is "Customer No Service". I resent that if I am told that I need support that I have to PAY for it. Save yourself the aggrivation.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2011
First the Scan and PDF buttons stopped working. No big deal, I will just select those options in the scan center. Then, I started getting a message every time I put in a piece of paper to scan: "Insert paper in the Neat ADF Scanner." Well, the paper was there. So, of course you take it out, put it back in, and repeat. Still the same error message. What a crock. I liked it fine when it worked, but now it is a $500 paperweight and I am pissed. Oh, and by the way, I am a LIGHT user!!! I only scan personal bills and receipts. So this thing is just not built to last. Buyer be ware.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2010
I ordered this over the internet. Unpacked it, looked good. It says on the literature that they have Help Desk 9 AM - 9 PM, EST M - F, forget it; there is nobody there at 4 PM - 6:30 PM and they have changed it to 9 - 5 PM anyway; one thing when they sell you, another when you need help. Ssame old story - go to the website! Put in 7 business cards; did not catch the addresses in the fields; misfiled the phone numbers, often putting the last 4 digits of the number as an extension. Waste of time; do not order.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2011
I've been a Neat Company Fan & Dedicated Customer for a long time. I had NeatReceipts for many years and then decided to upgrade to NeatDesk with NeatWorks Software on 9/16/10. I loved the faster scan times, scanning front & back, etc. Then, recently on 2/16/11, the software NeatWork lost all of my data. Luckily, I back up monthly so I was able to restore the data and only lost one month's of work. Then, I started noticing scanning problems with Wide Black Band Through Image. I immediately contacted customer service which is only available through their website by opening a case. A rep responded with some instructions to try and resolve the problem. I followed the instructions and the problem wasn't fixed. I updated the case by explaining this and I got the same instructions as a response. At this point, I figured out that customer service didn't exist. I asked why I was getting the same instructions after I reported the instructions followed did not fix the issue and then a different rep gave me different instructions. I followed those instructions without any success either. I updated the report and asked about the one year warranty since my purchase was within a year, and no response after that. I filed a compliant with the FTC, BBB and wanted others interested in this product to know before considering purchasing. What's funny is that the sales rep which is the only number provided try to sell me tech support annual fee. This is quite disappointing as I was a loyal fan. BUYER BEWARE!!! Customer service and warranty does not exist after purchase.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2011
I run Windows Vista and here's how I setup and use my NeatDesk scanner with Evernote.
First of all, I never use the proprietary NeatDesk software filing system and I never open the NeatWorks desktop software application (the one that shows you the grid comprising Receipts, Business Cards and Documents). I only use their Neat Quick Scan Center.
First, on your computer desktop, create a folder to receive the NeatDesk scans. I call my folder "Scanned Docs".
Then, and here's the key, when you use the NeatDesk scanner, never, ever, press their "SCAN" button. Always use their "PDF" button. This rule holds for the scanner itself and the Neat Quick Scan Center.
Next, when you hit the "PDF" button, a dialogue box opens that is titled "PDF File Save Location". Now find the folder you just created ("Scanned Docs") and click it. Now, every time you scan something in PDF form on your scanner, the dialogue box will always default to this folder location.
OK....so now every time you scan something, the file will wind up on your desktop in the "Scanned Docs" folder.
So, how do we get these PDFs into Evernote? Easy. Open the Evernote desktop application (as opposed to opening the Evernote online cloud version). Next, hit "File" and then "Import". Click on the choice "File Import Wizard". When that dialogue box opens, click "Next". In the "Source Folder" box, click the browse button and find the file you just created on your desktop...in this case "Scanned Docs." (Computer>>Local Disk C>>Users>>your name>>Desktop>>Scanned Docs).
While still in the Import Wizard, you can specify a "Destination notebook". You can choose any existing folder you have created in Evernote or you can create a new one to receive the scans. I created a new folder called "SCANS" which means that every time I use the PDF button to scan something, it goes into the "Scanned Docs" folder on my desktop and then into the "SCANS" folder in Evernote.
Pretty neat, right? Now all you have to do is click on the "SCANS" folder in Evernote and drag the various scans that are in there into any other of the Evernote folders you think is appropriate. But wait....there's more...
Because Evernote has a powerful OCR program (OCR means it can read individual words in scans and find them for you), once you scan something into Evernote, you can find it just by using a keyword. So, you can, let's say, create a folder called "RECEIPTS" and drag any scanned receipt in your "SCAN" folder into it. Which means, if you are running Evernote on a mobile platform like your smartphone, you can, while shopping in a supermarket, open the mobile Evernote program on your phone, go to their search icon, type in "Folgers" for example, and see what you paid for it the last time you bought it. The possibilities are endless.
We are living in truly wondrous times.