Understand Common Scan Cafe Customer Complaints Before Making Your Purchase

Understand Common Scan Cafe Customer Complaints Before Making Your Purchase

Digitizing your precious memories, home movies, and priceless photos is essential for preserving your legacy for future generations. There are many digital companies to choose from, one of which is the popular brand ScanCafe. 

Are they the best choice for your memories? Capture leverage over 20 years as an industry leader to help you make the best decision. That’s why we put together this guide to ScanCafe complaints and negative reviews. 

Keep reading to learn about common ScanCafe review concerns like quality, pricing, turnaround time, and customer service, and examine whether they are ongoing issues or one-time complaints to determine if ScanCafe is the best choice for your memories. 

ScanCafe Complaints

Scan Cafe complaints

ScanCafe negative experiences generally fall into four main categories including service quality concerns, customer service issues, unfair pricing or value, and slow turnaround time. 

Service Quality Concerns

Several reviews that make up ScanCafe.com’s low 2.4 SiteJabber rating criticize the quality of digitizing old photos, VHS tapes, and movie film reels. ScanCafe quality problems extend to their photo editing and restoration services as well. 

One ScanCafe complaint says, “I sent over 1000 slides to Scan Café and they cost over $500. The slides were filled with black marks from dust” while another says that ScanCafe promised 4,000 TIFF scans and it came back at a poor 79 DPI. 

Another review even speculates that they do a poor job on photo and negative scanning on purpose so that you’ll use their photo restoration services. While we doubt that’s the case, the poor quality is alarming, nonetheless. 

Many complaints revolve around poor audio with their home movies. ScanCafe can also convert cassette to CD, but with so many audio complaints, you might want to rethink your decision to use them for digitizing audio cassettes. 

Finally, even those who receive good quality results often say that ScanCafe failed to scan or digitize their entire order. This points to quality control issues that are concerning for anyone looking for video and photo preservation services. 

Customer Service and Communication

When you trust a scanning service or digitization company with your priceless family photos and home movies, you want to know that they are helpful and communicative. Unfortunately, one of the most common ScanCafe service issues revolves around poor customer experiences. 

It is very common to find ScanCafe reviews that state they wish customer support did a better job of resolving quality issues. Many customers complain that they tried to get a refund due to poor quality even after multiple attempts, but customer service failed to accommodate. This led at least one customer to cancel the charges via their credit card company. 

Even scarier some reviews state that ScanCafe lost their precious memories for good. One ScanCafe reviewer who used ScanCafe photo scanning service says they “lost thousands of irreplaceable family pics.” That’s probably the worst possible outcome when trying to convert photos to digital.  

That being said, some reviews do praise their customer service, but it does appear that the praise has gone downhill in recent years. In fact, one review specifically mentions that they used to be good but can’t recommend them anymore because of the downgrade in customer service and poor digital file quality since COVID. 

Pricing and Value

While ScanCafe doesn’t necessarily offer the best prices in the industry, their pricing is still pretty good overall. That being said, there are still several common ScanCafe complaints related to pricing and value. 

On TrustPilot, ScanCafe has a commendable 4.3-star rating, but one recent review points out that they have hidden fees. This complaint is mirrored in various reviews online. Plus, their Value Kit is named in a way that would lead you to believe that it’s the more affordable option, but it can sometimes be much more expensive. 

Some reviewers probably wouldn’t complain about the price if they received high-quality work, but all the value is lost when the digital images, JPG files, and digital videos they receive are about the same quality as they could do at home. 

Turnaround Time

Turnaround time is one of the most common complaints with ScanCafe. While they state a 4-to-6-week turnaround time, many reviewers say that it took much, much longer. Some even say that they didn’t receive their order for several months. 

As some customer reviews point out, even though ScanCafe is located in Indiana, USA they often (and maybe always) send orders to India for processing. Not only is that probably the reason for slow turnaround times, but it also means your priceless paper photos, film reels, and videotapes are sent across the world, increasing the risk of lost family memories.

Analyzing the Complaints

screenshot from ScanCafe website

Image Source: Screenshot from ScanCafe website

Every company has complaints, but when it comes to your priceless memories, it’s critical to analyze the complaints to see if they are frequent or severe.  

Frequency and Consistency

While occasional complaints about specific results like smudged digital images, inadequate red-eye removal, or low-resolution images aren’t good, they might be uncommon. That’s why the frequent complaints are the most concerning. 

The most common ScanCafe complaints revolve around turnaround time and poor quality. It seems that very often ScanCafe takes longer to process orders than they state on their website. This might not be a big deal for some people, but if you need your scanned images and videos for a 70th birthday gift box or DIY Christmas present for Mom, this can be terrible because it would mean a late gift.

As far as the poor quality goes, the regular complaints are very alarming. When digitizing your precious memories, you want them to be as close to the original quality as possible. When many customers on multiple sites complain that the video, photo, and audio scans are poor quality, it might be enough to send you to another brand. 

Impact on Customer Satisfaction

Another way to analyze complaints is to determine how severe the complaint was. The best way to do this is to identify how much it impacted customer satisfaction. With poor quality results, that’s a massive impact. But with poor customer support, it might not be as bad. 

The most impactful complaint we see, by far, is lost media. That’s because it not only means no digital format copies, but it also means that your priceless memories could be lost forever. The same goes with damaged media, but we don’t see that as often with ScanCafe as we do with LegacyBox complaints. 

Resolution Process

Another factor to analyze is the ScanCafe resolution process. Do they address Scan Café pricing complaints, quality complaints, and more and offer acceptable resolutions? Generally, it seems that they never offer refunds and fail to address most complaints at all.

On TrustPilot, they’ve only responded to 3 out of 17 negative reviews and SiteJabber states, “Typically does not respond to reviews.” Then, when they do respond, they don’t seem to offer much help other than telling customers to call them or email admin@scancafe.com. 

So, if you do run into some of these common ScanCafe complaints, you might be out of luck with getting a refund or resolution of any kind. 

Industry Comparison

Finally, when analyzing Scan Café customer feedback, it’s important to see how it stacks up with the other big names in the industry. SiteJabber says that ScanCafe ranks 6th among Photo Scanning sites, which isn’t very great. 

As far as quality services it seems that they are around the middle of the pack. In our experience, their pricing is better than several competitors, including iMemories. This is especially true if you have a ScanCafe coupon or gift card. 

However, when you check out Capture and iMemories reviews, they are generally more favorable with many fewer complaints. When directly comparing ScanCafe vs Capture, for example, you’ll find that the average ratings are higher for Capture and that complaints are resolved more often. 

While Capture doesn’t offer color correction or photo restoration, we have been producing high-resolution images and satisfaction-guaranteed results for over 20 years. Our 30 day or less turnaround time, first-ever touchless photo album scanning process, and state-of-the-art tracking and security system are all the best in the industry, so you can’t blame ScanCafe for not living up to our expectations. 

Still, when choosing a service to take care of your priceless photos, film reels, and videos, it’s smart to choose only the best in the industry. That’s why we urge you to not only do your research, but to compare complaints, reviews, turnaround time, quality, and more. 


As you can see, there are several concerning Scan Café complaints, many of which are very common including turnaround time, sending memories to India, and poor-quality photo and slide scanning. While Scan Café does offer a wide variety of services at a decent price, these complaints should raise your alarms and push you towards a safer alternative. 

Capture offers top-tier customer service, affordable pricing, and best-in-industry results for your home movies and family photos. Click here to see why Capture is the best choice for your priceless memories. 


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