6 Replies Latest reply on May 2, 2016 10:47 AM by Richard Post

    Charging for Scans ?

    Richard Post Guide

      Recently, I have been asked by several customers if there are other customers out there that are charging for their scanning on the Pharos iMFP (embedded software in the copier/multi-function devices).   The reason that schools want to charge for this is typically to dissuade for copyright materials from being copied.  Things like course packs that bookstores print up and sell to students are being scanned in and either given away or even pirated and sold.   This not only results in the loss of revenue of the course pack, but the packs that are not sold also cost money to print in the first place.   Charging a small amount, like $0.01/page remarkably, actually reduces this problem significantly.  It keeps the honest or nearly honest kids honest.  Those out to steal the pack and resell it may still do so, but you at least have a chance to see who made exactly the number of copies equal to that of the course packs.   Course packs are not the only thing being illegally copied, but they make for a nice example.


      That leads me to my question to the forum...   Do you charge for Scan ?  If so, how much do you charge ?  What hurdles did you overcome ?  Has it helped ?

        • Re: Charging for Scans ?
          John Siegel Guide

          Hi Rich,


                       Although we do not charge for scans, I manually keep track of our scanning to email. If this were a chargeable process, I could track it via SQL query or a Pharos report using transactional data. It also gives us info on how much of our "hard" printing is transitioning to electronic format. There has been some discussion about charging for scanning if possible, not to dissuade copyright infringement, but to recoup some of the increased energy costs incurred by replacing a single function printer, with a muti-function device.



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          • Re: Charging for Scans ?
            andrew Tracker

            We charge $0.05 per scan, largely to encourage "moving on", and not "camping out to scan". We can only scan to USB.

            I doubt it has dissuaded too many patrons from doing whatever nefariousness they do, since they're already willing to pay the print/copy charge of at least double that fee, which is, in the words of our desk staff, "still cheaper than buying the book" when it comes to copywrited stuff.

            We struggled (morally) with it during early discussions, but ultimately, scanning still consumes copier life and electricity, and is therefore not "free", just because it does not use traditional "click-charge consumables". So that coupled to the disservice to patrons with legitimate needs who can't get to a machine because some scanners took over made it fairly straightforward to implement.

            To date (4 years), I have heard zero dissatisfaction feedback on it, but then, we charged from the very beginning of its availability.


            To play devil's advocate, I think arguments around the notion that free (or low cost) scanning eats into "revenue streams" e.g. course packs is pretty hollow, since students, in my opinion, should not be seen as a revenue stream except in the pursuit of "break even". Of course, I work for a public institution, and that opinion tends to pervade in my line of work while folks working for private institutions tend to trend away from it. Probably something in the water. At any rate, we in the public sector like to use words like "fair", or "equal", and it makes it more equal in the competition for the copiers if the scanners have to pay some amount towards the things which cost the institution: purchase price, maintenance, electricity, repairs, etc. You know, all the stuff "click charges" pay for, except for the consumables (in our case, paper and toner).

            • Re: Charging for Scans ?
              ajohnsuw Scout

              We don't charge for scans. It does come up every now and then though. I would think even $0.01 per scan, rather than per page, would help cut down on "scan abuse."

              • Re: Charging for Scans ?
                Bill Kasper Guide

                Rich, coming late to this.


                We're authorized to charge for scans, at $0.01/scan, but have yet to implement this.  The general response of our users is to freak out when we discuss it, and since none of our competitors charge for scanning we've decided that absence is the better part of valor.  Right now we're using it to gather data on scanning practices, as best we can using Pharos's transaction data.


                However, in discussion with the copier vendors, two different vendor reps have said to me that they're hearing from their peers in other companies that charging customers for scanning is coming.  It's a use process, and if they place a copier in a location where scan lamp/ADF maintenance is required due to high scan volume and low copy volume, it's going to lose them money (where maintenance is paid on a per-click basis).


                Once the vendors begin to charge me, we will charge.  Maybe not at $0.01/scan, that will depend on what we're being charged.


                No one on this campus has complained about (or even brought up the topic of) the increased energy costs of scanning on an MFD vs. simply printing or copying when an MFD replaces a printer.

                • Re: Charging for Scans ?
                  pjuhasz@csa.canon.com Wayfarer

                  Hi Rich, we have been charging $.02 per scan for the last 18 mos at one of the largest universities in the country . This has significantly reduced the urge to send large number of scanned pages and no complaints so far. At first we limited the number of devices that could scan to just one per location but we just did a refresh and we enable scanning on all MFD's on campus . Seems to work fine.

                  • Re: Charging for Scans ?
                    Richard Post Guide

                    Please see also this other article that was posted....


                    Scanning: free or fee?