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BEWARE: ScanSoft/Nuance OmniPage
Thread poster: ViktoriaG

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:05
English to French
+ ...
Jan 27, 2007

Dear colleagues,

I am posting this to let you know of my misadventures with OmniPage, a Nuance (formerly ScanSoft) product.

I have purchased a copy of the above mentioned software by telephone. I placed my order for one copy of the software at a special price of $99 instead of $499. What a great offer, I thought to myself! Well, let me tell you that this has been a very unproductive and frustrating experience.

First off, after Nuance took the $99 off my credit card, two weeks later, they took off another $499. When I called them to tell them to credit me that amount, they had the guts to tell me I ordered not one, but two copies of the software (isn't it weird that even though the offer stated that I could get both copies at the special price, they charged me the regular price for the second one?). When I told them I only ordered one copy and they will have to credit the second copy to my credit card, they did credit me - but I lost CDN$ 18 because of exchange rates. So, at that moment, the whole problem costed me $18. If only this was the only problem - but it isn't!

Right from the moment I downloaded the software - January 1st - there was no way to activate it. They have a very complicated activation system, wherein I have to go on their website, provide my software key, enter a machine fingerprint (!) and then the website provides me with an activation code. When I enter that code, the software replies that it is invalid. No matter how many different codes I get generated on the website, I always get the same reply. So, I contact tech support. To start with, tech support costs $9.95 to $19.95, depending on the contact method used. Yes, you read that right: tech support is NOT free. Since I am not willing to pay for the activation - last I looked, activation is included legally in the price paid for the software - I contacted customer support, which by the way is open form 9 to 6, Monday to Friday (!). When I explained the problem to customer support, they told me they couldn't help me since this was a tech support question and that I have to contact tech support, at a minimum price of $9.95! Then, I told them that this was illegal - I paid for the right to use the software, which they were denying me. So, the customer service representative told me they just deleted my order off their website and placed a new one for me, with a different software key, which means I am starting over. So, I had to uninstall all the software, download it again, install it again and activate again. Surprise, surprise! I still get the same error messages and it is once again impossible to activate. Then, it occurred to me that the customer service rep probably didn't like my telling him that it was illegal to charge for activation, wanted to hang up as soon as possible and got rid of me by feeding me this pseudo solution. In other words, they gave me more homework so I end up where I started out from - with an activation that just can't be completed.

I also want to add that OmniPage comes with a copy of PDF Create! and PDF Converter - both of which can be used five times without activation, and then they simply cannot be started anymore. As I could not activate them so far, they are simply disabled. This means that I have paid for software sitting on my desktop but that I simply cannot use. As if I was a fraud who has illegal copies of software!

I am posting this to let you know about these things. If you need OCR software, please, by all means, buy anything but OmniPage! I looked up comments on this software all over the internet and everybody is having the same problems. There simply is no way to activate and if you want help with activation, you have to pay for that!

I am getting my money back. As December is the end of the fiscal year, they probably had a bunch of purchases (the special price was good until December 31), and now, it doesn't bother them to reimburse thousands of purchases - they already have the support of their board of directors for this new year because they made a ton of sales in December. It's last year's numbers that count, not this year's.

Please, do shop around for OCR software other than this. You will most probably regret buying OmniPage. Put your money in something that will not give you a headache and reveal to be full of hidden costs.

All the best!

P.S.: By the way, the installer doesn't work - you have to fiddle with the files to get installation to function. Also, some of the functions in the software generate empty pages - I tried to create a Word document form a PDF file, and when I exported it to Word, all I got was empty pages. There is simply no way to export the OCR results! BEWARE!

[Edited at 2007-01-27 05:35]


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Milos Prudek  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 11:05
English to Czech
+ ...
FineReader Jan 27, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:


Please, do shop around for OCR software other than this. You will most probably regret buying OmniPage. Put your money in something that will not give you a headache and reveal to be full of hidden costs.


Many people recommend FineReader OCR. I have not tried it personally.


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:05
Member (2004)
English to Italian
and you wonder why... Jan 27, 2007

people use illegal software...

[Edited at 2007-01-27 10:13]


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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:05
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Thank you! Jan 27, 2007

I will certanly not buy ScanSoft for the next 10 years - unless they pay me!

[Edited at 2007-01-27 10:18]


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:05
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
I use Omnipage Jan 27, 2007

Hi Viktoria,

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I've been using Omnipage for some time now, it's a legal version that was offered by Canon along with Scanner.

So I didn't need any activation key or anything and it works perfectly. I've not used any other OCR software (except a freeware which is not at all good) but my experience is positive at least for the past one year.

BTW all the softwares offered by Canon with their scanners/ other products are available for free download on their website.

I hope your problem gets sorted out and anyways, with so many softwares around, I'm sure they'll regret losing a paying customer. It's their loss as many of us who read your post find it unfair and wrong, so... who wants to buy a product whose techsupport costs that much!!!

I hope u'll have a nice relaxing weekend.

bye,

Ritu


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:05
German to English
+ ...
FineReader price policies Jan 27, 2007

I use Abbyy FineReader 8, which gives pretty good results.
Like probably any other scanner, of course, the OCR text needs post-editing before you can put it through your favourite CAT program.

However, it's worth checking out the price.
In the EU I believe it is about 150 EUR new, or 99 EUR as an upgrade from version 7.
But in North America I believe it is about twice the EU price.


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Alexey Ivanov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:05
Member (2004)
English to Russian
I vote for FineReader too, but... Jan 27, 2007

I have been using FineReader for over 8 years and confirm it is very good. But lately (after buying Windows XP pro several years ago) I nearly but stopped using FineReader, as the XP version of MS Office includes a tool which serves most of my purposes - "MS Office Document Imaging/Scanning". I find that the quality of recognition is better than in FineReader 6.0 which I am still using, and conversion into a Word file is more seamless (fewer formatting losses on the way). And it is absolutrely free. It is quite sufficient if you need to scan and convert into digital format comparatively simple paper documents containing not too many pictures, but you will need an OCR application when the document contains a lot of pictures and you need to accurately read those. And that's where FineReader is quite handy.

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xxxZZZZZZ
Local time: 11:05
German to English
My best picks ... Jan 27, 2007

I have OmniPage ... I didn't have any trouble activating it, but I don't think it's the best software out there.

Finereader is good for scanned documents or .pdf's with embedded text that can't be directly read. Solid Converter PDF is the best software for PDF documents that can be converted (in other words: documents that were directly created from Word or the like).

I switch back and forth between Finereader and Solid Converter. OmniPage just takes up space, unused, on my hard drive, along with a number of other programs.


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:05
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
OmniPage is great Jan 27, 2007

Sorry to hear about your tribulations. My experience was the opposite.

I bought OmniPage a couple of years ago. Straightforward installation, very intuitive interface, very impressive results (sometimes even better than FineReader). The best solution for graphics PDFs.


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Suzanne Blangsted  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:05
Danish to English
+ ...
No problems with OmniPage Jan 27, 2007

I have been a customer of ScanSoft-Nuance for many years and have always been satisfied with their products, and I have OmniPage, PDF converter, etc.

You might have made an error when you ordered OmniPage originally, i.e., it might be your fault things went wrong.

Why do I say that - because you have problems with activation - according to your note.

I suggest you phone Nuance at their tollfree number or go on line for support and "talk" with the representative. You might have misunderstood the whole situation, not only about the product but also about the activation process.

I have used FineReader but found it easier to use OmniPage.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:05
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I believe you all when you say OmniPage is good Jan 27, 2007

I believed this software would be good for me, too. However, I never got to activate it, so I can't even judge. What I am having trouble with is not the software itself, it's the way it is being sold.

The activation is something new for them, I think it started with version 14 (the latest one that I bought is 15). So, whoever had this software before that didn't have to go through all this trouble. Those who say they like it either got the software by another route than a direct order from Nuance, or they have older versions.

I suspect they didn't make enough sales lately, so they decided they will get the money in through something else than sales. They invented an activation system that simply doesn't work, so that you HAVE to call tech support, and each time, you will pay for that service. It's a lot of money... And like I said, I am not the only one who complains - just look at the Amazon comments, Google threads and the like. The internet is plastered with such negative comments.

What I also find extremely weird is that the software has been selling since the beginning of December. Probably all the clients who couldn't activate contacted them one way or another, so they should know by now that they are having a problem. However, they are not doing anything about it. It's been two months - and they still don't care to fix the activation problem. Is it just me, or is something really wrong with that? Then again, why would they do something about it? That would mean letting go of I don't know how many tech support fees. Nah, it's worth it for these people to just keep it as it is... I am only wondering when will they have enough money so that the decision to declare bankruptcy finally is ripe enough to be taken? That's the only thing I can think of that they are trying to do. The way they are handling this right now is only hurting their business, and they don't seem to mind that, for some obscure reason...


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:05
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
OmniPage is excellent Jan 28, 2007

Peter Linton wrote:

Sorry to hear about your tribulations. My experience was the opposite.

I bought OmniPage a couple of years ago. Straightforward installation, very intuitive interface, very impressive results (sometimes even better than FineReader). The best solution for graphics PDFs.


I agree 100%. Great experiences with OmniPage and also with PaperPort. My only problem with Nuance has been that I keep on receiving e-mail offers of products I'm not really interested in.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:05
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Just some clarifications to add to my first post Jan 28, 2007

BLANGSTED mentioned having misunderstood the situation about the product and the activation process. I understand these are frequent customer service situations, but it is not my case.

I ordered my copy of OmniPage over the phone since the online ordering was not working. I verbally told the customer service rep that I wanted ONE copy at the promotional price. Therefore, I don't see why there were two copies that made it into the ordering system, especially since I was entitled to a special price even if I was buying two copies, but they did charge me $500 for the second one, and they only confirmed that second order two days before they took the money off my credit card (since it was the week-end and customer service is not open on the week-end, I could not cancel the second order right away, but I did send an e-mail to tech support, not having any other option, and called them first thing when it was possible). Two days before taking the money off the credit card, whereas the second order, which according to them was placed at the same time as the first order (over the phone) should have been confirmed on December 31, just like the first order, and not two weeks later, as it is the case.

About the activation process, I did get an e-mail from tech support on how to activate after I sent a message to sales (!) since I had no other option without paying for the tech support. I followed the instructions and still got the same error messages. It is only after this that I called customer service again to ask them to help me to activate - to which they first responded by telling me to pay for tech support because customer service can't help with activation (!). It is only after I reminded them of my right to use the software, and my implicit right to have it activated at no cost, that they cancelled the order to replace it by another one, with a new serial number, which once again was impossible to activate. The way they explain the activation process on their site, as well as over the phone, it sounds like a very simple procedure - but it is completely useless as it will not work.

Also, to people who say they had no problems with activation of OmniPage - which version are you using? I doubt it is version 15, as everybody is having trouble activating version 15, but the activation process is fairly new, so if you have version 13 or older, you never had to go through the trouble of activation.

Calling the toll free number is completely useless - they keep telling me to call tech support, which will cost me. I refuse to pay for something I already paid for. The license agreement mentions nothing about paying for activation separately. Online support simply doesn't exist with Nuance, so that suggestion is out of the question. All they have online is a sort of FAQ, with maybe about ten questions in it, explaining why activation is necessary, whether they collect confidential information in the process, etc. It also explains how to activate, and they even dare to say activation is a very easy and fast process - not in my case, and not in many other people's cases. There is no way to speak to anybody online - except for tech support, which costs $19.95 a pop.

All I have at my disposal is a toll free number to call customer service, which is useless because they keep telling me that activation is not their problem, and a call ($9.95) or an e-mail ($19.95) to tech support, which I refuse to pay. Since they are completely unwilling to help me activate the software without paying for tech support, I will simply ask for my money back, as many others have.


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Barnaby Capel-Dunn  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:05
French to English
Me too Viktoria! Jan 28, 2007

My experience has been very similar to yours, Viktoria. I have no quibble with the product itself, it's just that the purchasing process is at best incredibly complicated and at worse, well I'd rather not say.
I just can't understand it. ScanSoft/Nuance is a reputable and financially sound company. Why on earth can't it get its act together? Perhaps this thread will change things!?


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Barnaby Capel-Dunn  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:05
French to English
Over to you Jan 28, 2007

It will be interesting to see if Scansoft takes the trouble to respond to Viktoria's fully justified comments on this forum. If not...!

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