Can I use the website as a free user?
Yes. You can use the website anonymously as a free user with no need to sign up or open an account. No sign-up = no email address harvesting = no spam from us :)
What's the subscription fee for?
The subscription fee charged relates to providing time-based subscription access to the extended feature set of the website for the period of the subscription purchased.
Opening an account is required for paid subscribers in order to co-ordinate the functionality of your account and to allocate the QR codes you create to your account history (but still no spam!).
No component of the subscription fee relates to purchasing the QR codes themselves.
Will my QR codes "expire"?
No. The QR codes (and any underlying short URL's) created by both free users and paid subscribers are permanent and will continue to function indefinitely, however temporary scan limits may apply as outlined below.
Can I use your QR codes commercially?
Yes. There are no restrictions on commercial use however temporary scan limits may apply as outlined below.
Are there any limits on use?
The short answer is Yes, but the reality is that the vast majority of users won't be affected by them. These limits only apply to dynamic QR codes that use our (optional) URL shortener - QR codes that do not use our URL shortener (static QR codes) have no scan limits.
Free Users: While there are no limits on the number QR codes you can create as either a free or paid user, a limit of 1,000 scans per month is currently applied to each QR code created by free users. This monthly scan limit presently affects less than 0.001% of the QR codes in our system so it will not impact the overwhelming majority of users. If you anticipate that your QR code will be scanned more than 1,000 times per month, you should probably consider a paid subscription.
Current Paid Subscribers: There are no pre-set scan limits for QR codes belonging to current (paid-up) subscribers.
Expired Paid Subscribers: A 5,000 scan/month limit is applied to QR codes belonging to paid subscribers whose subcription has expired. This scan limit for expired subscribers is a "per QR code" limit and is only applied to the individual QR codes that exceed the monthly 5,000 scan limit, and does not affect any other QR codes associated with the expired subscriber account. The scan limit is re-set at the start of each calendar month.
At our discretion a temporary Fair Use monthly scan limit may be applied to unusually high scan-volume QR codes (>30,000 scans/month) belonging to current paid subscribers. This Fair Use Policy limit is intended to ensure that the scan activity of a minority of users doesn't adversely impact optimal platform performance for all users.
Don't worry - current subscribers will be contacted well in advance if any of their QR codes are approaching a Fair Use threshhold so that we can work out a solution with them.
Expired subscribers simply need to renew their subscription and the scan limit status of their account will be automatically reset, while free users who upgrade to a paid account can apply to have the QR codes they created as free user moved into their subscriber account which will remove the 1,000 scans/month limit from them.
Collectively, these measures will only affect about 1 in every 10,000 users - the other 9,999 won't even know that any limits exist :)
And just to reiterate - these limits only apply to dynamic QR codes (the QR codes that use our optional URL shortener). All other QR codes are unlimited.
Are your QR codes ad-free?
Yes. Our QR codes are guaranteed 100% ad-free. If you see an ad after scanning one of our QR codes, your scanning app put it there.
Is a license required to create QR codes?
No. The QR code is clearly defined and published as an open ISO standard. Denso Wave owns the patent rights on the QR code creation process, and the methods used to encode and create them, but has chosen not to exercise those rights. The term "QR code" itself is a registered trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated.
The answer to the following questions is always "No"
- Can I add a QR code to my account that I created somewhere else?
- Can I get analytics from you for a QR code that I created somewhere else?
- Can I have a free trial subscription?
- I'm making my own QR code website. Can you tell me how you did everything on yours?
How do I contact customer support?
Because we are dealing with users from all time zones, our customer support is conducted by email or a phone or Skype call-back to you.
- Free Users: Techincal support on issues directly related to using the QR Stuff website is available to free users by emailing email@example.com. Depending on your time zone, the maximum response time for an email response will be 12-24 hours, but could be considerably less. Phone support is not available for free users.
- Intending Subscribers: Sales support on matters relating to subscription pricing, features and benefits is available to intending subscribers by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Responses will generally be by email, however at our discretion we may also make a phone or Skype call-back to discuss your requirements with you if you provide your contact details.
- Subscribers: Advice, assistance and support on all aspects of using the QR Stuff website, scanning and deployment issues, useage scenarios, and QR code technology generally are available to subscribers with active accounts by emailing email@example.com. We will either respond directly to you by email, or by a phone or Skype call-back to discuss your issues with you. Depending on your time zone, the maximum response time will be 12 hours, but could be considerably less.
Emails that simply say "there's something wrong with my QR code" or "my QR code won't work" with no futher information or contact details usually end up being ignored since we don't really have much we can get back to you with. Try and include as much information as you can about the QR code, the issues you're having, and the circumstances relating to the issue. Attaching a copy of the QR code image helps us as well.
Subscribers should also mention their account number and the Code ID number of the QR code in question (that's the 7 digit number shown in your account history for that QR code).
Depending on how our day is going, abusive or flamey emails will either be replied to in-kind or will be ignored completely. If you're about to write an email that you probably wouldn't appreciate receiving yourself, take a deep breath and re-think how you'd like things to work out. We're just tech-heads with a "do unto others" policy, so be nice and we'll get on just fine.
Finally, it should go without saying that we only provide support for QR codes created at QRStuff.com but disturbingly, using past emails as a guide, it actually does need to be said.
I don't have a Paypal account. Can I pay by credit card?
Yes. Just choose "Credit Card" as your payment method when you open up your subscriber account. Please note that only Visa and Mastercard are accepted.
Do you have educational pricing?
Yes. Educational pricing is available on request for primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions and their teaching staff.
Sign up for a particular subscription period and get a free upgrade to the next subscription period. eg; sign up for 1 month and get upgraded to 3 months free of charge. 12 month subscriptions will receive a $36 dollar refund back to the 6 month subscription price.
These account upgrades are done manually at our end so you'll need to contact us to make it happen after you've set up and paid for your subscription - just send a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org outlining who you work for and what your role there is and we'll take it from there.
Can you invoice me first?
Yes. We can send you a Paypal invoice that you can pay by Mastercard, Visa or Paypal account, or a PDF invoice that can be paid by international wire transfer into our bank account. Cheques, either business or personal, are not accepted.
Once payment has been received your subscription account will be opened.
Email us for more information.
Why didn't my payment go through?
We don't handle payments ourselves, but instead use Paypal for the processing of all payments, both Paypal account and credit card. Because of this any error messages you see will have been issued by Paypal themselves.
- If you attempted to pay by credit card, the problem could be that the address you provided as part of the payment process on the Paypal website may not have matched the actual billing address for the credit card. If this requirement had been part of your bank's security protocols, then it would have been enforced by Paypal.
- If you received an "Error 15005: Transaction can't be processed" message, this indicates that the transaction has been declined by your bank, not Paypal. Apart from insufficient funds, this error can also occur due to limitations placed on international transactions through your credit card (we have a non-US Paypal merchant account) and you should contact your bank.
To re-try the payment part of the process just attempt to log back into your QR Stuff account. You will be told that your subscription has "expired" and you will be provided with a "renew subscription" link. Simply click through and then try your payment again.
Do you offer refunds?
Yes. For full subscriptions of 3 months or more, if you're not happy with the service just email us and we'll refund the unused portion of your subscription. The refund will be made back to the payment method used to open the subscription initially. Refunds are not available for 24 hour or 1 month subscriptions.
How much does a subscription cost?
The advanced feature set of the website is available to all subscribers using a time-based subscription model:
- 24 Hour Trial* Subscription - $3.95
- 1 Month Full Subscription - $11.95
- 3 Month Full Subscription - $29.95 (save 15% compared with 1 month subscription)
- 6 Month Full Subscription - $49.95 (save 25% compared with 1 month subscription)
- 12 Month Full Subscription - $89.95 (save 35% compared with 1 month subscription)
A subscriber paying $11.95 gets access to exactly the same features as a subscriber paying $89.95, but for 1 month rather than 12 months.
*Service and functionality limits may apply for trial accounts.
What do I get with a Full Subscription?
- QR Code Editing - edit the contents of dynamic QR codes without altering the QR code image when using our URL shortener. Please note that static QR codes aren't editable. More info about dynamic vs static QR codes.
- Analytics - Traffic reporting for dynamic QR codes. Real-time analytics data is available within your account in date searchable table form showing date, time, device type and location for each scan event. There is unique reporting for each QR code, and the data is also available as an Excel download (Screenshot).
- High Resolution QR Codes - Create QR code image at sizes up to 3000 pixels and resolutions up to 300dpi - that's 41 inches wide at 72pdi! Sample).
- Vector or Raster Output File Types - While free users are only able to download raster PNG or raster PDF files, subscribers have the choice of vector EPS, SVG, PDF or DXF, as well as raster JPG, PNG or GIF.
- QR code image styling including logo embedding (More info...)
- Error Correction Level - The choice of level L, Q, M or H error correction. Free users are limited to Level L only. (Error Correction Levels explained).
- PDF and Image File data type QR codes
- Batch Processing - Upload a TSV file and automatically generate up to 500 QR codes in a single pass (More info).
- Management Dashboard - Full reporting for all QR codes created within your account, including modifying and regenerating past QR codes.
- Project Folders - Organise your QR codes into project folders.
- User-defined names for each QR code.
- Password protected QR codes - make your QR codes private
- Downloadable status and specifications report for every QR code you create.
- Unlimited generation of QR codes and batches during the subscription period.
- No pre-set monthly scan limits during the subscription period.
- Download, email or print delivery.
Service and functionality limits may apply for trial accounts.
Do your QR codes expire?
No. The QR codes (and any underlying short URL's) created by both free users and paid subscribers are permanent and will continue to function indefinitely, however temporary scan limits may apply as outlined above.
The subscription period simply determines how long you have access to the advanced QR code generation, management and reporting features of the QRStuff.com website, and is not related to the working life of the QR codes you generate.
What happens if my subscription expires?
When you attempt to log in to an expired account there will be a message saying your subscription has expired and a link will be displayed that allows you to renew your subscription.
Even though you will no longer have access to the features and services available to current subscribers, all account history and data for expired accounts is retained on our server. Analytics data continues to be collected even for expired accounts, so when you renew an expired account all of your up-to-date account history, data, projects and analytics will be there waiting for you.
Can a QR code be transferred from one account to another?
Yes. If you need to transfer a QR code from one subscription account to another just contact us with details of which QR code it is, what account it's currently in, and which one you'd like it transferred to.
Can a QR code I created as a free user be transferred to my account?
Yes, but since there's no sign-up process for free users, any QR codes that you created as a free user were created anonymously with no connection to you as a user, so it wouldn't have been possible for them to be transferred to your account automatically when you signed up.
With some help from you regarding the content you placed into the QR code, or (even better!) the ID number of the QR code (the 7 or 8 digit number shown as part of the file name when you download the QR code image file), we can usually track them down in the database and manually re-allocate them to your subscriber account. In most cases it's usually easiest just to email us the QR code in question.
Contact us quoting your subscriber account number and QR code details if you need an old QR code transferred to your subscriber account.
How long does it take to process my subscription?
Your QRStuff subscription will become active automatically on completion of your payment through Paypal. If you have completed payment but your subscription has not been authorised please contact us and we will try to resolve any issues within 24 to 48 hours.
How do I get my password again?
At the top of each page is a "Forgot Password" link - click on it and follow the prompts. A new password will be emailed to the email address associated with your account. You can also use this process to reset the password on your account.
What sort of analytics reporting do you offer?
The analytics data for redirected URL's using our URL shortener service is presented within your subscriber account on the website in date searchable form showing date, time, device type and location for each scan event, and in real time.
Presented in both table and graph form, the data is also available for download in Excel format.
Reporting is available for each unique QR code.
Click here for a screenshot...
Are analytics available on all your QR codes?
No. Our analytics can only collect data if you use one of our shortened URL's so that the user bounces back through our website and we can collect the required data on the way through. Many other QR code generator websites force you to use a shortened URL whether you want to or not, but we've decided to make it optional so that you can actually have your real website address in the QR code if you want to.
The downside of that is that since there's no tracking mechanism in the QR code itself, the visitor will scan the QR code and then go directly to your website without detouring through our server first. Because this gives us no opportunity to intercept that path and collect tracking data on your behalf, you will need to use something like Google Analytics at the URL that the code points to.
Our blog post Using Google Analytics With QR Codes explains how.
Tracking also isn't available for vCard contact details that have been embedded directly into the QR code - the scan event only involves the QR code itself and the person scanning it without any possibility of us intercepting the event to gather tracking information on your behalf. If you need analytics tracking for a vCard QR code you will need to use the "Link To VCF File" option which uses our URL shortener to link to a landing page which presents the vCard contact details to the user. Not only does this approach give you analytics, but the vCard contact details can also be edited (see Dynamic QR Codes below).
How do I access the analytics report for the QR codes I've generated?
When you log into your subscriber account, your account history is accessed by a link in the top right of the page. In the history report the "manage" tab to the right of each QR code record will open extended information about that QR code.
Any QR codes that use our URL shortener will display an "Analytics" link to the right hand side of the detailed information listing for that QR code.
Are phone numbers and email addresses included in the analytics reports?
No. User information (like phone numbers and email addresses) stored on the phone which is used to scan the QR code isn't accessible at all because of security built into the phone itself.
DYNAMIC QR CODES
Do you have dynamic QR codes?
Yes. A dynamic QR code is simply one that contains a short URL that re-directs "behind the scenes" to the website URL that the person scanning the QR code is intended to arrive at. The "dynamic" part relates to being able to change the re-direction for that short URL, and hence the website URL that the QR code delivers the user to. More info about dynamic vs static QR codes.
By using our URL shortener, the short URL is what's actually "in" the QR code and our server then looks after re-directing the user to the website destination you want them to go to. Because you aren't actually changing the QR code contents, but instead the redirection behind it, the QR code image remains unchanged.
Any data types that have the option to be made dynamic will have that choice clearly visible in the data entry area.
Since the QR code is a graphical representation of the data it contains, if you haven't used our URL shortener and have entered your own direct URL into the QR code instead, you will not be able to change the QR code contents without changing the QR code image.
For added flexibility we've made the use of our URL shortener entirely optional. Unlike many other QR code generators that force you to use their URL shortner whether you want to or not, with QR Stuff you can put your own direct website address into the QR code if you prefer. While there are many good reasons to use our URL shortner, there are also some compelling reasons for not using it, and this blog post points some of them out.
How do I edit a dynamic QR code?
When you log into your subscriber account history, any QR codes that you've used our URL shortener with will have an "Edit URL" option in the extended information about that QR code (click the "Manage" tab to the right of the history listing).
Using that feature you can change the location that the short URL redirects to as often as you like without altering the QR code image.
What about dynamic vCard QR codes?
Yes we've got them too.
When you log into your subscriber account history, any vCard QR codes that you've chosen the "Link To VCF File" option with (which also uses our URL shortener) will have an "Edit vCard" option in the extended information about that QR code,.
Using that feature you can change the contact details in that particular vCard QR code.
How does batch processing work?
Batch processing is part of the subscriber feature set for full subscribers.
Upload a single TSV file containing the details of up to 500 individual QR codes and process them as a single batch. Once processing has been completed a download link for a single ZIP file containing the image files for each of the QR codes in your batch will be emailed to you.
QR code image size (up to 3000px), resolution (up to 300dpi), error correction level, output format (raster PNG, GIF, JPG or vector SVG, EPS, PDF) and colour can be specified for the QR codes in a batch. Batch processing directly supports URL, vCard, meCard, SMS message, email message, text string, phone number and email address data formats. Codes within a single batch can be a mixture of these formats.
A TSV tab-delimited file can be created from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet by choosing "Text (Tab delimited)" from the Save As Type drop-down box. Google Docs also supports TSV export.
Download the batch processing information sheet...
What about batches of more than 500?
The maximum online batch size limit of 500 codes per batch has been set to avoid undue server load across the sessions of other users. For paid subscribers with more than 20,000 codes to generate we offer a service whereby the job is run locally at our end - the cost of this service is US$1.25/1000 codes (a reduced rate of US$1.10/1000 applies for jobs involving >100,000 codes) plus a US$65 processing fee.
Just send us an Excel file containing your batch data and we'll look after the rest. Once processing has been completed, download links for the ZIP files containing the image files for each of the QR codes in your batch will be emailed to you.
Payment is by Paypal prior to job commencement (we'll send you a Paypal invoice) and turnaround is 48-72 hours from when payment has been received.
Send us an email for more information.
USING QR CODES
Why won't my QR code scan?
While the QR codes themselves conform to an ISO standard, not all app developers are as diligent with standards compliance as they should be. In our experience about 80% of issues relating to scan errors are because the scanning app being used is sub-standard, or is challenged by QR codes containing anything more complex than a website URL.
Our blog post Not All Scanning Apps Are Created Equal goes into detail on some of the issues, however a quick browse through the user reviews for QR code scanning apps in the iTunes App Store, Android Market or Blackberry App World will highlight which apps are worth having and which have known issues.
What does "Scan Quota Exceeded" mean?
If you see a message "Scan Quota Exceeded" when you scan your QR code it means that the QR code you created as a free user has exceeded its quota of 1,000 scans/month, or your paid subscription has expired and a monthly scan limit has been re-applied to your QR code. Simply sign-up for a paid subscription, or renew your expired subscription, and the monthly scan quota on that QR code will be lifted.
What size should a QR code be?
We recommend no smaller than 2cm (0.8") however the minimum size of the QR code will be dependent on:
- The distance between the QR code and the scanning device, and hence the size the code will appear to be in the viewport of the scanning device - if you have one on the side of a building it would need to be very large because it's going to be scanned from a long distance, however if it's printed in a magazine then the scanning device will be held quite close to it.
- The size of the dots in the code - As the data you put into a QR code increases, the number of dots that the QR codes needs to use to store that data increases accordingly. For a QR code of a given size this will result in progressively smaller dots being used and eventually they will reach a size that's below the resolution limit of the scanning device. As a general rule of thumb we recommend that your QR code should have no more than 50 rows and columns of dots to stay within the usual maximum resolution limits of most smartphone cameras.
Regardless of the size of the QR code, the finished QR code should be tested thoroughly in its intended final setting to make sure that it works at that size.
We've got some blog posts that will help you out further - What Size Should A Printed QR Code Be? and QR Code Minimum Size.
Does the colour of the QR code affect it's reliability?
Yes. In a QR code the dark bits are always interpreted as data so the dots always need to be a darker colour than the background. The reliability of the QR code is also determined by the contrast difference between the dots and the background, so pale grey dots on a white background will be difficult for some scanning devices to read and the code may not function properly.
Short version: Choose whatever colours you want but always make sure the dots are a significantly darker colour than the background - we suggest at least 70% darker to ensure reliable scanning.
...and always test your QR code to make sure it works using the colours you've chosen.
Can I embed an image in a QR code?
QR codes have up to 30% error correction redundancy built into them so that theoretically up to 30% of the code image can be removed and replaced with an embedded image and the code "should" still function.
While it is possible to add an image inside the the QR code, reducing this 30% safety buffer moves the QR code closer to the point where it becomes potentially unstable and may not be readable in some lighting conditions, colours and display sizes. There are also some areas of the code that are more sensitive to change than other areas, so great care should be taken.
This can be further complicated if the scanning software interprets any part of the embedded image as actual data and decodes the QR code incorrectly.
Here's a few pointers on do's and don'ts:
- Keep the size of the embedded image well below 20% of the area of the QR code itself - 15% is probably the best compromise.
- Put the image in the middle of the QR code and definitely don't obscure any of the 3 big squares in the corners (they have a special purpose and must be retained).
- Always leave a white border (2-3 times the width of a single data square in the QR code image) all the way around the edge of the embedded image so that the data areas of the QR code are seperated from the image.
- Make sure that all the data squares left in the QR code are intact - remove any partially obscured squares completely.
- Check that the embedded image doesn't co-incidentaly contain any small square (or squarish) elements that may be interpreted by the scanning device as part of the QR code's data, rather than being ignored as part of the image.
- Most QR code scanning devices scan in grey-scale so using contrasting colours is not going to help you at all.
You will need to thoroughly test the QR code on multiple devices and scanning apps after you're done.
Refer to our blog post Putting Images In QR Codes for more information.
If you'd sooner not tackle it yourself, the guys at QRlicious offer a great service for anyone who wants to dress up a QR code with logo embedding, colours and custom design work.
What's with the white border around the QR code?
A "quiet zone" is placed around the QR code image when it's generated to separates the QR code from anything else in its surroundings. The quiet zone is used to buffer the code from its surroundings to prevent any adjacent images or text from being interpreted as part of the code image itself and interfering with the scanning of the code.
The size of the buffer zone is mathematically determined when the code is created to ensures an error free code. This buffer zone must be retained. It's simply a white space border and when you generate the code you will see that it's part of the actual code image.
The quiet zone is recommended to be a minimum of 4 times the width of a single data square in the code image, however depending on the surroundings of the code (ie; against an unpatterned dark background) you may be able to reduce that to 2 times pixel width.
If you reduce the size of the quiet zone, the finished QR code should be tested thoroughly in its intended final setting to make sure that it still scans correctly.
Uptime Service Guarantee
We guarantee that the QR Stuff server will be free from non-scheduled outages and downtime for at least 99.9% of any given 12 month period.
Since we started in January 2008 our uptime has actually been 99.968% including both scheduled maintenance and unscheduled server outages - that's less than 3 hours per year on average!
Unfortunately we can't be responsible for outages or circumstances beyond our control that prevent or limit access to QR Stuff server or website, either directly or indirectly, so our SLA does not include any of the following:
- Less than optimal network conditions between your ISP and our server resulting in packet loss
- DDoS or other malicious attacks on our server
- Connectivity issues within your ISP's network
- Browser or DNS caching issues
- Outages or interruptions from an upstream provider outside of our immediate hosting environment
We strive to keep service interruptions to a minimum and will always attempt to provide advance notice of any scheduled maintenance outage in the Notices section at the bottom of the front page of this website.
By taking up a paid subscription on the QR Stuff website you are acknowledging your acceptance of a minimum uptime service availablity of 99.9% in any given 12 month period.
Fair Use Policy
We maintain a policy of fair and acceptable usage at all times that is intended to ensure that our services aren't used in a manner that:
- Is illegal, fraudulent, unreasonable or excessive.
- Will or may impact the quality, integrity or reliability of the QRStuff.com user platform, website, online services or network.
- Will or may result in any user being disadvantaged by the behaviour of other users.
This Fair Use Policy applies to all free and paid users of the QRStuff.com website and breaches of this Policy may result in limitations being placed on service modules otherwise described as "unlimited".
Click here for the full text of our Fair Use Policy.
Terms And Conditions Of Use
Your use of QRStuff.com as a free or paid user is subject to our Terms And Conditions Of Use.
We respect your privacy and are governed by the Isle Of Man Data Protection Act 2002. Your information is only used for generating QR codes at your request, facilitating the transfer of information via the QR code that you have created, and for the effective conduct and operation of your subscription.
If any of your personal information is required to be stored on our servers, it will not be rented, sold or intentionally released to unrelated third parties, however we cannot be held responsible for the release of your personal information that is the direct result of you making publicly available the QR code that you have created, and that links to or contains your personal information.
Aggregated non-identifiable trend data sourced from user QR code creation and usage data may be published from time to time for planning and information purposes.