The Hidden Costs of “Cheap” Transcription Services

The Hidden Costs of Cheap Transcription Services - Audio Transcription Center Blog

Before you select a transcription service, ask yourself “what are my priorities?” Cheap transcription services may be tempting as a way to save money but beware: low rates do not automatically mean low total cost. These are some of the many traps and hidden costs you may find:

Unreliable results:

You will likely end up with very inaccurate transcripts when using low-cost transcription services, They could be using voice recognition software which is notorious for its inability to understand different dialects or the slightest variations in speech, or they could be outsourcing overseas to transcriptionists whose native language is not English. Think about the value of your own time if you need to spend hours cleaning up poorly transcribed material.

In our case, we make sure to match the subject matter of your project to transcriptionists with corresponding knowledge and expertise. Their experience working with audio that involves multiple speakers, verbatim, accents, and other variations in speech, allows us to provide our clients with at least 99% accuracy. This means that they don’t have to waste valuable time correcting avoidable transcription errors.

Security gaps:

Some low-cost transcription firms that do work for American clients are legally based overseas. This creates unnecessary risk for projects containing confidential material. Some people don’t even trust their American-based firms to comply with the appropriate rules and regulations to ensure the security of their data.

With ATC, your information and transcripts remain private because we are not only a US-based company but our security is third-party verified. Also, all of our transcriptionists sign non-disclosure and non-compete agreements on day one, no matter if they are working with confidential material or not. We can also provide an “in-house only” team for extra security if you require it. This is how seriously we prioritize your privacy.

Additional charges:

We all hate hidden fees when using airlines, hotels, and credit cards. Seemingly cheap transcription services also have costs that are initially concealed from their clients. They lure customers in by offering a surprisingly low rate, but then charge additional fees for rush orders, timecodes, verbatim, or even accuracy, that will make the final cost considerably higher.

Our method for determining price is always straightforward, with no surcharges for rush orders, verbatim, multiple speakers, poor audio quality, and more. We inform our clients of all cost considerations from the beginning, and we will contact you immediately if we discover anything in the audio that could increase the total estimate.

Final thoughts:

How you select a transcription company will depend on your priorities. If accuracy is not a priority for your project, then going with a low-cost company may be in your best interest. But if you want to trust that the words on the page represent the ones spoken in your audio, we recommend avoiding the risk of cheap transcription services by choosing an experienced and credible company.

Outsourcing transcription services can have many advantages, especially when you receive top-quality results with 99% accuracy and no hidden fees. Regardless of which path you choose, it pays to do your research to make sure the company you select meets your expectations, and you don’t end up paying more money to fix a poorly transcribed document.

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