How do transcription services bill for their services?
No matter what method of billing or transcription rate structure is used, there are certain questions that should be addressed.
When transcription rates are quoted for any of these billing methods, questions should be raised, such as:
- How does the transcription service define length of words? Average number of words per line? Per page?
- How many lines are on a double-spaced page? (There is a major difference between 24 and 26 lines per page – 8.3% to be precise.)
- Does the transcription service use 10-point, 12-point or larger font size?
- What margins do they use? 1″ all around? 1 1/2″ left margin, 1 1/2″ bottom margin, 1″ top and right margins?
- How fast do their transcriptionists type?
- If the audio is less than stellar quality, does the transcription service still charge the same rate?
- If they charge by the project, will they guarantee their bid, or insert a “not to exceed clause” in their contract?
- What premium does the transcription service charge for rush or emergency jobs?
- If by the page, do they charge extra for less than stellar audio?
- If they charge by the page, who eats the extra time for additional audio – the company or the transcriptionist? (It’s a loaded question.)
Low transcription rates – whether they be by the word, line, page or hour – don’t necessarily mean lowest costs.