Why Cheap Transcription Services Aren’t Everything They’re Made Out to Be

Businesses are drowning in costs. We’ve got licenses and permits and rent and employee paychecks and taxes and equipment that all need to be paid for. It’s natural to look for ways to cut costs wherever we can, especially on tasks that we don’t consider to be “mission-critical” for the day-to-day functioning of our businesses.

Cheap, however, doesn’t automatically make a product or service a good choice for businesses. 

Cheap transcription is the perfect example. There are several wildly-popular, mainstream transcription services that market themselves on being “affordable,” offering low fees and quick turnarounds in order to attract customers. 

While these low costs are appealing, they don’t tell the whole story, and it’s important to get a big-picture view of what you’re paying for, what you’re actually getting, and what it means for the industry itself. Cheap transcription services aren’t everything they’re made out to be, and in this post we’ll discuss why. 

What We Mean by Cheap Transcription Services 

There are some cheap transcription services that offer below-industry standard rates. One of the prime examples of this is Rev, who has branded themselves around low-cost transcription. 

Rev has become infamous for their $1-a-minute rates for video captions and audio transcriptions, and only $0.10 per minute for “rough draft” transcriptions for when you don’t need to be so exact. 

“Cheap” transcription, however, isn’t always synonymous with “affordable,” and low costs mean that someone is getting ripped off. It may be you, or it may be the people doing the work itself. 

Low Price Tags Come with Added Costs 

Low price tags typically come with some sort of added cost snuck in somewhere else, and it’s not always a financial one that comes in the form of hidden fees.

There’s actually an enormous moral cost that comes when you choose to hire services like Rev. The pay cuts are terrible for the industry in general, and it means that the individuals actually doing your transcription work are being undervalued and aren’t being paid a living wage in many cases. They’re also not treated all that well. Here at Ditto Transcripts, our people start at triple the rates that their average employee is estimated to make. 

This is one of the reasons that companies like Rev often have insanely high employee turnover, which ultimately isn’t good for you as a client, even if it seems like you’re saving a few dollars upfront. Many clients prefer to work with the same transcriptionists continually, so they can get to know how you like to work and adjust accordingly. 

With high turnover and potentially burned-out, unhappy workers, there’s a potential risk of declining quality. And if you can’t be guaranteed quality, what’s the point? 

What’s the Solution? 

We understand that a lot of small- and medium-sized businesses are on tight budgets. Every dollar is carefully accounted for, and it may be difficult to hire all the services that you need.

That being said, most businesses prefer to work with agencies that can reliably deliver high quality, highly accurate work on time and that also treat their employees well. Keep in mind that the more businesses who opt to work with agencies that treat their team members well, the more those agencies can expand and offer more work to workers who are struggling with other companies.

Here at Ditto Transcripts, we carefully review all applicants before accepting anyone as a transcriptionist on our team, and value each worker accordingly. Our prices are still competitive, and we also offer fast turnaround times, confidentiality, 99% accuracy rates, personalized-to-you services, all while treating our team well. And since happy employees mean happy customers, that’s something to keep in mind? 

Want to learn more about how we’re working to support the industry, our transcriptionists, and our clients all at once? See what we’re about here

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