Everybody loves a bargain, but everybody also hates poor quality. The trick is in the word ‘bargain’ which indicates ‘cheap’ to most people. The old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ is not far off the mark. So, rather than looking for a cheap service, how about looking for the ‘best value for money’. That puts a different outlook on the whole thing.
The next question is how to tell what is ‘the best value’. With a product, this is easy because you can see it, but it is harder to judge when dealing with a service.
As in any service, transcriptions need to be high quality. If you need a transcription, you need it written correctly and accurately. That comes with experience and professionalism, and unfortunately, that does have a price, (often lower than you think).
Transcription Rates Explained
There are many transcription services around, and they have three basic ways to charge for work; per word and per package, but these are the least common. Then there is per minute/hour, and that is how we at EQ Transcription Services charge. This makes it easy for you to calculate how much your transcription will cost before getting it done.
There is a basic price, but just about every agency had extras you can choose according to your needs.
- Speed of Delivery
Most companies offer additional service options, above the actual transcription naturally. These are often express delivery/priority etc. if you need the work in a hurry. There is usually an additional cost for this.
- Verbatim Transcription or Intelligent Transcription
In some instances, transcription companies have different prices for a verbatim transcription, (this is where every word, tone, pause and sound is transcribed), and intelligent transcription, (when the only important factor is the content, not how it was said). When companies use this option for pricing work, intelligent transcription usually works out cheaper.
- Subject Matter of Transcription
Technical fields, such as law and medicine, because of their complex nature and special vocabulary, can cost more in some cases than a simple focus group or meeting discussion. Technical material requires a transcriptionist who has knowledge of that field.
- Single or Multiple Speakers
Many transcription services charge more for multiple speakers than for one. This is simply because it is harder to keep track of who said what, to distinguish between speakers and even to make out what was said when they all talk at once, and this makes the job more time-consuming. EQ Transcription Services offer three alternatives; a single speaker, a couple of people, or a group. The price difference is negligible, but it is slightly more for a group than for one voice.
- Time Stamps
Inserting the time of the recording next to the spoken word can help locate a certain phrase in the audio. Some companies charge more for this, while others offer it as part of the service and it is included in the price.
- Audio Quality
An add-on you might come across is an extra charge for poor quality audio. This is because in many cases the audio needs ‘cleaned’ before transcriptionists can understand what is being said. Any bad audio and this can be as simple as noises like a car passing, can make the spoken material hard to hear clearly enough to transcribe with accuracy.
To Sum Up
Going back to the beginning and the phrase, ‘you get what you pay for’, as you can see each additional charge is due to something that causes more work for transcriptionists.
You can keep costs down by ordering the transcription as soon as you have the audio, thereby avoiding extra charges for a speedy delivery. The same applies to use good recording equipment to get clear audio.
If you need an accurate transcription, you should go with a reputable company with experienced transcriptionists. Paying less money but getting an inaccurate transcription is not a bargain, it is a waste of money and could end up costing you more in the long run.
If you have any doubts about how much a transcription will cost, contact the company, explain clearly what you have, and your needs, and ask for a quote.