I have been working at Verbal Ink as a contractor (More than 10 years)
As someone who's been working with Verbal Ink for ten-plus years and counting, some may see this as a biased review. I see it as just the opposite. The pros have accumulated over the years enough to keep me with the company, and even more amazing, is that the cons have remained insignificant enough to keep me here for many more years to come.
Contracting with Verbal Ink affords me the opportunity to not only transcribe, but learn a bit about many, many subjects. Today may be a board meeting with many people to track. Tomorrow may be a sermon, a police interrogation, an interview as part of a dissertation, a focus group; you name it!
You set your own hours 100 percent of the time. In the very rare instance of a miscommunication of your availability and a file being assigned that falls outside the amount you indicated to your account executive (AE), as long as you let them know immediately, the file will be reassigned with no prejudice.
Rates range fairly considerably, taking into consideration multiple variables such as verbatim, time code/stamps, accents, poor audio quality, considerable background noise, special formatting, et cetera. AEs do their best to be fair regarding variables and pay rates for individual assignments.
Account executives are available during all business hours for any questions/concerns via three different avenues. If they don't know the answer to your question, they will find out. They are very polite and personable even though most days they're under considerable pressure dealing with all aspects of both clients and contracted transcriptionists.
Verbal Ink offers its transcriptionists a couple production-based perks that I don't think are made available by most other transcription companies.
I think one of the biggest perks or "pros" to working with Verbal Ink is the fact that I was available for all school events my son needed me to attend. I was able to be a room parent for years, somewhat of a teacher assistant various years, and enjoyed endless field trips and memories that cannot otherwise be recreated. Now that my son is an adult and working, it's my two Chihuahuas I enjoy sharing my work-at-home time alongside. They don't mind if I wear slippers all day, and they just kind of look at each other then at me, and then back at each other with amusement in their loving eyes when I mumble and grumble, directly at the computer, "Be quiet and let them answer the question!"
Over the past more than ten years with Verbal Ink, I have worked with various other transcription companies but let them go in short order. Some folks feel this is a risky thing to do, but Verbal Ink has always kept my basket full with work and I'm very happy where I am with no changes visible in the horizons.
All audio is not created equal. Some audio is downright, "You've gotta be kidding me." The majority of clients seem to know this and understand we will do the best we can.
As a contract worker, no paid vacation, no health care benefits, no sick days, no personal days, and no paid holidays. I knew this when I signed up to work with Verbal Ink.
Mainly due to holidays such as Thanksgiving Christmas, New Years, work is not always abundant, so be ready with the occasional antacids. Thankfully, this happens only occasionally, and the trend seems to be showing more and more work available.
Advice to Management
Well, to Verbal Ink management, over the past more than ten years, I've watched this company grow from three people to, gosh, I've lost count -- many people and many departments. Mr. Wurster seems to have the gift of growing his business(s) not only up, but out. Verbal Ink not only offers transcription, as in the beginning, but translation, writing, subtitling, voiceover, and localization services.
My advice to management is, "Keep it up!"
I applied online. The process took 5 days. I interviewed at Verbal Ink (Los Angeles, CA).
The process was very streamlined and uncomplicated. Submit a resume via email.. Take a sample transcribing test. The test is graded. Your resume is reviewed. If you meet the qualifications, you will be given a phone interview. Must pass a background check. If that goes well, hiring is almost immediate. Fill out some forms, as you will be an independent contractor, not an employee.
There are different rates depending on skill level.
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