Scribendi Reviews

Updated Jul 8, 2020

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2.9
39%
Recommend to a Friend
26%
Approve of CEO
Scribendi President Patricia Riopel  (no image)
Patricia Riopel
3 Ratings
Pros
  • "high standards for entry and quality (the editing test is hard)(in 27 reviews)

  • "The other remote editors were very friendly and supportive in the forums(in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • "and then watch them give you false assurances that your document has been handled by a qualified person(in 10 reviews)

  • "If an editor can't stay above an 80 average, you get stuck in the ESL dungeon(in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (20)

    "Great place for remote work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Freelance Editor in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Scribendi

    Pros

    I started in October of 2014, editing remotely. I've been impressed with Scribendi's professionalism from the beginning - everything is well organized and I've learned a tremendous amount through working here. Feedback from both clients and internal review comes frequently, and they keep you on your toes. I could see that if you were not a top-notch editor, things could go downhill for you quickly, but it seems that they are quite rigorous in their hiring practices to get good editors in the first place. The pay is good - it depends on how rough the English is on the assignments you get - but you have 20 minutes to decline an order if it seems like it will not be worth the effort. Overall I'm averaging about $20/hour, although the first month was a little below that.

    Cons

    None that I can think of.

  2. Helpful (10)

    "Take, take, take. Give, give, give."

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Freelance Copy Editor in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Scribendi part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    For editors who can't find work otherwise, or who want to earn a tiny bit of supplementary income in the evening when they'd rather be spending time with their family, the Scribendi platform connects them with short-term editing projects they wouldn't otherwise have access to. For EFL students who don't want to actually do the work of learning English, or for university students incapable of writing grammatically correct sentences but who feel they should be given a degree anyway, the Scribendi platform offers an inexpensive way out of doing the hard work of studying and applying learned knowledge to a task they'd rather not be bothered with.

    Cons

    I will say this: you are required to go through a THREE-HOUR online "test" for them to consider allowing you onto their platform to take on projects you won't have enough time to complete, for clients who'll pass their EFL course because YOU wrote their essays, for what will end up being a third of the salary you thought you'd make..

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  3. Helpful (4)

    "Pleasant to work with"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Editor in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Scribendi part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    pleasant tone to communications incentives for certain jobs

    Cons

    some very difficult documents new rating system is annoying

  4. Helpful (29)

    "Thought It'd Be Better"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Remote Editor 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Scribendi full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    You have complete control over your work schedule and where you work. I really enjoyed being able to work outside if I wanted to. The work was challenging, and I enjoyed learning new and interesting things through the documents I edited. The other remote editors were very friendly and supportive in the forums. I enjoyed talking to them. I did like the karma point system because it was easy to accumulate karma points if you helped with the late-running orders. You can redeem your karma points for different rewards, such as gift cards, merchandise, and MS Word keys.

    Cons

    They expect too much from their editors in too little time. A lot of the papers are very poorly written ESL documents, and they expect their editors to turn them into perfect masterpieces in just a few hours. Many of these papers require way more time to complete than is provided. Furthermore, if the client needs to be contacted and the deadline is approaching, you have to submit the incomplete document to the customer anyway or else Scribendi's system will punish you for returning the document late. I felt this was very unfair and unprofessional. Most of the time, you wind up working 10+ hours a day on something that should have only taken 6 otherwise. It makes the pay really not worth the hours you're working. I shouldn't have tried to work with them full time because meeting monetary goals while maintaining high-quality work was pretty much impossible. In the end, it got the best of me. The successful editors at Scribendi seem to work part-time and already have years of editing experience. If you can't keep up with Scribendi's pace (or pass the majority of your QA checks, which are another story), you get the boot. I also disliked that they didn't put a lot of effort into offering further or advanced training for their editors. I would have liked to have participated in a training webinar instead of taking their "training" sessions on their sister site, Inklyo (which were long, repetitive, and mostly unhelpful).

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    Scribendi Response

    January 25, 2019

    Hey there, and thank you for your feedback. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed having control of your schedule and workload. Scribendi’s flexibility and wide variety of documents are often appreciated by freelancers! We are also happy to hear you enjoyed the karma system and its rewards. We understand your desire for further training, but we hire experienced freelance editors who are self-employed contractors, so we do not train them on how to edit. However, while their professional development is their responsibility, we do aim to fully support our editors in meeting our high standards and to provide free access to numerous editing and proofreading resources, which we are always looking to improve. We have also revamped our QA system to account for editors’ effort in revising documents. We are sorry to hear that you found our expectations to be too high. While we do see documents by writers of every experience level, we ensure that documents of any length can only be placed with realistic turnaround times. We expect our editors to edit at the industry standard of 1,000 words per hour, as noted in our application, and many of our editors surpass this without sacrificing quality. Since we provide our editors with full autonomy in terms of the orders they choose to accept, if the turnaround time for an order does not look feasible considering their speed, they do not have to accept the order. It is true that editors will incur karma penalties if they return a document late, but an incomplete or poorly edited document should never be returned to a client; this is clearly against our editorial policy. We value quality above all else and strive to deliver this to our clients every time.

  5. Helpful (27)

    "Copy Editor/Proofreader"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Copy Editor in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Scribendi for more than 10 years

    Pros

    They helped me transition from medical transcription to proofing/copy editing

    Cons

    They contacted me 11 months after I'd submitted a resume. They were fine with my work when they were a little Mom&Pop shop, but then they applied for all these accreditations and my Editor number (#8) didn't look good. They were looking for a constant turnover of editors and, years after I'd been working for them, they introduced training. I aced the training, even finding typos that the "experts" had missed. Then they introduced a QA department that docked editors for such nonsense as "US writers don't use 'hence'; they use 'thus.' Only UK writers use 'hence." They kept picking at me and picking at me until I felt as if there was some chirpy little QA person watching over my shoulder. In short, I'd been there too long. Eventually they told me I no longer fit their business model, and I was dismissed.

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    Scribendi Response

    January 25, 2019

    Hello, and thanks for your feedback. We are glad that you were able to enter the editing industry through Scribendi. However, we are sorry to hear that you felt as though you were let go as a result of a changing business model. We never seek editor turnover, as we do value our freelancers; our core group of experienced freelance editors is the backbone of the company. In addition, while the quality system can sometimes seem tough, we find our quality system to be vital, as it ensures that we consistently provide value to our clients. We constantly strive to ensure that our quality system is fair, and we have a review system in place to handle any concerns. Transparency and accountability are key aims of the current administration.

  6. Helpful (69)

    "(Don't) Stand by Me"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Editor 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Scribendi full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There is plenty of work available, and you can choose the projects you like. The board may be a little lean during the summer and at other academic down-times, but I've been able to earn a modest and steady living. They provide tools to enhance your productivity, as well as a knowledge base to help you answer many basic questions as you edit.

    Cons

    The company does not support their editors. When clients complain, the order is reviewed by their full-time staff. No matter how high your score, no matter how well they esteem your editing, no matter how petty the client's complaints are (including that the client just didn't like a change you made, which they could just choose not to accept in their own revisions), the client is offered a redo or a refund. Frequently, the client requests a different editor for this. Again, no matter how high your review score or what praise was given to your work by the senior editors, if this request is made it will be granted, and you can lose your pay (and your time) for that order. Unfortunately, because all remote editors are contract workers, this is legit, and you have no recourse. I understand that keeping clients happy is how they stay in business--it's part of how all companies stay in business. But there appears to be no point at which the company will stand by the work of their editors, and no point at which the client stops being right--no matter how petty, foolish, or unreasonable they are being in their requests and complaints. The worst part is that clients have figured this out, and they appear to know that complaining enough can get them free services. Clients are not expected to take any measure of responsibility for their own work. You will see some truly abysmal writing in this job, and there appears to be no limit to the expectations placed on you to turn it into something worthy of highest regard (no matter how poorly conceived, constructed, and written it is when it comes to you). At the end of the day, there's only so much you can do without extensively researching and rewriting concepts from scratch (a no-no at Scribendi, and rightly so as that is not editing), but clients expect things to come back to them with no further review or writing necessary on their part, regardless of how dirt-poor the original was. In fact, client complaints often fall under the category of "I don't want to keep this change that the editor made," and rather than simply rejecting that change in the review process (a simple click of a button), they complain and demand a redo or a refund. In short, do not expect clients to be reasonable and do not expect Scribendi to EVER take your side, even when they deem your work "excellent" or a client's complaints invalid.

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    Scribendi Response

    January 25, 2019

    Hello, and thank you for your feedback. Scribendi aims to provide freelancers with the autonomy to decide what work they wish to accept, so thank you for pointing this out. We are also happy to hear that you had the resources necessary to successfully complete your work. We apologise that you felt there was a lack of support, especially in relation to complaints. However, it is untrue that complaints always result in redos or refunds. We always protect editors from fraudulent (or simply incorrect) complaints, and we look at all complaints objectively through our highly calibrated quality system. A redo is only offered if a specific complaint is valid or if many errors remain in the document, which we believe to be fair. If the error is on the client’s end or Scribendi’s end—and not the editor’s end—the editor will always be paid for the work they have done. If a complaint is valid, however, we do ask our professional editors to take responsibility for their work. Maintaining quality is essential for customer satisfaction, but such satisfaction never occurs at the cost of fairness. It is true that we accept orders from inexperienced and ESL writers. We believe that everyone should have access to our services because everyone deserves the opportunity to communicate clearly and effectively. This does mean that we have to provide a great final product even for challenging documents. However, we never compel freelance editors to accept such documents. Editors only ever have to edit when and what they want, and we believe that this flexibility provides editors with a lot of professional freedom.

  7. Helpful (24)

    "Good for the part-time worker."

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Remote Editor 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Scribendi part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Flexibility. Large variety of work. Excellent in-house staff and management who treat their remote editors with the respect and the attention they need.

    Cons

    You must be fast to earn a decent income. Unfortunately, many of the documents that you begin with barely past muster and require very careful attention and substantive edits. Until you reach a certain rating and/or average QA score, you'll be stuck with ESL and technical documents regardless of your credentials or background.

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  8. Helpful (33)

    "Remote editor"

    3.0
     

    I have been working at Scribendi

    Pros

    This is a work-from-home position that provides a lot of flexibility. Scribendi provides extensive (but essentially unpaid) training that covers grammar, editing, proofreading, and more. Remote editors have the ability to choose their assignments, and there are typically quite a few assignments available.

    Cons

    The pay is project-based and is usually absurdly low. Most projects are from ESL writers, and many take a very long time to complete. I tend to earn between $15-20/hour, but more difficult projects reduce that rate. Scribendi offers "karma," which is basically a $0.05-$1 boost to assignments that aren't getting picked up. Woohoo, an extra five cents?! It's insulting.

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  9. Helpful (60)

    "Totally unrealistic expectations"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Scribendi

    Pros

    This is a decent remote option, but prepare to be hounded and to edit ridiculously bad ESL papers. The pay is less than my current job. The module for training and picking up work is decent, but you will be expected to take their test and go through their extensive and condescending training (full of bizarre photos of cats) with no pay.

    Cons

    The team, at first, seems like they are willing to work with you, but they're not. They're all about money, and if you don't earn repeat business for them, you will be fired.

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  10. Helpful (46)

    "Editing as assembly line work"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Editor in Remote, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Scribendi

    Pros

    Yes, editors can work when they want, but the writing they must edit is so terrible and the pay so little, that the freedom is not worth it.

    Cons

    Thanks to Scribendi, hundreds of students who can barely write a sentence are getting advanced degrees because they have their papers rewritten by Scribendi editors. You can make a living wage if you can work 8-10 straight hours every day and, thus, do one-day turnaround jobs. But I am a caregiver, so I could not take any jobs that had to be returned in fewer than 5 days. As a result, the most I ever made for an edit was $8/hour, but I averaged $5/hour. For one two-page document that took me 30 minutes to edit, I made $3.25. I was a teacher, so I liked to explain why an edit was necessary. In one of my Quality Assurance checks, I had points taken away for this and was told, "Don't explain how to fix it, just fix it." So the writer, in other words, learns nothing. Many editors obviously pander for positive feedback, which is just sad.

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Found 21 reviews