Speechpad Reviews

Updated Aug 31, 2020

To filter reviews, or .
3.9
81%
Recommend to a Friend
  1. Helpful (1)

    "Excellent place to work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Transcriber in Union Grove, NC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Speechpad for less than a year

    Pros

    Pay is twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday. There's always work. Customer service is super fast and you get great support of you have any questions whatsoever.

    Cons

    I can't think of anything bad about working for them. They are awesome!

    Continue reading
  2. "Okay job for pocket money"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Transcriber in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Speechpad

    Pros

    Random subjects, easier than surveys, can do it in your spare time

    Cons

    Workload is random, very low pay, lots of competition for jobs


  3. "Well I think they are a good company, but they don't guarantee job security."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Transcriber in Ukiah, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Speechpad for less than a year

    Pros

    Money is paid on time.

    Cons

    -No internal training programmes to improve on workers accuracy. -No effective worker profile management. -Does'nt guarantee job security as your qualifications can be revoked at anytime.

    Continue reading
  4. "Above average for transcription companies"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Transcriptionist in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Speechpad for more than a year

    Pros

    Very helpful, supportive staff, opportunity for higher earnings with experience. They will always help with time extensions for jobs and unfair reviews. You need to speak up and not just let it go. Some of these reviews I read are very unfair. I work for 3 other transcription companies and Speechpad has much better opportunities for earning more, again, with experience. I do both, review and transcribe, and if I find that a file needs too much corrrection, I have the option of sending it back to the transcriber, or if time is short, the support staff will always give you more money to review it. As a transcriber, I have had unnecessary corrections made on my work, and again, support is great in correcting that and exempting your rating.

    Cons

    Some files are difficult,some reviewers are harsh, takes time to get to the point where you can make good money. (All are normal for this type of work)

    Continue reading
  5. Helpful (3)

    "They aspire to support workers"

    3.0
    Current Freelancer - Transcriber in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Speechpad for more than a year

    Pros

    Excellent support for transcribers Super fast pay Transcription console rarely has a glitch

    Cons

    Probably can't make a full-time living on this work Very difficult audio sometimes (not unique to SP) Some videos do not play in console (you must have backup dictation software) Biggest Problem: Very inconsistent reviewers. Rules are all over the place with reviewers despite transcriber following style guide. Sometimes a reviewer is just way off base but who has the time to argue given the pay?

    Continue reading
  6. "Hands Off Employer But Good Company"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Independent Contractor 
    Recommends

    I have been working at Speechpad for more than a year

    Pros

    Speechpad communicates quickly and efficiently with you on issues and are willing to work with their contractors. The price per minute for files that require higher qualifications is decent and I’m able to make enough of a wage to put myself through college with limited help. The overall work tends to be interesting and diverse, so it’s easy for me to stay engaged and not lose interest.

    Cons

    They do not keep track of wages and are very strict about your status as an independent contractor: no tax papers, no letters of recommendation, etc. In this regard they do feel a little too hands off. Pay for basic jobs does tend to run on the low side, as well, even for difficult audio files.

  7. Helpful (8)

    "Only if you're desperate."

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Transcriber and Reviewer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Speechpad for more than a year

    Pros

    On-time payments Make money from home

    Cons

    The biggest con with this company is the review process. I'm saying this as a reviewer, which means I get to review other transcribers' files before they go to the customer. I'm viewing it from both sides. The reviewers are given a style guide to follow as the basis of every job, but even then, they are told to not follow certain points in it. Why even have it then? Some reviewers will correct things just to have made a correction, while others will let the same things go. Some reviewers want a comma after the word, "So," in every sentence, and others will remove that comma every time, resulting in a very low score for the file you've spent a lot of time transcribing. MANY times, you WILL have a speaker who says, "So," or twice in each sentence. Maybe you've just spent four hours transcribing that file, reviewing it, and re-reviewing to make sure it's just PERFECT, only to have some over-zealous review with a pet peeve for commas after (or before, you never know who's going to be reviewing your work or what they deem correct!!) the word, "so," which results in your file being given a score of 84. That's a terrible score. You won't be working on files very long if you get a few files with a score of 84. This happens constantly with things like filler words (like, sort of, kind of, I mean, etc.), interjections, opinion-based punctuation, hyphenated words, and the list goes on. After this happens a few times, you get fed up. You ask yourself, "Why would I waste my valuable time trying to be as good as I can be, already being underpaid at that, just to get a terrible score anyway? I'm just going to do this as fast as I possibly can since it makes no difference in my score." And that's where it totally sucks to be a reviewer as well because you're constantly getting garbage files and having to spend way too much time fixing them. Yesterday, I spent over an hour reviewing a file to make less than $3. I had to go over it four times to be sure I corrected everything. That's how bad it was. I could have emailed worker support and asked for a pay increase, which they give about 50% of the time you ask. But when you're working on a file that short, really, what's an extra $0.10 per minute? I'll tell you what it is. It's not worth my time to stop what I'm doing and email worker support, then wait 20 minutes for a response from them that MIGHT give me an extra dollar. I don't blame the people who use voice-to-text or rush through the files either. I've had it with reviewers ruining the files I've transcribed, too. I've had near-perfect transcriptions that should have been scored at 100, literally zero mistakes, and once the reviewer was finished making clauses out of my complete sentences and misspelling all the towns, names, etc that I've taken my time to Google and get the correct spelling of, my score becomes a 93 instead of a 99. Can you say frustrating? Sure, you can send off an email to worker support, and they might exempt the score for you, but that's a hassle and they don't want to be bothered with it most of the time. I'm already making $6 an hour on a good file. Why should I have to take time to tell you that your reviewers suck on top of it? You should already know that. There are QA checks, which are checks done to review the reviewers' work, but they can't see the corrections that were made to the original transcriber's file, so nobody ever finds out if the reviewer was correcting things just because and giving your a terrible score that you didn't deserve. There is a new rule out for the reviewers to overlook things that have been viewed as opinion in the past. Nobody follows it. If anything, the nit-picking has only gotten worse. This all leads to garbage transcription files that nobody wants to review. So what does Speechpad do? Rather than deal with the real issue, they implement a five-return rule. You used to be able to accept and return as many jobs as you wanted. If you accepted a file and it was garbage, no problem, just return it. Not amymore, my friends. If you've accepted four garbage files today for review and get a fifth one, you're stuck with it or else they will disable your account. Those files that need to be reviewed are garbage because of the frustrated transcribers that have been created by the bad reviewers. It's a vicious cycle and Speechpad refuses to do anything about it.

    Continue reading
  8. Helpful (5)

    "Not bad, not great"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Transcriber 
    Recommends

    I have been working at Speechpad for more than 5 years

    Pros

    You can work from home, and this actually helped me gain experience to find higher paying transcription jobs. The staff (with speechpad email addresses) are pretty helpful and friendly. I still like to complete jobs for them from time to time because they are usually more entertaining than other companies. For me, this is more of a hobby than anything.

    Cons

    First, I need to say that I have a master's degree in English and began working for the company in 2012. I have transcribed thousands and thousands of minutes and am actually a reviewer/editor for other companies. The problem is the inconsistent review team. They do not always leave constructive feedback. Instead, I have received some pretty rude feedback that is not necessarily helpful. I recently received a review that had been incorrectly changed.

    Continue reading
  9. Helpful (14)

    "Very poorly run. Incompetent staff on all sides, and work is underpaid."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Transcriber 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Speechpad for more than a year

    Pros

    The one and only good thing I can think of to say about them is that I never had any trouble getting paid what was owed to me; I guess that's in their favor, compared to things I've read about similar companies.

    Cons

    Where to begin? There were so many negative aspects to working for this company, it's difficult to decide. Most importantly, I should state that I am college educated, and my entire life I have excelled at any language related courses. I also type an average of 70 words per minute. One major flaw is this company, like many other online transcription rackets, pays per minute of audio. That seems all fine and dandy until you get a recording with fast speakers, multiple speakers, poor audio, people speaking over each other, etc. They pay rate is a scam, and let this be warning to anyone looking for this kind of work: any company that pays per audio minute instead of per word is ripping you off. I would say I averaged about $4 an hour there, and that was on the higher-paid files. I could make more at a McDonalds for goodness' sake. This also ties in with their assignment deadlines. In an utterly baffling decision on their end, assignments are given deadlines that average double the time of the audio file. Conversational speech is generally between 120 - 150 words per minute, with fast speech averaging 160 - 200 words per minute. Do the math. Their assignment time frames also make no sense because while they want you to finish an assignment in, say, one hour, they have no problem with assignments languishing in the job pool for days. I suspect their timeframe estimates are to give the appearance of the ability to make more money than you actually will, but what it results in is bad transcriptions, low pay, high stress, and no time to even get up to use the restroom in the middle of an assignment. So, I started as a transcriber, just like everybody does. The only times my submitted work was "corrected" were for what, as best as I could make out, matters of opinion. Not for legitimate spelling or punctuation errors, but for words or phrases that were mumbled or victim to poor audio quality, and in the greater context of the document had been judged by me to make the most sense. I even spent time cross-checking facts, spelling of foreign names, etc., and even learned a few fun phrases from other countries, only to have some overzealous, under-educated reviewer claim I was wrong. The same happened with stylistic preferences for punctuation (e.g., the Oxford comma, etc.). There is absolutely no way to dispute these things or even discuss it with said reviewer, and their reviewers are largely inconsistent so your rating will be entirely dependant on that reviewer's point of view. Their provided style guide is lacking and somewhat nonsensical. I asked multiple times if I should be adhering to AP, APA, MLA, Chicago Manual of Style formats... anything. Give me the parameters and rules, and I will gladly follow them. Some sort of commonly used and accepted style format would be immensely helpful, and make things significantly easier for everyone involved. I got no answer, ever. After much underpaid work, I finally got to the level required to be a reviewer. I thought this is where the reasonable pay would be as a reviewer should conceivably be able to listen to audio and read along with the transcriber's work, straight through, at full speed, and maybe need to correct one or two simple typos or formatting errors at most. I was so wrong. A great majority of the transcriptions I received for review were an absolute mess, rife with misspellings, major formatting errors or no formatting whatsoever, and absolute nonsense such as the transcriber deciding that a certain colloquialism they were evidently unfamiliar with was actually some absurd phrase that they made up. After a few of these, I realized that the best route would be to have the entire thing transcribed anew. I started rejecting the excessively messy transcriptions. I then got whining emails from the upper level staffers (management) asking me if it was really necessary to do that, to which I responded that it absolutely was necessary because the document was such a disaster. Management then told me that I could just let them know through their antiquated system of personally emailing one of them, and they would re-assign it to me as a transcription job. See, their pedestrian web interface does not give you any way to do this. You can only submit the job, or cancel it - which puts it back into the pool. A transcription job is half the amount of pay of a review job. I said "no thank you." Due to circumstances beyond my control, I did not have any other real options at that time for work, so I stayed on a bit longer. The final straw came when I got an email one morning while out running errands, from one of their management staff. It claimed I had submitted a document with no text whatsoever and "the client was very angry." Therefore, Speechpad was firing me. Fortunately, I had Word document backups of every task I had ever done, so I raced home and sent it off to said manager. I was then wondering what kind of sorry excuse for a system they had that led this to happen in the first place, and how incompetent their staff could possibly be to fire off a nasty email like that to a worker without taking 3 minutes to look at said worker's profile and past work to determine if it even made sense that the worker would do something like that. Eventually the manager apologized, informed me that their had been some sort of technical problems on their end, and "re-hired" me. I had by this time moved on to something else entirely. The only way I would even consider working for any of these types of businesses again is if I were paid per word at a fair market rate, and had 24 hour assignments. Nevertheless, I still wouldn't work for this company again.

    Continue reading

    Speechpad Response

    Operations manager

    We're very sorry to hear that you've had a bad experience with us. Let's see if I can help to clear some things up. The time given to transcribe a job is 10-12 times the length of the file. For example, if you get a one hour file, you have between 10 and 12 hours to transcribe it. We also stress in our style guide and in our emails to our team members to email us or use our live chat which is available 24/7 to request more time. There is also an option to request an extension on the platform while you still have the job locked. Reviewers go by our style guide, which is the same guide used by the transcribers. The Oxford comma has never been a steadfast rule so that's why it's never been in our style guide. Any time you ever have a question, we're just an email away. No emails go unanswered or unresolved. We write our style guide in accordance with what our customers want. We have gotten feedback from customers over the years and have shaped our style guide from their feedback. Additionally, if there are specific styles the customer requests for a file, the instructions will be included in the instructions section of the job overview. We have always kept clear and constant communication with reviewers about poorly transcribed files. We have the option of sending a rework to the transcriber for improvement, reprice the file for the reviewer if there are a lot of errors and as a last resort, rejection of the file. We do not ask any reviewer to take it or leave it. Review jobs pay from $0.20 to $0.35 per audio minute and transcription for a reviewer pays no less than $0.50 per audio minute. Speechpad doesn't fire reviewers or transcribers for a mistake. We revoke your qualifications until we figure out the issue and then you are given back your qualification. If you will email us, we will be happy to look at the issue you had and give feedback. We hope this helps to clear things up!

  10. Helpful (2)

    "Easy, Great Communication"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Anonymous Freelancer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Speechpad

    Pros

    I've been able to find work at my own convenience. There is always a variety of jobs and I get paid frequently (once a week). I've never had an issue with the customer service...they're always responsive and helpful.

    Cons

    No downsides experienced for me!

Found 42 reviews