Speechpad Transcriber Reviews

Updated Sep 28, 2020

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3.5
66%
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  1. 5.0
    Current Freelancer, less than 1 year

    Excellent place to work

    Feb 15, 2020 - Transcriber in Union Grove, NC
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    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!

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    1 person found this review helpful
  2. 3.0
    Current Freelancer, less than 1 year

    Okay job for pocket money

    Jul 13, 2020 - Transcriber in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    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

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  3. 1.0
    Current Freelancer, less than 1 year

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

    Mar 4, 2020 - Transcriber in Ukiah, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    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.

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  4. 3.0
    Current Freelancer, more than 1 year

    They aspire to support workers

    Jun 1, 2019 - Transcriber in San Jose, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    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?

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    3 people found this review helpful
  5. 3.0
    Current Freelancer, more than 5 years

    Not bad, not great

    Jan 18, 2018 - Transcriber 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    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.

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    5 people found this review helpful
  6. 5.0
    Current Freelancer, less than 1 year

    Happy Worker

    May 12, 2016 - Transcriber/Reviewer 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    I found Speechpad when I left my last job. I was planning to transcribe while finding another permanent full-time position, getting resumes out, etc. What's great is you can work from anywhere when it's convenient for you. Once you progress through the training, improvement process, your income increases. The better you do/the more work you do, the more money you make. Great people to work with and help guide you. They are always available when you have questions and quick to answer. Pay is on a regular basis and has never been held back.

    Cons

    It's difficult to get through about the first month, but once you do, it's better.

    5 people found this review helpful
  7. 5.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Little more to ask for

    May 12, 2016 - Transcriber in Winston-Salem, NC
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Ample and steady quantity and quality of work. I've been to and through a number of online, work from home gigs trying to be similar to what Speechpad pulls off, but all miss the mark. This includes Amazon's mturk gigs (there are a few decent gigs there, but very seldom and with no consistency,) Rev, Castingwords, and a few others. Speechpad allows you to preview a clip of the audio before ever accepting the job (nice for a quick overview of what you're looking for,) and if you decide not to finish it, you can return it (they offer a list of reasons to click through that includes "I just changed my mind" and "other", so whatever your reason, it's there,) and you are not penalized for this (I should note you cannot accept THAT particular job again. For jobs you've accepted you have the choice of using their web-based transcription suite (which is actually quite impressive and what I typically use unless I need the audio amplified or the video is too large to stream properly on my outdated internet connection,) or downloading both audio and video (when there is one) to use in your choice of transcription suites or audio/video players. The site autosaves your work while you're transcribing on site and there are a couple options to quickly save process on the fly otherwise. The staff is quick and courteous with any questions or issues that come up. For instance, I had a handful of short jobs that were rated quite low by the reviewers that received them - Part of my score was that I was new to Speechpad and slipped up on a few points in their style guide but another part was the reviewer in question had not followed the guide. I emailed support with a screenshot of the corrections made by the reviewer and pointed out the section of the style guide that addressed the issue. The information was relayed to the reviewer (I was told, and have had no further issue from any reviewer on this grammar rule,) and the poor scores were negated. Pay is great and always on time (sometimes early.) Rates go from $0.20 per audio minute up to (that I've seen and worked on) $0.75 per audio minute. These rates absolutely blow away most, if not all, of the competition. Payment is made directly to your PayPal account. I run my own transcription service both locally and online. I have a very small and unsteady clientele and rely on Speechpad to fill the gaps between jobs with said clients. From what I've seen, I could easily make a solid living off the work they offer on site on a regular basis if I needed to. The style guide is quite detailed without being overbearing. It is formatted neatly and covers almost everything you'll run into. Anything I've run into that wasn't covered I simply did the way made the most sense to me and followed up with feedback regarding any issues that might have come up during review. To date I've had no serious tiffs or disputes with anyone and have had little trouble maintaining the rating required by the site. The only complaints I've found online on various forums and review sites I have to think were made by individuals who either didn't understand or refused to adhere to the Speechpad style guide.

    Cons

    I would say that the "Support Center" link not being implemented would be a con if my emails to the site administrators ever went unanswered or improperly handled, but that hasn't happened, so can find no downside to the site. There are times when the jobs available are either all too long for the timeframe I have to work at the time I'm sitting down to do it or are of quality too low to take on confidently (I don't have the best ear for picking out that crosstalk as cars zip by on the busy street the interview is being recorded adjacent to,) but that would be complaining about something out of the control of Speechpad itself. They can only provide the workload they're contracted to do. My only real complaint with the site is one you will find at ANY site of this nature and that is with the style guide. The English language is tricky even for those of us born and raised in a native English speaking country. Dialects differ from as near as a city block away from me and the rules that address the finest aspects of a language so diverse as this one is in writing, let alone when spoken on the fly, can be all too complex to agree on or fit snuggly into a single online document to follow. But again, this isn't a Speechpad issue but a general issue that is always going to come up when working online in this nature.

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    6 people found this review helpful
  8. 5.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Helpful and Consistent

    May 12, 2016 - Transcriber 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    I'm surprised by the negative reviews. After 4 years and nearly 1,000 jobs with them, I have had almost no bad experiences. Their customer service staff is friendly and helpful, their reviews are more than fair and consistent, and there is always more than enough work.

    Cons

    If you're transcribing through MTurk, you won't be able to see your reviews, which is a con for me. But customer service is always more than willing to answer my questions!

    4 people found this review helpful
  9. 3.0
    Current Freelancer, less than 1 year

    Very helpful and supportive staff

    May 13, 2016 - Transcriber/Reviewer 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    You get to work from home and choose which jobs you want to complete. Staff is always very helpful and supportive. They respond usually within minutes. After you have worked with them for a while, you will qualify for higher paying jobs and you can also become a reviewer. The people who review your work are just like you. They are also freelancers who have risen through the ranks. Even if you get an occasional low score, they will throw it out so it doesn't affect your rating.

    Cons

    The work can be grueling. Sometimes it's hard to understand recordings. I type over 100 wpm and it still takes me a long time to finish a job.

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    1 person found this review helpful
  10. 2.0
    Current Freelancer, more than 1 year

    Only if you're desperate.

    Jan 25, 2018 - Transcriber and Reviewer 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    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.

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    11 people found this review helpful
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