Speechpad Transcriber Reviews

Updated Mar 4, 2020

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3.4
69%
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  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!

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  2. "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.

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  3. 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?

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  4. 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.

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  5. Helpful (13)

    "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.

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    Speechpad Response

    July 3, 2017Operations 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!

  6. Helpful (5)

    "Little more to ask for"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Transcriber in Winston-Salem, NC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Speechpad

    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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  7. Helpful (4)

    "Helpful and Consistent"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Transcriber 
    Recommends

    I have been working at Speechpad

    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!

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Not good."

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

    I worked at Speechpad for more than a year

    Pros

    -Pays weekly. -Accepts complete beginners.

    Cons

    -Very low pay. -Nonsensical transctiption reviewers.

  9. Helpful (5)

    "Great Opportunity for Freelance Transcribers"

    5.0
    Transcriber in Manila, Manila
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Speechpad

    Pros

    I have been working for Speechpad on and off since 2014. As a freelance, I get to pick up work with them when I have free time. Work instructions are pretty easy and you are also given a first-listen to the audio file you pick to make sure you are comfortable with it. Do a good enough job and you will be rewarded with eligibility to be a reviewer of transcripts. All in all, a good experience for me, and I will continue to work for Speechpad as long as there are transcripts to be done.

    Cons

    I have a very good working relationship with Speechpad and can't come up with anything to write here. If anything changes, I'll update this review.

  10. Helpful (4)

    "A Great Way to Earn Around my Family's Schedule"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Transcriber in Lloydminster, AB
    Recommends

    I have been working at Speechpad

    Pros

    I've been with Speechpad for about a year. I love that I can work around my family's busy life simply by picking up jobs when I have time to do so. It's been a terrific way to earn an income. They have support staff readily available to answer any questions or assist you with any trouble you may encounter. They will also help with coaching and tips if you ask them. I recommend this for anyone who has attention to detail and enjoys this kind of work.

    Cons

    visual and audio aids would be a help, but that's more of a suggestion. There is a lot of information in the style guides.

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Found 12 reviews