Red Flags to Look for When Hiring a Transcription Company

Red Flags to Look for When Hiring a Transcription Company
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


The transcription field has a low barrier to entry. While this may be a good thing for new transcription firms, it isn’t for clients.

Many companies looking for transcription services have to deal with poor-quality work delivered by the best human transcription providers.

Businesses that hire cheaper transcription service providers usually end up losing money.

Here are some red flags to look for when working with low-cost transcription service providers. 

1. Confidentiality and Security of Your Data

Transcription companies access highly sensitive data from their clients. Does the service provider you want to hire have measures to safeguard your data?

As a client, you expect the transcription company to maintain the confidentiality of your data. The company should have encryption and security systems in place.

The firm should also provide a nondisclosure agreement that outlines its commitment to safeguarding your data. 

Most cheap transcription services don’t have data security systems to ensure the integrity of their clients’ data.

Some don’t offer confidentiality assurances while others hire transcriptionists from overseas.

When you choose such companies, you risk your data being accessed by non-US citizens.

2. Inaccurate Transcriptions

Professional Transcription services provider guarantee the accuracy of the transcripts they provide and back up their claims.

If there are errors with your project, they will correct their mistakes at no extra cost or refund your payment. 

Unfortunately, cheap transcription services are likely to provide inaccurate transcripts.

To keep costs low, most of the agencies use voice recognition software while others outsource the work to overseas freelancers, who may not be native speakers of the language in your recordings.

Moreover, many cheap transcription firms don’t offer a guarantee on expected service quality.

Also Read: Online Research Makes Hiring a Transcription Company Worthwhile

3. Unprofessional Agencies

Many cheap transcription firms lack a clear operations system.  Everything may look solid on their site but once you assign them a project, they may not know how to proceed.

Others don’t offer contracts and don’t stick to deadlines. This unprofessionalism occurs because these transcription companies aren’t run by professionals.

 Some firms may also lack the experience to successfully complete transcription projects.

4. Non-US Transcriptionists

If you want your English audio transcribed accurately, you are better off hiring an American-based transcription agency that has native-speaking transcriptionists.

These transcriptionists can pick up slang, dialect, and other native accents.

Unfortunately, most cheap transcription service providers claim to be based in the US and lie about having native-speaking transcriptionists.

However, most agencies use non-native speakers since they can hire them at a low cost. This is why the quality of your transcribed work is likely to be poor. 

5. Hidden Costs

Cheap transcription companies typically entice clients with a cheap project rate.

However, once you sign up and assign them a project, they will come up with additional costs.

For example, there may be additional fees for:

A good transcription company will let you know the actual cost of your project from the beginning.

Moreover, if there will be additional charges, you will be informed before signing the project contract.

Don’t be tempted to hire a transcription company because it is cheap. Research the company first before signing a contract.

The effort will be worth it because when you find the right company, you can be sure your content will be secure and transcribed accurately.  

Recommended read: How to Choose the Best Transcription Service

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.