Transcription Rates: What’s Fair and What’s Not
PER MINUTE RATES:
The majority of our competitors charge by the recorded minute. We believe this is an unfair pricing method because in the MAJORITY of instances, the recording is not full to the end. This means you could be paying for a lot of dead air. Dead air not fair!
Also, you will generally be charged additional fees for audio that is not professionally recorded, contains more than one or two people speaking, speakers have slight accents or there is slight background noise, and hard copy prints INCLUDING THE ORIGINAL. You will also need to know exactly how long your recording is, and if it’s in analog format (tape), you will have to listen to the whole thing with a timer to know how long it is!
PER HOUR RATES:
You could be in for a surprise. You won’t know if the typist is slow or fast or hears and comprehends well. Often you are quoted something like “4 to 5 times the length of audio”, (we speak at least 3 times faster than anyone can type) which means if you have a 60 minute tape and the hourly rate is $36 you should expect to pay between $144 and $180. You could also be presented with a higher bill if the typist was tired or inexperienced. And if the audio contained speakers with just slight accents or there was just slight background noise, you would most likely also be billed for that. And if the audio was truly difficult, it could take several hours more than usual under these kinds of circumstances.
In our 20+ years of experience transcribing legal and general proceedings, we have learned that often times a speaker(s) will have a slight accent or there will be slight background noise and we do not charge extra for this. See below for Brown & Meyers’ definition of “difficult audio”.
PER PAGE RATES:
At Brown & Meyers, we believe this is the fairest way to charge our clients. Why? Because there will only be so many pages in any recorded audio or video file NO MATTER WHAT. If there’s a ton of dead air at the end of the audio, which in most cases there is, there will not be any additional transcribed pages. Unless an audio or video file is deemed “Difficult Audio” we do not charge extra. Again, please see below for our definition of “Difficult Audio”.
WHAT BROWN & MEYERS DOES CHARGE EXTRA FOR:
Difficult Audio: When the recording contains unplanned for, time-consuming formatting, tables, excessive lengthy pauses and blank spots requiring the transcriptionist to scan through to transcribe-able dictation, excessive accents or background noise, people speaking over one another, et cetera. PLEASE NOTE: Whenever we run into “Difficult Audio” we always contact our client to discuss the extra surcharge fee and to ask permission to either continue on or abandon the project. If we are requested to abandon the project, what has been transcribed thus far will be billed at the original rate quoted (not including a surcharge fee).
Other Possible Fees:
Time Stamps: Time stamps are inserted at client requested-intervals throughout the transcript.
Verbatim Format: Every utterance is captured and recorded. This includes all ums, ahs, false starts and stutters, repetitions, distracting speech patterns (you know, like), pauses, laughter, crying, interruptions, personal comments, external noises, In short: everything we hear! Verbatim is often used for research and depositions.
Postage & Handling or Courier fees for hard copy delivery. 0% mark up.
Photocopies requested over and above the original transcript
Analog to Digital Conversion of analog tapes or video audio files
Document Scanning Services: Exhibit hard copies and the like can be scanned into digital format by Brown & Meyers and included at the back of .pdf files).
Delivery: It is assumed that all transcripts will be delivered in pdf format via our encrypted, secure email platform. This delivery method is free of charge.