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Rev rips pay rates; here are alternatives to hire for your transcriptions

(BUSINESS NEWS) Pay is always a touchy subject, especially to those who can have problems finding work. So why would rev.com lower those rates?

Man holding money in the dark representing false salary transparency.

Imagine working an hour and making $4.50 – pre-tax. For transcriptionists at Rev.com, their already low pay rates recently were decreased 33%, making that $4.50 a starting point for most of its transcriptionists.

With clients such as PBS, Viacom and CBS, Rev.com claims it has more than 170,000 customers that trust it to provide straightforward pricing and transcription service.

Yet, those who work for Rev have less than glowing reviews of the company.

A transcriptionist who anonymously wrote to Gizmodo, for fear of reprisal, said transcribers – many who have disabilities – now earn 30 cents per minute, down from 45 cents. And, that is pre-tax, by the way. Pay is even lower if you are a newbie at the company.

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“Many people struggle to survive on this pay, but for various reasons do not have many other alternatives. Many Rev workers are disabled in ways that make it very difficult for them to access more traditional workplaces to earn a living,” the anonymous employee shared in its letter to Gizmodo.

To give some perspective, the industry standard for transcription is 4 minutes to transcribe 1 minute of audio, therefore 15 minutes of audio takes one hour to transcribe.

Rev stated the change in its pay schedule is not meant to take away pay from its Revvers, but instead to pay more fairly for the level of effort and skill required, according to a response from Rev, posted on Gizmodo. It’s transcribers, which are independent contractors are crying foul.

Word of the salary changes has some who once supported Rev considering other options. Nick Douglas suggests resources for companies that want to support workers with a higher rate.

For companies in need of transcription services and that want to work with people who are earning a better rate, here are some options to connect with real people:

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1. Transcription Network: In the wake of the pay cuts at Rev, this is a resource in progress to create an ethically sourced transcribers.

2. Study Hall Transcribers: This is a resources, which provides a list of transcriptionists with rates of $1/minute. Study Hall is an online community for those working in the media industry, from writers and editors to transcribers.

3. Podcast Resources: A list of transcribers for podcasts within the accessibility tab, plus other resources are also available on this Google Sheets document.

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Mary Ann Lopez earned her MA in print journalism from the University of Colorado and has worked in print and digital media. After taking a break to give back as a Teach for America corps member and teaching science for a few years, she is back with her first love: writing. When she's not writing stories, reading five books at once, or watching The Great British Bakeoff, she is walking her dog Sadie and hanging with her cats, Bella, Bubba, and Kiki. She is one cat short of full cat lady status and plans to keep it that way.

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