Frequently Asked Questions
The money-back guarantee applies only to audio of high quality. For complete details, please visit our Terms of Service. Check out the FAQ on “average” and “poor” audio definitions as well for more information on what contributes to deteriorating audio quality.
The price is based on the audio length that we receive and not the effort or man-hours it takes to complete the transcript. Of note, there is price-wise differentiation between good and bad quality audio. For more details, see What quality of audio does EIS accept?
You can access samples here in our Sample Transcripts webpage. Please enter your name & your primary contact info (either email or phone) to access the sample transcripts. You can either view them in our website or download them in Word or PDF formats.
Audio quality is always the biggest factor that influences turnaround. Audio recording with lesser quality will take longer time for a transcriptionist to complete compared to better quality. There are several factors that affect audio quality – namely, background noise, thick accents, heavy technical content and/or jargon, multiple persons speaking at the same time, etc. The time taken for the Quality Control team increases when editing transcripts with such content compared to high-quality crisp audio. Time stamps, hyperlinks, bookmarks, and other heavy formatting specifications also influence the turnaround time.
In order to circumvent such issues, you can use our Rush and Super-Rush services to get your files transcribed quickly. The cost of working faster and adding more manpower to your turnaround needs will be factored in such special services.
The final transcription is generally delivered in a standard DOC – Microsoft Word – format. If you request otherwise, we can also deliver it in TXT, RTF, DOCX, ODF, ODT, HTML, or PDF formats. TXT & RTF are MS Word friendly formats. DOCX can also be opened in MS Word 2007 and above versions. PDF files can be opened using Adobe Acrobat Reader. ODF is Open Document Format & ODT is Word Processor Document – both these formats can be opened using Apache OpenOffice.
The Quick Enquiry form is to facilitate quick/instantaneous communication with both EIS and the transcriptionist on your project. You can use the comments box or the “Enquiry Details” box to point out unique features or standout issues in your audio recordings.
For instance, the speakers’ names, or tough technical jargon, acronyms, or any specifications that you would like the transcriptionist to follow – you can key in any such thing in this comments box.
You can also include a link to the site of the original video/audio, any reference websites, etc.
If you DO NOT want the transcriptionist to include something, you can key in your comments in this box as well.
Of note, the quality of these notes will directly affect the final transcript quality.
The more specific your notes are, the lesser time you will eventually end up spending on the transcripts to edit or correct once you receive them. Also, it reduces & nearly eliminates the need for rework by us and resubmission by you.
We do not reject audio files with large numbers of speakers, but have conservative standards on the final transcript quality, particularly when speakers crosstalk.
As a thumb rule, good quality audio with reference to speaker count is when there are not more than three speakers. Significant editing will be required for other recordings and might involve multiple levels of quality check before delivery.
Increased mislabeling, wrong identification, or identity skipping are some of the problems that might crop up with each additional speaker. This is especially true with larger numbers of speakers, crosstalk or overlaps, or speakers with similar voices.
However, if you would like to use generic or more inclusive labels like Interviewer, Panelist, etc., please mention this in the comment box. This actually helps the transcriptionist speed up work and reduces editing time as well.
No, we accept all kinds of audio quality. However, it is important to note that audio quality directly affects transcript quality. To produce documents with optimal quality, we need audio with decent volume equal to normal human hearing and very limited recording instrument interference or background noise.
We may turn down work if we feel the audio quality is very poor and if you are not satisfied with the sample transcript quality. Though we possess audio quality modification software, we do not presently offer audio engineering services to improve audio quality unless in very emergent or critical scenarios.
We essentially classify audio quality into three broad segments – good, average, and poor. Difficult or poor audio is audio that is the hardest to transcribe. Major factors that make audio difficult are – crosstalk, background noise, foreground noise, heavy accents – especially foreign accents, multiple speakers, technical terms or jargon and their frequency of usage, scratchy or muffled audio, and very fast pace of speech. If your audio has more than one of these factors and their influence is heavy, then most likely it is classified as poor audio. Note – the above factors are some of the common ones we’ve encountered and should not be considered as comprehensive.
The place where a conversation or speech is recorded and the instrument used also tend to have moderate-to-heavy influence on the quality of audio. For instance, public places (highways, airports, restaurants, etc.) have a lot of ambient noise and are almost always poor audio. Using recording instruments over phone interviews or focus group discussions also distort the audio quality quite badly due to poor reception from the other end of the phone line. Hence, these too are classified as poor audio quality more often than not. However, these are not hard and fast rules and exceptions always happen.
Rush & Super-Rush subscriptions are meant for high quality audio. Any Rush transcription can also be done if you pay for difficult audio. We always have multiple levels of quality control to go through the transcripts repeatedly and in order to get your transcript back to you as quickly as possible.
Our standard transcript is non-verbatim.
We edit for grammar and omit space-holders like ‘er’, ‘ah’, ‘um’, etc.
We remove filler words and phrases such as ‘you know’, ‘I mean’, ‘uh-huh’, ‘like’, etc. However, exceptions are when such words are legitimately used, which our quality control team verifies and leaves them in place.
We remove false starts and repetitive stammers. For instance, this spoken phrase – “Err, well, I, well, you know, we’ve had so many….”; this is edited to – “Well, we’ve had so many…”
Quotations are transcribed verbatim. They're treated as exceptions.
Though we used to edit for grammar and leave out conjunctions at beginning of a sentence, like “And,” “So,” etc., due to customers’ insistence we’ve restarted using them. We can change it based on your independent needs.
We never paraphrase or summarize. Our goal is a legible, neat transcript.
However, we do offer document summarization services in the form of both extraction & abstraction. For more info, please visit the link
Yes, we produce verbatim transcripts based on recording-specific and/or project-specific customer demands. Our verbatim documents will retain every utterance including false starts and filler words like –
‘Uh’, ‘duh’, ‘er’, ‘um’, etc
‘Like’, ‘I mean’, ‘you know’, ‘uh-huh’, ‘mm-hmm’, etc.
All slang, e.g., ‘kinda’, ‘sorta’, ‘gonna’, ‘cuz’, (or ‘coz’), ‘gotcha’, etc
On specific request, all interruptions & crosstalk, laughter, sighs, door closing, system logging in welcome sounds, etc. are also captured as sounds in action within brackets. For eg., a speaker laughing at middle or end of sentence is captured as “[Laughs]”
You can also decide on specific levels of verbatim by leaving special instructions in the comments box. For example, in a one-to-one conversation you can leave a comment saying, “Please remove stutters, but retain all the filler words.” “Please record ambient sounds like logging on, logging off, and moving from one room to the other, as we want to retain the speakers’ actions.”
We do time-stamping as an add-on feature and we offer two modes of time-stamps – Standard Timecode and Drop-Frame Timecode. Timestamps are measured from the start of the audio and are inserted at a frequency based on the customer’s needs. It could be
At the beginning of each speaker change.
At paragraph breaks.
Once every 30 seconds.
Once every 1 minute.
Any other frequency longer than 1-minute intervals.
Please note, we charge additionally for time stamping on a per-hour basis
The standard file types that we can handle are MP3, MP4, WAV, MOV, AVI, and most WMA and WMV files presently.
We usually can handle other recording formats as well as Flash videos, RealAudio Streams, and Windows Media streams, but please note that your order might take longer to process (especially with Rush & Super Rush TAT), specifically because of the time needed for recording and converting non-standard audio formats to transcriberfriendly playback formats.
We also handle videos hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, and a few other very popular video streaming sites. We convert such videos to MP3 and then transcribe it. Kindly ensure the URL you provide is a direct link for that particular video. If the video is linked from a third party site, it might not upload properly.
Yes, we do offer summarization of documents as an add-on service to the standard transcription based on the specific needs of a customer. Our summarization capabilities include methods of both extraction & abstraction.
By extraction, we refer to the practice of extracting keywords from the text and prioritizing them in terms of importance or value. We then create a short & snappy summary of the entire text based on the available detailing around those keywords.
By abstraction, we refer to the practice of paraphrasing sections of the document by internalizing the content and generating keyphrases that are more descriptive. We then build a concise summary based on these keys. Abstraction involves deep understanding of the text and then using descriptive words to refer to portions of the document.
Content summarization & keyword usage are very helpful in Speedy document browsing.
Instant information retrieval.
Generating higher hits for online content.
Query-relevant summaries (in a FAQ format).
Multi-document encapsulation & quick reading material.
We have worked on projects where we’ve reproduced on-screen content embedded in video clips as offline documents.
However, the customers had provided us the software applications or interfaces to carry out this process. It would be easier for us to take up a similar project provided you have a similar setup. Of note, our focus is on making our transcribers more efficient and so we generally tend to use audio playback tools that work best with MP3 or WAV files. Hence, all incoming audio or video is converted to MP3s or WAVs, and our transcribers will not even see the video portion of your file.
We can still process such content even if you do not provide us the software, which then would involve more manual effort. Since effort is part of the time-effort-money trilateral, we would request you to discuss with us the costing before we sign up.
Yes, we do accept orders where we have to manually download the file from another filesharing website like DropBox or YouSendIt. However, the URLs you send us should lead directly to the recording or at least a folder that contains the audio/video file. We would request you to test the validity of the URL using your web browser before you send us the link.
We offer FTP space to our regular users as well as our bulk order customers. If you do not have an account already with us, please send us a request for one now to Customer Support. After creating a user profile for you, we will mail you the account settings. For one-time small volume customers, we prefer to use DropBox or other file-share sites. You can also upload your recordings through our website portal.
We always email you. We prefer to use the primary email supplied with the audio file, but we can also copy any other email ID if you specifically instruct us to do so. However, we may use the email associated with your payment method like PayPal, etc. (if it’s a different email) in case your primary email is unresponsive or we receive a notification failure message.
Based on your comfort, our personnel can also text chat with you to address queries/doubts instantaneously if you supply us with your chat ID.
Of note, sometimes our email might not successfully make it through to your mail server. It might get marked as spam or be turned away by your mail server. You can always log in to our website to download your transcripts. We would encourage you to do that especially if you have placed an order for Rush or Super Rush.
Lastly, we can call you on your landline or mobile, but we always have this as the last resort. We discreetly discourage our production team from making repeated client calls unless & until absolutely necessary or urgent.
EIS uses PayPal and Google Checkout for online payments. Online payments are very convenient for both buyers and sellers and money transfers happen within seconds. The process of payment confirmation and proceeding with transcription is also quicker through this route. If you do not already have one of these accounts, you can pay using MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover on our PayPal.
Yes, we are always looking for freelance transcribers and editors. We have an open, trustworthy, and efficient method of paying wages. For more details, please get in touch with us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
We handle customer support inquiries between 6 am and 8 pm Eastern Time, Monday through Saturday. We provide both email support as well as voice call support. We have emergency support staff available through the weekends as well, but we manage almost all our business communication within the weekdays. You can still reach us on any day including Sundays either through phone or by email.
Of note, we utilize an escalation matrix for our internal day-to-day operations that we follow diligently. This is essentially a customer response workflow, whereby customer needs are designated at the lowest level of the hierarchy to be addressed within a given time period, failing which it moves on to a higher level. This helps our organization in identifying, continuously tracking, and speedily addressing any customer query within a very short span of time.
If you cancel your order after payment confirmation and before transcript submission, we refund less our costs incurred. Costs incurred will be directly proportional to the time spent and effort involved in transcription up to that stage. Please note that most times our transcribers would be actively working on your transcript when your cancel request comes in. We can only stop future work from being processed, but we cannot rollback on a transcription work order once it has reached even 10% of completion. Please also give us a little bit of time to read & address your emails and for internal communication, since for immediate cancellation & refund we will use the cost incurred within 4 business hours of receiving your email.
In the case of very difficult or very poor audio, if the transcription process takes too long to complete and if you want the partial transcript, then refund does not apply. We will send you whatever portion of the document that has been completed up to that point. This rarely happens, and might occur only if there's a very poor audio recording that takes too long to complete.If you have poor audio and do not pay additional charges for poor audio, then kindly note that your project would not be eligible for a refund at all as our transcription costs might be greater than what you paid for the order.
Yes, you can escalate your transcription order to speed up the turnaround even when your project is under process. Please send us an email or call us to help our customer support personnel take you through the steps. You can also visit our Pricing Structure webpage to know more about the per-minute and per-hour price slabs for faster turnarounds.
Expert Info Services has a policy of not transcribing any breaks from regular speech or dialogues. We note down the activity in the transcript though; eg. If a song is playing, we say [Song Playing] . We also mark the start & end of a long break with timestamps, simply for reader clarity.
However, if you expect a similar content to be transcribed – for instance an advertisement promoting a brand of the company that the speaker is working for – please key in a note in the comments box, so that our transcriptionists can follow such specific instructions.