The Quality of Digital Accessibility Services is Not the Same, Price is Only One Consideration

When buyers are evaluating accessibility services, they have an important decision to make. But it’s a really hard decision on who to choose. And many people let price play too much of a factor in who they choose. And that’s not to say that the highest price is the best or the lowest price is the worst. That’s not what I’m saying at all. What I am saying is that you have to pay attention because these services are not the same. You are not picking out of the same quality of services. There are various qualities of services throughout the marketplace. So you have to be aware that whoever you select, they may be a bad service, they may be an incomplete service, even the higher priced ones, they may be just overcharging, or they could be overcharging and then offering a bad service on top of that. So that does happen.

So it’s important to keep in mind that when you talk to different accessibility providers that you get a feel for them and their quality of work and use that to make the best decision possible. But it is not easy. So on the screen with me is a document and in the first section I have PDF remediation as the heading and I have service A at $300, service B at $1,000, and service C at one $200. And so if you see service A being priced at $300, you have to wonder why is that so much lower than the other prices? And the more prices you are able to get, the more quotes you are able to get, the better off you will be. Because if there is something where it’s much, much higher or much, much lower, you can try to find out why. But generally the cost of services should be about in the same ballpark. If you have quotes for five services and three are in the middle and the other two are outliers, you have to wonder why those other two are in the outliers.

And so this is in part guesswork, but it is something where you’re going to have to use your intuition and your common sense to determine who to choose. And knowing that price is only one part of this really, you don’t want to choose based on price. What you want to do is choose based on your intuition, who you think will do the best job, who specifies the most detail, who seems the most genuine about the service they provide and their reputation. Because there aren’t a lot of reviews on accessibility services, there just aren’t. You might find a website that offers, that has reviews, but there aren’t a lot of real reviews on these websites. So you just have to do your best evaluation and determine who you feel most comfortable with, who you think not did the best job with presentation, but will do the best job with your website.

And so the next heading we have a website accessibility audit. So same scenario where we’re evaluating different services. This time it’s for an audit. We have service A at $1,500, service B at $4,500, and service C at $11,000. Service A is very likely under pricing. And so you have to wonder why that price is so low when the others are much, much higher. And service C conversely, you have to wonder, why is this $11,000 when someone quoted me $4,500? So if you have this variance in pricing, you want to get more quotes here just so you can know you have a better idea of where does the real plot price lie? And then also get a feel for where are the genuine quotes? I want to stick with the providers that are usually they’re more in the middle of pricing because that’s about where the realistic price is. If you get something that’s too low, you really are taking a chance on quality. There is a chance you find a really low price provider, but there’s also a really good chance that you’re getting an incomplete service or a bad service.

And so an example of an incomplete would be someone giving you the results of a scan instead of an audit. So in that case, they might charge a somewhat weighted price of $1,500, but you would be getting back what you can go out and get for free right now. And with PDF remediation, there are degrees of remediation for PDFs. So there are many, many things you can do to remediate a PDF. And what may be happening on the lower priced services is they’re not offering you full remediation, they’re offering you partial remediation. So let’s say they do an excellent job on what the parts they do remediate, but then they ignore the more difficult tasks. And the more difficult tasks are why the prices from the other providers are higher.

So it is difficult to procure services in accessibility, but this is one of the most common gaps in knowledge that people have and it’s one that where it ends up costing you because if you don’t get it done right the first time, then you’re going to have to do it again. And if you have to get it done again, there’s likely no discount because you went to someone else and they did a little bit of work or they did a bad job and left several issues outstanding and then you go back to do it again. There’s likely no discount on that. So it’s important to keep that in mind. And it’s important to keep in mind that these are not a one to one services. You will not get the same audit from one provider as you will get from another. But what you’re looking for is excellent quality, someone with a good reputation, someone who is detailed and thorough. And so I would look at the details. Is this person being detailed with me? Have they written down everything within scope? Everything that will happen? Do they tell me that they will audit and or remediate per a specific standard? And what is the standard? Have I seen it?

And so part of this is you as the buyer, you have to do research and you have to understand, have a better understanding of what you are procuring and what you will be hopefully getting in return. You have to know this ahead of time. If you know this ahead of time, it’s going to help you. So the more knowledgeable you are, you can also ask questions in the sales demos that will help you understand whether the seller knows what they’re talking about. Because many times if you ask sellers, if you start to ask them and drill down to the real questions, you can find that they might not know everything that they’re selling. And sometimes this could be just a rep not knowing, but other times it can be indicative that the provider really isn’t as thorough or detailed as they need to be for you to get back, for example, a completely accessible document, PDF remediation is there are a lot of providers that do not completely remediate PDFs. That is because PDF remediation is difficult. Not only is it technically complex and there are a lot of different things to know, but it also can involve some parts where input is needed from the person procuring the services. So you might be asked, well, what angle would you like us to take with this part of the remediation? But that would be a good sign if the seller is asking you questions like that, that they’re asking you questions specific to your digital asset. If they’re asking you questions about your document, about your content, that means they’re thinking about that. And that is a good indicator that you will get a stronger, more solid service.

So if you can get an excellent service, you’ve done really well. You’re not looking for the lowest price, you’re looking for a fair price. If you are constantly looking for a low price, you may end up getting a service where you have to redo everything and then it’s just going to end up costing you more. So don’t try I recommend not trying to find the lowest provider or the sales discount or the fiver gig where you’re going to save thousands of dollars. When you’re saving so much money, you have to wonder why you’re saving so much money on the other side, if you are paying thousands and thousands of dollars more than the second highest quote, you have to question, why am I paying this? Is this inflated price? Why is it inflated? So look out for inflated prices because there are no really when you look like let’s just take an accessibility audit. When you look at an accessibility audit, an accessibility audit can only be so good. No one can go above a certain threshold. All you can do is find all of the issues per a particular standard and within the scope of work and list all those issues in a clear fashion, in a clear manner and then all of the other relevant information. That’s all you can do. There is not much more you can do. There are no super audits so keep that in mind that there is a ceiling with these services. All you can do with the PDF is fully remediate it according to whatever technical standards you agree to. That’s it. And so keep that in mind if there are any prices that jump out as really high.