Misleading search results create hassles for customers and pros who work remotely.
Thumbtack has got me a lot of business. I'm pleased that I show up high in search results. But several times a week I have to request a refund, and each time I almost invariably get it. The attached pic explains.
Customers often click through all options when seeking help, and choosing all travel options means including "This can be done over the phone or internet" whether that's appropriate or not. Because I offer remote services (in fact ever since COVID hit most of my work has been via phone/remote session), Thumbtack.com search results include me as if I'm local. I "serve" whatever zip code the customer entered. I did this search for a Utah Zip code just to illustrate.
After a few exchanges with prospective customers, it becomes clear the lead, already charged for, was a mistake. In some cases the disconnect is obvious--you can't change a hard drive or repair water damage over the phone. In other cases, the customer expects a house call or to drop off their Mac, because I "serve" their exact Zip code.
Customer is disappointed in Thumbtack, and I'm frustrated to have to file yet another refund request. A waste of time for Pro and Customer alike, and it makes Thumbtack look a bit sleazy, not the normal Thumbtack vibe.
This happens several times a week, and has continued for years.
Thumbtack, please consider a banner or other notification or wording to distinguish remote-only vs truly local service! For example, if the customer is in Birmingham, Alabama, "serves Birmingham" might instead read "offers phone or Internet support to Birmingham."
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