Instant Booking

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  • Ryan_Ramirez
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    Thumbtack really did a number on us! How can we pay over 100$ for a job that costs 100$? Why can't you charge the clients! More than half of the clients I work with are millionaires! I have no job now! How long is this going to last for? I'm super depressed now and I have no backup income! Please take this off! Your killing us!!

  • Ryan_Ramirez
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    10 leads = 1,000$ to Thumbtack. I can work with up to 30 clients a month... So thats OVER 3,000$ a month to Thumbtack!!!

  • DustiO
    DustiO Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,704
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    @Ryan_Ramirez I took a look at your account and am only seeing leads at around $24 — do you have a screenshot of a lead that was $100? If so I would love if you could send me a DM so I can share pricing feedback with the team. Thank you!

  • Ryan_Ramirez
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    I turned off instant booking because my normal lead is about 24$ and if I turn it on it will charge 2x.3x that amount which is 75-100$. I've hidden my business since Oct 16.

  • DustiO
    DustiO Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,704
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    OK that makes sense! I still went ahead and sent your pricing feedback to the team. It looks like you have your availability set out at 14 days, which would most likely result in less bookings anyway. I see that your business is hidden right now as well. Let me know if you do unhide your business and have anymore feedback I can share. Thanks!

  • Ryan_Ramirez
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    I can't afford to pay 75$-100$ right now that's why my business is hidden until November 15! Until Thumbtack realizes that this new business motto you're trying to 'promote' has ended. If a job is 100$ Thumbtack is charging me 100$. I used to get about 4 jobs for a little over 100$ now they want 100$ for each job. And they don't ask you if you want it or not. THUMBTACK JUST TAKES TAKES TAKES TAKES!!!!!!!!

  • Sergey
    Sergey Posts: 9
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    I agree with you. When installing a TV, the cost of direct booking is at least $52. with a service cost starting from $70.

  • Ryan_Ramirez
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    75$-100$ a lead or more!!!! IS there any other alternates to Thumbtack?

  • Ryan_Ramirez
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    Most of the clients on Thumbtack are budget seekers, they do not even know we pay for them to contact! I had one customer that felt so bad that she deleted the account and I had to pay for that and the other 4 pros she contacted. Why if someone has a 1bed1bath need to contact 5 cleaners? Just so they can 'shop' around on our dime!? That's nuts! We can't even toggle off what type of cleanings we can do such as 'standard' or 'deep clean' I want to completely take off standard clean because 9 times out of 10 the clients think that their living room and bedroom is standard, they fail to realize cleaning a sink full of dishes is a deep clean, taking over 45minutes to clean the bathroom is a deep clean. They will fight you tooth and nail just like Thumbtack does with refunds! HA! I get probably 5 clients a year that are truly neat freaks and it's considered a 'standard' clean. I'm in NYC!!!!!! Cleaning services is a luxury, and a lot of clients don't even realize that and want to pay whatever they feel like paying! You can't go to Gucci and say "I want that purse for 100$" WHY THEY CAN DO THAT WITH US? Ive had clients see the price $300 and flatout tell me they want to pay 150$ WHY WE CANT GET REFUNDED FOR THIS!?

  • DustiO
    DustiO Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,704
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    Dropping this in here again, for those who have commented since posting:

    First of all, I want to thank each of you for sharing your feedback about Instant Book. I am sharing this thread regularly with our teams as Instant Book rolls out, so that we can better understand your experiences and work to address your pain points.

    Although Instant Bookings do cost more, we’ve learned that overall, instant bookings convert to more hires for our pros and provide a better customer experience. Specifically, instant bookings convert to hires 2X as often as other leads on average. They deliver higher intent customers who are more committed to getting their jobs done and there's much less competition. 

    Through our initial rollouts, we have carefully listened to and considered pro feedback and have already begun implementing improvements based on that feedback. If the the following changes aren't already implemented for you, you'll see them next week:

    • A new 15 minute cancellation refund policy for bookings, which means if the customer cancels their booking in-product for any reason and it’s within 15 mins of making the request, we’ll refund you the price of the lead back to your balance
    • Pro lead rescheduling, so that you can work with customers to reschedule bookings that don’t work for your (or the customer’s) schedule
    • Google Calendar integration, to help ensure that your Thumbtack calendar is as up to date as possible (we also have several other partner integrations available to connect your Thumbtack account to other tools)
    • Creating more friction for customers if they try to create a duplicate request by reminding them that they already have a booking.
    • And more

    I know big changes like this can be difficult. I would encourage you all to continue to leave your feedback. But, would ask 3 things:

    • Give it a try — Give Instant Book a try and leave us feedback about your experience using itBe sure to set your Max Lead Price to lead prices you are comfortable with.Be sure your preferences and availability are all up to date
    • Make sure your first response is setting proper expectations with customers regarding the price of the job and next steps.
    • Use your upfront pricing to give customers an accurate idea of what they expect to pay to reduce customer cancellations.
    • Give us actionable feedback — ie Let us know what would make Instant Book better, what would make it work for you
    • Keep conversations constructive — please refer to our Community Code of Conduct and keep conversations constructive and productive.

    And, some common tips for success using Instant Book:

    • Set your Max Lead Price to a price you are comfortable paying for a lead. See how to do that here.
    • Check your availability settings to lead times that work for you (ie, can customers book you same day, or do you want at least 1, 2, 3+ days notice before a customer can book a job?). Instructions here.
    • Sync your calendar with your Google Calendar or other CRMs to be sure your schedule is up to date. Instructions linked above.
    • Check your capacity and update that on your calendar/availability. This will help you if have multiple teams/team members and are able to book more than one job at a time.

    Let's keep the conversation going — and let us know if you have any more questions about how Instant Book works.

    Tagging in @keddingfield, one of our Thumbtack Pro Advisors, who has found a lot of success with Instant Book, to see if he can offer any advice/insight for pros just getting started with this feature.

  • Matt
    Matt Posts: 156
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    @DustiO Honestly, it just doesn't work for my industry. There are far too many variables to get people to commit to something they have no idea what it takes to even hire a muralist, let alone the cost. I think that's why my industry has not been forced into Instant Booking, but the main issue I have with the service is that there is no explanation on how the process works when it was rolled out. All of a sudden it was an option, and a place to put in what it costs for an estimate, but no place to put in more questions required of the client.

  • bestaudioguy
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    Do not like being forced to used the instant booking feature. It might be time to get off this referral service as it has become a waste of time. The only people that want services are either low hanging fruit or they want it for free or next to free. This has become a watered down version of its self.

    I came here to fill a few voids to get some work, but has turned into garbage. Even the chat sessions are no longer available even though it says it is! Zero customer service.

  • robf
    robf Posts: 18
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    Prior to the 16th I filled out my calendar for 6 weeks. I wanted to see how things went, with out the risk of getting a bunch of instant bookings. Late yesterday I received a lead. It was listed as a "loyalty discount", no charge. Then 2 minutes later I received it again, this time with a $16 charge.

    We were told we would be shown as unavailable if our calendar was full. The lead was sent anyway. Thumbtack said "no charge", they charged me anyway. I am fairly certain that is fraud.

    So now I get to waste a bunch of my time asking for a refund. If i am fortunate enough to get it, they will issue a credit (not a refund). So they still get my $16. Again, sounds like fraud. Imagine if they do that to 100 of us a day. Again, fraud

    Thanks

    Rob

  • DustiO
    DustiO Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,704
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    @bestaudioguy I am sorry that you weren't able to get through to support. In case this might be helpful to you (or anyone else in this thread):

    • Support hours are Monday - Friday 8 am to 5 pm MST
    • Phone support is available by calling 866-501-5809*
    • Text support is available by texting 415-299-6398
    • Chat support is available to pros when you login to your Thumbtack account
    • Email support is available by emailing support@thumbtack.com

    With the roll out of Instant Book I know support volumes have increased so it may be harder to get through/cause a longer wait time. Is there a question that I can help answer in the meantime? If you have specific feedback about Instant Book especially around what would make Instant Book work better for whatever service you offer please share that (if you want to) as we are sharing this thread regularly with teams.

    (*Not every pro is eligible for phone support, so if you can't get through by phone, you will still be able to get help through live chat, email and text messages.)

    @Matt as always, thank you for the thoughtful feedback! @Yourestweclean long time no see here! If you have more specific feedback on Instant Book in the cleaning category, please feel free to share. I do want to mention that when a customer Instant Books you they are NOT encouraged to reach out to other pros, effectively eliminating the competition. You also have a lot of tools to help manage the bookings you receive (they are listed/linked in a comment above) if any of that might help address your pain points.

  • bestaudioguy
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    You should not force pros to participate in instant booking. Its unfair to the pro and the costs are outrageous. For what we do, this has turned into a "mount my TV" site. No other work shows up for my area and again the pricing is nuts.

    I have tried many times to reach support, both by phone and in chats. Most of the time the chat shows available, but its not. You click on it and nothing pops up.

    I really thought TT would be a great place to get referrals, but just like all the other sites, its all about the money they earn, not jobs for the pros. I have tried others like Houzz, which all start out great and then morph into a money grab.

  • bestaudioguy
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    How much do you think the cost to mount a TV normally is?? $125 to $150 depending on what's involved. If you charge me $52 for the booking, what does that leave me to do the job? I'm going to roll a truck and a guy to make $50?? Insane! Most customers on TT want the job for cheap or even free, so the instant book is a NO GO! In addition, TT makes money on each pro that replies and when I see a job that has more than 3 replies, I pass! I also reply sometimes asking the customer to NOT reply as that triggers a fee. Might be time to delete my account. This is nuts.

  • DustiO
    DustiO Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,704
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    @robf looking in to the duplicate lead for you and from what I can see the one you paid for was actually the first lead you received (you can see the time stamps in your messages). You can always request a refund for the one you paid for. I also wanted to let you know that customers can still reach out to you if they select that the pro can suggest other times. If you want to avoid getting any leads at all for a period of time, I would definitely suggest hiding your business — this will stop you from showing up to customers, but it will not affect your ranking when you want to unhide your business. It's a really great tool to use for times when your schedule is full, you're on vacation, etc. Sorry for the confusion and I hope this helps!

  • DustiO
    DustiO Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,704
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    @bestaudioguy this is great feedback on pricing, thank you. When customers Instant Book you, they are not being encouraged to reach out to any other pros, they are picking and booking you (we've recently made improvements on the customer side, causing more friction for customers if they try to create a duplicate request, and the booking flow makes it really clear that they are booking a pro - I experienced this recently when booking an appliance repair person). I would also take a look at all of your Instant Book settings like Max Lead Price and calendar integrations/settings, especially your availability as that can give you a little more control over the types of bookings/timing of booked jobs. I understand if this doesn't address your pain points, but hoping it might help. Thank you for leaving thoughtful and category specific feedback here.

  • robf
    robf Posts: 18
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    Again, missing the point.

    1. Charged me for a lead that they said was free
    2. we were told if our calendar was full we would be marked as unavailable. That should mean no leads. But then Thumbtack couldn't collect more money.
    3. Still looks like fraud to me

    My business is now hidden. I clearly did not want the lead. It should not have been sent. On top of that, the client never even looked at my auto response, so its likely they did not request me.

  • bestaudioguy
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    I have made my business hidden. I do not want anyone instant booking me, ever! Not the way we do business. Again after 23 years in business, this scheme is not good for the industry or the pro's trying to make a living on referrals. Your charges are way out of line for simple jobs. When you adjusted the fees last year, I did not respond because a referral that is $50 for a job the customer has no idea what it might costs, leaves a bad taste in their mouth when we explain the costs. Most of the time, we lose the job and still are charged the high fee. Again, when I reply I specifically tell them NOT to reply to help defer the costs of the leads.

  • DustiO
    DustiO Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,704
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    @robf @bestaudioguy I am glad you are able to use the hide my business feature. I am always here to keep the conversation going should you decide to unhide your businesses at any time. Your feedback is important. I will be sure to share any updates/improvements that are made to Instant Book in the future in case any of those improvements may address your pain points. Thanks again for the constructive conversation. Let me know if you should have any questions in the future.

  • EAI
    EAI Posts: 6
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    @DustiO you want actionable feedback reduce instant booking cost by 50%. Increase refund time by at least 1 or 2 hours enough time for the client to respond

  • chilogm1
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    so for this client that cancel their account or request whats the next step on refund well here yall go so basically hand my money over and wait to lose it mind you the client alrady contact 3 people i pay $15 for this booking.