There sure are plenty of posts here angry about paying for leads that "go nowhere." Thumbtack is here to make a profit. They are not here out of the kindness of their hearts. You can't complain about how terrible Thumback is and in the same breath remain on the platform and try to milk the leads. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Thumbtack is not here for a for-tat exchange. Yes, it's called "marking up" and every business does it, including yours, I'd hope. Their way of marking up is to charge you for all the leads, whether they become customers or not. I'm frankly shocked some people have the gall to argue about this.
It doesn't matter if the customer reaches out to you and disappears. Thumbtack is only responsible for introductions. They are fair enough that they credit you in certain situations--the customer contacts you about services you don't offer, or misrepresents themselves. But a customer contacting you and a bunch of other people? If they reiumbursed you and everyone else for that, how would they make money?
Is Thumbtack greedy? Maybe, but not particularly. But they're trying. They're giving us a forum and they're talking to us. They get back to us when we have questions. Hate to say it, but we're in a day and age where that's rare. Truth is, this systems is working for plenty of pros, and I'm sure customers like it--they get to talk to the pros they want to talk to instead of sitting back and waiting for bids.
I think one compromise would be some language in the window that pops up when the customer reaches out that says "pro will be charged for contact" or something to that effect. That should cut down on thoughtless contacts. I think coming up with workable solutions is a better use of our time.
Another thing I've noticed, and this is in no way quantitatively-backed, Thumbtack seems to have exploded with pros in the past six months. Of course this is dependent on category, but I've noticed many more talented pros in my category. Wouldn't that be a plausible reason we're getting less business each? And would it be reasonable of us to tell Thumbtack, "Hey, that's too much business for you. Tell these pros they can't join and give you their money"?
In the end, not every resource works for every business. That's why some businesses choose radio and others don't. Some choose craigslist, others don't. Each of us needs to take the long view and decide if Thumbtack is a viable source for us or not.
Let's be fair and rational. We are all mature businesspeople. We are all here to be successful, including Thumbtack. We want Thumbtack to be successful. Their success is ours!
Wow, thank you for taking the time to write this out @SharonM7. I first want to congratulate you on making it to Top Pro, that's an amazing accomplishment! I'm happy to hear that you're finding success with the new system and that you can trust us to connect you with some great customers. We truly do care about our pros and try to do what we can to make their Thumbtack experience the best it can be.
I don't have a problem with Thumbtack being successful. I have a problem with Thumbtack going to a system that was fairly beneficial to one that is practically unusable.
The one good thing I can say is that they finally got pricing in my category - resume writing- down to reasonable levels. Almost back to the cost where it was before they started mucking things up with "Instant Match" and "Promot" last year. Except now they've reduced it essentially Yelp on Roids, I've gotten 138 views on "promote" this week and all of one contact that didn't go anywhere. I'm not sure if this is because they are bombarded by every resume writer in the country
@LZDNVG "I agree, if Thumbtack isn’t working for you why post here all the time and bash Thumbtack? Makes no sense."
Because at one point, Thumbtack did work for us, just fine, until they started mucking with it and made it something that didn't work.
As I've said, I've been on thumbtack since 2010, have been hired 300+ times and got over 140 positive reviews, earning me Top Pro status a bunch of times. And I give Thumbtack a lot of credit for the success I've had so far, but by contrast, Top Pros like myself contributed to Thumbtack's success. Otherwise, it would be like a lot of those other sites like Fiver or Upwork that are out there and not particularly useful.
And I think by turning it into essentially "Yelp-plus", they've done themselves a disservice. The full week of Promote, I got 160 views, and only 6 contacts, of which MAYBE 2 of them will turn into jobs this week. I think part of the problem is that unlike before when I was only competing with local resume writers, I am now competing with every resume writing service in the country. I did look at "View as a customer", and saw that there were a whole list of people who aren't in my region who are also promoted. I'm sure this overwealms the viewer, and they don't follow through.
While I agree that Thumbtack is a business and is here to make money it should be done reasonably. I have been a member for 6 years and a Top Pro since the program began and I have also watched a lot of changes which each time involves increases to the pros but the last year the increases have been so severe and the program for the category I am in is not productive for me anywhere near what it was. I think there is a better way of charging so when the customer starts the process we are charged an amount that makes sense and then if the customer is a viable customer and we get hired (which most unfortuntely are not they are just getting info so they can go and see what someone else will give them) we then when the hired button gets hit we get charged an additional amount which could actually be more than what we pay currently because it is a paid job and then worth it. I have paid of $60 for a lot of leads that dont respond to any correspondence which is unfair to the pro considering a lot of those leads were never more than $25 in the past. Because Thumbtack is growing they dont see that they are actually going to lose a lot of their core pros who have been on for a long time and helped them become who they are. I think something needs to be done differently and you can have the same system in place for all categories because they all work differently. I hope it gets better soon or I wont be able to afford to continue as I have the last 6 years because it is not successful for me.