Our CEO and co-founder, Marco Zappacosta, recorded this message, explaining our vision and where we’re heading.
As Marco notes, we’re making these changes with one goal in mind: getting you more customers.
We know it’s still a work in progress. And we hear your frustrations around pricing in particular (prices not being transparent, prices being too high).
We’re working as hard as we can to make improvements, find solutions, and bring the vision that Marco articulates to life.
So stay tuned. And keep asking questions. We created this Community to help you find answers.
The problem with the new plan is I believe it saturates the potential client with too many options. You are asking my services to stand out against more than double the options prospects had in the past. Then you handicap me by putting my quote in a cookie cutter, my quote fits all template and it just turns into a crapshoot for the prospect and radically declined my success rate with thumbtack. I just hope you guys are making more money because you have killed this Pros business here. Check out my Stats before and after your visionary changes.
Have to agree, before you had to stay on top and customize your quotes. You had to take the time and make an effort to contact immediately.
Now every prospect gets blasted for free by your competition (while they watch Maury) and if you dont want to play the money game gamble, you will never see the prospects info, only the crumbs left over.
In the beginning you focused on making the pros successful which makes everyone successful. Now your focus is double the competition, triple the cost and make thumbtack more money while hurting the people that's been with you from the beginning.
Reason: Unreasonable and unjustifiable way to pay for a quote and not knowing how much it will cost me. Plus paying to respond to a simple yes or no "If I am available". Sorry, this is not for me. Therefore I go elsewhere until it is changes.
Amen. That's spot on. Before I had well-meaning, well thought out contact with a prospective client. I tailored my information to be both relevant and informational to their need. All that's out the window as the prospects get the firehose of quotes to the face all in the name of speed? Please. Now, on the rare occasion, a prospect does reach out to me, it cost me 15.00-20.00 ( based on only God knows ) instead of the 5.00-8.00 it once cost me. ROI? There is none anymore so I took myself off insta-quote.
Hi @CMartinez2018 you're frustrated with the changes, and that's okay. I'm happy you're sharing your concerns. One thing I wanted to address is that we changed the way customers receive pro's info in efforts to make the hiring and decision-making process easier for them. They told us they wanted a price and a profile, so that's what we gave them. When it's easier for customers, there's more of a chance they'll hire a pro. We want pros to find success and we're always keeping that in mind.
It's clear you are being told the same things in your meetings because when I've used your support line to vent, I once cared, I was told the exact same thing you're trying to sell here. The problem the explanations do not add up in the least. You are just either ignoring the problem or choosing to view it as not a problem. There will always be more first-year Pro's to milk money from because they will not know the difference.
What's tough for MANY of us responding, if you bother to read, is we once had a mutually beneficial environment. Beneficial for everyone including the prospects. Read some of OUR PRO reviews from the prospects you are so concerned about now. Everyone was happy. That you guys ignore that and offer poorly constructed answers is just sad.
So, as you've noticed, we've been making a lot of compaints. Some of us have been complaining for years and we recognized that our harsh words do not come easy. But here's why we're doing it. It's about making you a better company.
You may not know this (condescending voice), but us pros work VERY hard to keep our businesses going and it comes down to this, when professionals are taken advantage of by Thumbtack, they leave. Some do stay, but a LOT leave. And we are your drones. That is money that should be in your pocket (well lets be real, it still is because with every pro that leaves the prices go up to acommodate). So we realized we had to leave for a newer and better Thumbtack (called Bark). One that works in the way professionals expect. They want to be treated fairly and spoken to transparently, all the time. Because when professionals can do that, they can grow their business and find value in your service. And that's NOT what you're focused on.
But I know it's a work in progress and we hear you when you tell us that it's not working well enough. And there are a few changes coming down the pipe, like negative reviews and lost users. And, that's the end of the road. So keep asking for our feedback and then keep not using it. Because we know you want to make it work for YOU (first), for OUR customers (second) and for you again. Because you have no idea how important our business is to us...
Why don't you try going easier on pricing, while you figure out what works and what doesn't instead of going harder and destroying your relationship with the (I'm assuming declining or at the least plateaued) pros that feed you.
Hi Meckell, I understand how important it is to get short-sweet- to-the-point info in consumers' hands. But most business have a whole pricing structure based on the myriad factors that play a part in giving an accurate quote. You can't possibly send an instant answer that considers these factors for every business. I tried Instant Match for just a few days. The quotes it sent out on my behalf went something like this: 'Dale House Murals is interested in working with you, but needs more information in order to give you a quote. See their profile for more information.' I would not call this a time saver or a very inviting message, would you? And the result is that pros are leaving Thumbtack in droves. I used to have several competitors and now I've noticed hardly any. Yet I'm getting fewer responses to my quotes than ever and I'm getting a bit discouraged.
So....here's my solution for what I believe would solve at least some of the issues for my industry.
#1 Let us customize our own basic quote template for Instant Match. Then make Instant Match free unless we are contacted.
#2 Let us filter out anything that is outside the realm of what we can do; expand the filters to include tags preceeded by the word 'not' so that people who want what we can't give them will not get a quote from us.
#3 Require people who say "I have an idea of what I want" to describe what their idea is.
#4 Go back to limiting how many pros can quote. The point is that people will get quotes right? If a pro passes on it, that only opens it up for another quote to be sent, right?
I still think this thing can be pulled out of the fire...but it cannot happen until Thumbtack decides that it overreached and will bring about its own downfall if it does not adjust. Fast is only so good as the thing that is delivered. It doesn't matter how fast you deliver a pizza if the thing is undercooked.
@Natalie if a customer's first and only response is "I'm not interested", "it's not for me", or "I'm going a different route" you shouldn't be getting charged. If this isn't the case, I want to look into your account and get you taken care of. Go ahead and send me a PM with your account email address and the names of the customers and I'll take a look.
That's the same reason I also took myself off. If I understand right, Instant Match quotes get seen first. So way down there in the list comes our carefully custom-crafted high quality accurate quote that serious clients used to respond well to. Now I'm concerned that they may be getting tired of the impersonal cookie-cutter quotes and stop viewing before they get to mine and yours.
Yes, Thumbtack has been very good about that. I can attest to that being a strength. Even when I got angry and blasted away at the thing out of frustration, they stayed calm and treated me with respect. Most of the time when I complained of being inaccurately charged, it was reversed. Every system has glitches. We get that. Still, the price is too high for quotes that are not highly qualified leads...mostly tire-kickers who don'treally even know what they want.
I am now seeing the same feeling from others who have been with y'all for as long if not more then me, especially the ones concerning paying for a quote or lead when the potential customer response with the pre written paragragh that you made for them so easily, and then when we respond to set things up, I never hear from them at all, tell you guys about it and now I'm hearing Marco and other employees say, "Yes we know it's upsetting and we know that when things change, IT'S OKAY!" I always thought that when people actually respond to each other via live thru your web site, that you would know that we are chatting or responding to each other, oh wait thats right were being automated now, right???
Guys, I am one of those 49 years exp., in construction of being in the business, and at 62, still doing the same exact work that I have been doing since my 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, and wait for it, 60's. I've been with y'all for over 4 or more years now. I agree with others that now it's a crap shoot to see if I can stay within a budget without my quotes from one job being $6 to now $15 because that's what other people, (with far less exp.), who have not been in this business are saying to the younger CEO that we can do ittt!!
My quote prices have been the same now for the last 4 years because everything I do, which is every thing, turns out to be great because no matter what they want, its a professional job, well done. Now some of the jobs I'm quoting on now have over 10 different quotes and so far some of my new customers, have told me that they wished they knew about me before they hired that first or second or even the 3rd or 4th guy or company that they hired from thumbtack, but they figured the ones down on the list were not good. Flash news for ya Marcos, your thinking inside a box that is outside the circle. Your telling us the fastest gets more money when I'm being told that my new customers who have used thumbtack before, loved the way that the response came in, but over 75% did not like the job or had to tell them to quit, or even had to let them finish because the contractor will put a lien on there house and they won't be able to do any work until there even or done with the job. Some have gotten a hold of me even after the job is a week to a month old, asking if they can get rid of this contractor, would I come and fix things. Of course I tell them, let me start my work, and when they come to threaten again, they can talk to me, and since I know the law better then they do, most of the time, they do not do anything else because I tell them take me to court, my job now. Here in Texas, if you shake a hand that is actually a binding contract, but then if anybody deferes or does soething not right, when you go to file in court, unless its over a certain amount of money, it'll cost more then what there owed or have to pay.
Marcos, it seems to me, that I've tried doing quite a few different things in my life time and making money on the computers was once one of them, chef, office worker, and a few other managerial and non managerial positions, that I have always gone back to my first love, all phases of construction, and what your doing is trying to make money, and more money, and more money, and then telling us we can to by being the first to respond. Do you actually think, thumbtack is the only lead source out on there internet. I'm curious as to what your figures are about how many people contact thumbtack and use your site and say it was the fastest one who answered first is who I gave the job to.
I've been told that it was my profile, the yrs exp., and my pics of before and after, that they decided to go with me, the 4th or 5th person down the list and I responded in 10 hours or less. I still use the web site because Ive had some similar situations with some of the others as well, but y'all always seemed to listen to us little companies, but now that your trying to be a bigger one, well you think on it. I do apprciate y'all trying to help, but raising the quote prices, charging for quotes that are not following up with each other, yer forgetting the whole thing about everybody being here in the first place, we are all here to serve others first and foremost. Sure we are to make some money but I like it when I serve them and then they give a bonus because I kept my price where I said I would even when they added just a tiny bit more, or got done fast enough where they were happy to give gratitudes, either by word, or financial. Well enough said! Hope everyone has a very Blessed day.
Look into mine as well . I was charged for someone telling me they we not interested last week !! Guess what your customer service department texted me when I asked about a refund and their respons was simply we put customer and pro together it’s your responsibility to get the job . Go back and review it and give me my money back !!
We have not been asking why you are making the changes; we have been *telling you* that the "New Thumbtack" is a big fail for us pros.
Second, I already saw that video from Marco. Quite a while ago. Saying the same thing over and over doesn't make it true or change my mind. It does make me realize that the leadership at Thumbtack is not mature enough to admit that they have made a big mistake.
It is quite clear that your "one goal" is *not* getting us more customers, it is getting more money for Thumbtack.
Finally, I couldn't care less about Marco's vision. I didn't start using Thumbtack because of Marco's vision. I started using it because it helped connect me to violin students. I never even knew what Marco's name wasY'all need to grow up and listen.
We have offically moved on from Thumbtack based on these visnoary changes. Business has fallen off dramtically just when we put ourselves in a position to work harder on thumbtack. We had increased our range and bought a bigger kitchen. Then you go and make these wild changes and literally ruin our business. A business mind you that was born from thumbtack when I took a gamble and joined 4 years ago.
Sad how far you have fallen.
Hope you guys get it together because we are a big fish.
I cant imagine the little fish....
I thought I was the only one who found this change to be for the worse.
You mentioned wanting to give the customers more of what they want, well the lack of transparency in pricing, the new " budget " process and the spiraling costs put us in a precarious spot. We bid less- cost based; customers get less responses- " budget " based and we all LOOSE !!Don't try to be the other guys. Be who you were. Been here a while. Even promoted Thumbtack vs others.I'm hoping for better days instead of the demise of a good company.KennyYOU NAILED ITMemphis
Your instant Match does not work for me. My business has dropped to nothing and in fact cost me. The people responded to my quotes will say, "when are you available", or i am going another route. This ends up costing me more than before, plus not getting he job. This instant match is a joke! From the reviews to Marco I have read , they are in agreement. Looks like I am going to have to try another venue, because this is not working for me. Before the change I was doing great, now I am doing no business!
I've quit quoting and I've been with you since 2011 and top pro editor since 2015. You're not listening to us. You can't possibly be listening. Read these messages! I've read the messages and written many. Quotes are far far from free. They have broken the budgets of most of us. Two months without a hire when it never was a problem before. Editors would race to get their quotes in. No customers going hungry there. It's really annoying to see you say quotes are free and then triple the price of them and charge the many of us who answer the customer when only 1 person in god knows (no only you know I guess) how many went out. I've had exchanges with customers who can't make up their minds because they're confused, or overwhelmed. Five quotes was working quite well. It seems everyone in this commuity is complaining. You're losing a lot of good pros. The changes are a disaster and I'm sure I'm not the only one amazed that you haven't seen that.
I've written this already a million times. The request form for editors needs to have an exact or at least approximate WORD COUNT so we can give a quote! We can't give a quote on a 20,000 word range! So we have to ask and then we get charged when they answer without any kind of commitment. And you're sending too many quotes to the clients. And you're just charging waaayyy too much. And it's not "OKAY" that we're frustrated. You misled us with the idea that quotes were free and you made a lot of money on us last month and very few of us got anywhere near the results we were getting before. We're really upset!!! And it's not "okay."
I have used Thumbtack and had a great success when I was able to see the budget or range client want to spend. I paid off my entire investment in just 2 and a half months. ($10,000 investment) That was a great success for me. The Moment Thumbtack decided to hide the budget, it turns into a shoot in a dark game. I booked one event compare to 20 or so ( I don't even know the exact number anymore as I stopped using Thumbtack altogether). By not sending quotes I actually saved money.
I don't think the new changes are any better for service providers, it's a great winning game for Thumbtack. The initial concept was a winner in my opinion and that's why a lot of people stopped sending quotes now as the ROI is practically a loss.
I wish you all the best but I won't be wasting my money, I would only return if the initial concept is back where I can see what budget client is looking to spend.
Things were GREAT for like a few months when you changed the quote system to charge when they contact you. Once it went to auto-quote it went right down the drain.
I decided to give up after spending nearly $130 in one week on a bunch of non-leads for wedding photography. $25-40 a pop, to get a "quick-reply" saying "sounds good" or "when can I call you" only to ignore me from then on out. That is not an opportunity. It's not a lead if there's no contact info, no phone number, no way to reach the potential client (who, let's get real here, probably had zero intention of hiring anyone and was just checking prices).
I sent in a detailed message explaining why I should be refunded the bulk of those quotes and my request was not entertained.
I will not spend another cent on this service as it is right now. I still believe I should be refunded.
I did just that. I got charged for a bogus inquiry on a quote that shouldn’t of been sent anyways. The customer ( if he’s even real) was from Reno, I’m in Carson city. I’d never send a quote to someone there. And because some nimrod replied back to call him on a bogus phone number I got charged $15.00!?!? So I emailed suppport wanting a refund they said “ let me take a look”. Then said “ did you call the customer?”. What??? Of course I did!! “ Well we suggest you keep trying to contact him”. I didn’t want to contact him in first place no quote should have been sent to him 40 miles away!!!!!!! No refund and last of my money you’ll steal. Been with you since the beginning. 9 years Ago.
@BodyByBijhan I want to see what's going on. Requests shouldn't be getting sent outside of your travel preferences so I definitely want to make sure we get things straightened out to prevent this from happening again in the future. If you send me a DM with the name of the customer, I'll take a look and get you taken care of.
The people looking for a PRO are not Thumbtack's customers...they are the Pro's customer if the Pro is hired. YOUR customer, Marco, is the PRO! A customer is someone who pays you for the product or service you offer. PRO's pay you, someone seeking the Pro is NOT Thumbtack's customer. In your video you keep referring to the people looking for a product or sevice as "thumbtack's customer". And you are very concerned about them. WE, the PRO's are your customer and I did not feel the love for us in your video. In my opinion, you need to re-evaluate this and adjust your thinking and thereby, your buiness plan, in order to understand and fully recognize who your customer is. I used to love Thumbtack. No longer...
Until things change for the better for this PRO, I am no longer using Thumbtack to find business.
Great for you, and yes it's nice to use mutiple methods of finding customers, but for some like me Thumbtack was the best thing there was. I am curious how much more your quotes prices from Thumbtack have gone up @Hopeandfaith405
That is very true JanDHN - I tried it as a customer as well to get electrician and painters, and I was overwhelmed on the customer end. I decided not to choose until I am completely ready.
On the Pro-Side - I am with the overwhelming majority on the board.
It makes no sense to spend time sending quotes. There are 15 to 20 other pros - quotes are not as customized,
and business of course is not what it used to be.
I can't imagine who the advisors are for this step. I can't imagine this strategy can last very long.
I imagine there will be a video coming out soon with a reversal to the former way of doing things.
Marco, I'm relatively new to TT so don't have the history but wanted to share some observations. I really like the idea of paying for leads/responses but any good pricing system needs to be based on value and shared risk, specifically:
1) Project size - consumers regularly miscategorize projects, so I've paid $10/handyman lead for a $7000 room remodel and $75/room remodel lead for what turned out to be $90 handyman project. I'd like to see some kind of reconcilation and/or arbitration that spreads the risk equally between TT and us Pros. For now, I've stopped bidding on the higher-priced categories which isn't good for anyone.
2) Consumer readiness - I will gladly pay more money for a more qualified customer but the one-size-fits-all today doesn't work. Someone who makes one reply to all Pros has a different value than someone who engages in multiple bids/questions than someone who actually hires. I'd like to see some kind of sliding scale based on how customer interacts with the Pros.
3) Customer integrity - I will gladly pay more money for a customer with a good track record but we have no visibility into who's asking for quotes (with some, not me, going as far as to say they get fake quotes). If it's a first-time TT customer, we should all want them to have a good experience, so maybe not even charge at all. The idea that any lead could eventually turn into a bigger project is equally true and not true, yet we Pros have all the risk. I'd like to see customer reviews, like Uber and Yelp, and would gladly pay more to quote customer with a high rating.
Frankly, right now it feels like pricing is based on a set of well-meaninged but arbirtrary assumptions and not value to your customers (which are the Pros).
Thanks for listening, looking forward to actions.
I hope 4 pages of disgruntled "Pros / YOUR customers" warrants some kind of response from a C-level at TT. Clearly, you have a problem and it hasn't been just me over the last 6 months. I'm disgruntled because of the canned answers I get when I complain about changes from staff. I'm disgruntled because it seems TT ignores the very people that help build the business. I'm disgruntled because I remember what TT used to be and how it seemed everyone was profiting from an app that filled a void for small business owners. Your Pro's still care because you can hear the passion in these responses. It's not too late to allow TT to work for everyone's benefit again. A lack of meaningful response just means nobody on your executive level cares. How does that mentality play well with Corporate Vision?
I wanted to weigh in as the head of our pro community efforts and ask you: short of changing Thumbtack back to the way it was, what would it take to prove to you that we care and that we are listening?
While you may not have liked it, what you heard from Meckell wasn't a canned response; it's entirely the truth. We implemented Instant Match because we heard from pros and customers alike that it's what they wanted (customers want results instantly, pros don't want to be glued to their phones sending custom quotes). We have folks here in our office who are talking to pros all day, every day to understand how we can improve Thumbtack and make it work for you. We don't make changes in a vacuum.
Of course, that's not to say that everything's perfect. Far from it. There's still a lot of work to do. The biggest thing right now is making sure we're charging pros the right price and a fair price for the customers who contact you and the leads that Thumbtack gives you. We have to move quickly on this, because there are certainly pros who are frustrated and who are not seeing a clear ROI.
But my question still stands: beyond reverting back to the old Thumbtack, what does a meaningful response look like to you? What do you need to trust the changes and where we're heading?
Looking forward to your response. And a sincere thank you, again, for sharing your feedback and engaging. We wouldn't have build this Community if we didn't want to hear from pros like you. With over 70 hires on Thumbtack, you've been incredibly successful on this platform. We want to help you keep that up.
Sure, will do. What about the situations when friends/family of bride and groom looking for a photographer for the couple and they even don't know if the couple already found a pro? And then they say 'oops they went with their original photographer'. Why should I pay +-$50 for somebody research which nobody needed? Or another situation when I sent all info and several links tp my portfolio and albums and the bride or groom messaging me 'where I can see your portfolio?' But I already sent all the links! And minus $50 from my budget for that question!.. Or bride wanted also a video included but they didn't put that information, they just were looking for a photographer. And after they asking if I have video included in the price which is obviously NOT, I'm JUST a photographer, they didn't ask for a video in their info! And I also pay for that question...
The correct responce is:
Well now, We know change is hard to accept but the pros we contacted have marketing budgets that allow them to buy leads from multiple lead referral services so this frees then to not work TT. as the system was originally set up to do, but our platform now allows them to get quoted for free and only pay when they are contacted. Unlike you our long time pro, they have no problem paying $50 to $75 dollars a quote unlike the $5 to $13.50 we use to charge you for your great exceptional customer service which has made us ,TT. what we are today. We are sorry you do not see anymore of the leads you use too, and why you wont be getting your top pro badges any more, but just remember the old saying," We dont need no stinkin badges".
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