A message from Marco

Community Veteran
7 130 6,494
It should come as no surprise that Thumbtack is going through a period of change.  Many of you in the Community have been asking why we're making these changes in the first place.
 

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.

 

130 responses
Community Regular

@Kameron

Here's my other post where I show the numbers and how it makes totally no sense with your new system.

Click Here

I think my guess is totally right, you want a bunch of newbies and those who are looking to only book a job at any cost. For years I was defending TT that it's not for cheap jobs there is client base which looks for quality work but you guys proved me wrong.

Thumbtack is turning into Fiverr. 

Community Regular

Hey Guys, I just sent this to support but lets see shall we!!! I have already declined but why am I getting anything that is outside my diameter, I think I have it set to 35 miles or maybe 50 but not 97, to me your system needs fixing along with everything else about your changes. Your CEO is not having the same VISIONS as all other contractors in construction according to what I'm seeing in the activity. When you guys always show a positive response, its always with photography, or weddings but nothing in construction.  Well I want to see things go back but I also want to see y'all eat your humble pie, or your gonna lose out. Ya know, it okay to admit things aren't right or you didn't think things out, but when you realize it, and turn back the clock a bit, you should get even more contractors, because your capable of changing as well, and you'd be listening to the right people, the ones who've been with you for awhile and the more experienced in running businesses, instead of listening to the ones who are saying its okay, they'll come around, when they've never lifted a hammer or done any of the consistent work that we've been doing, like myself, 49 years. Hmm 62 and still going strong, Houston strong!  So far Id say over 95% of the responses towards your CEO's vision is all negatives with us contractors, but since I did live in San Fran for awhile, and everything is much more expensive there then anywhere else, well you guys go read things and you tell everyone else  like your telling us, its okay, when we have totally told y'all that it isn't.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @LCJPCJINC I looked into your account and I found out what's going on. If you go to your services and scroll down to the bottom, you'll see advanced settings. In your advanced settings, there's the option to "Suggest jobs near my travel area." That was turned on and that's why you were seeing requests and getting matched with jobs outside of your travel area. I went ahead and turned that off for you and double checked your travel preferences for each of your categories, they're all sent to 40 miles. If you have any other questions or concerns that you'd like to chat about, please send me a DM. I'm always happy to help in any way that I can. Have a great Labor Day weekend! 

Community Regular
And now I get an email stating that you took things out by editing my message because I have said what others have said put it in capital letters, and label it as inapproiate. Well so much for freedom of speech.
Active Community Member

I have been with TT for a couple of years now; when I joined, TT only allowed FIVE pros to bid on a job.  Now, there can be upwards of 15 Pros!!  That's ridiculous.  It's overwhelming for the consumer, and a waste of money for the Pros.  Since they have changed to this system, I haven't gotten hired ONCE.  Not once.  I left TT for awhile, and recently came back to see if Thumbtack had gotten their heads out of the sand and started listening to us Pros; apparently not.

  Who's in charge over there, anyway?

Community Regular

I got the same message, they practically deleted every key point I had made.

Community Regular

What is funny is, they delete my key points out of the conversation but yet I keep getting these "great gab" badges for posting comments.  What good are the badges if the comments aren't read and acted upon.  

 

Community Regular

TT is relying on the "little fish" now.  The people that have just started and will do anything to get new business, but in all reality, TT is getting bites from the bigger fish too.   There are Franchise companies in my trade that can afford to bid a job at a low ball price and those are the ones that are bidding.  Unfortunately for the customers, they actually accept these extremely low prices and hire these franchises, getting exactly what they pay for, an exceptionally poor quality of cleaning.  Some of the franchises that bid on TT have several litigation cases against them from the franchisees because of their ridiculous contractual policies stating that by the time the franchise low ball bids an account, the franchisee makes pennies on the dollar after all the franchise fees are paid.  

Active Community Member

All the positivity in the world isn't going to make up for having to pay $30 when a wedding photography client replies to my auto quote with a "quick reply" of "when can i call you?" or similar and then ignores all my followups. Lots of other folks complaining about this. Someone hitting a quick reply and then ignoring you is not a "valuable contact" and we should be refunded all the same as if they replied with "going with someone else, sorry". This needs to change, period. It's a total cop-out to not refund these worthless dead leads who are not even motivated enough to reply with "sorry, I have now changed my mind" or something.

Community Regular

I totally agree. So far TT is only lining it's pockets with the experience I have had. Therefore, at this time I am boycotting TT until they provide what it will cost me ahead of time if a client does contact me.

Community Regular

hello, it amazing to get payment for quote responses, when u know that is all i got, Responses of quote and some one actually won the contract and also got charged, not just for the quote response but many others for the same quote response of just one contract that would be won by only one person. its a total rip off. so in the end one request for a quote and the response to the quote makes you so much money to the disadvantage of the person seeking the contact and the person who gets the contact altogether.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @RP did you see the pricing update that we announced a couple weeks ago? If you didn't you can see it here. Now all pros will be able to see how much it will cost them when a customer contacts them before they decide to send a quote. Let me know if you have any questions! 

Active Community Member

Disregard my last message about paying $30 to be ignored, looks like the charge for a "non-reply" to a wedding photography quote is up to $45.

Had someone reply to my quote tonight with the "What's your availability" quick reply, which is a bit odd since I wouldn't have quoted on it unless I am available for their date. And of course guess what? No more replies! Getting ignored! I go over to the charges tab, and see $45 pending. This is just absolutely crazy. In what universe is this sort of practice supposed to pass for sustainable? 

Honestly I think this would work a LOT better if you just took away the "quick reply" suggestions becuase people are just tapping them and costing us money. Every single "non-lead" that I've asked to get refunded for (and denied) has started with a "quick reply" and then ignoring my responses. WE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR THIS! This is not a valuable contact. It's zero contact.

Maybe if a potential customer had to be bothered to at least type a real sentence using their own words this would stop being a problem.

Community Regular

100% agree. The auto-reply process is a waste of resources when the lead 95% of the time goes dark. TT surely has the data around that. In a small business, every penny counts. I simply can't gamble on a 1 in 15 chance to be contacted. Especially when that 1 contact, if you can call it that, has a high likelihood of not responding to your follow-up.  If this model is successful, I'd sure like to know for who.

 I started this thread 12 pages ago with hopes that IF enough Pro's voiced their displeasure with the current system maybe there would be change. Decisions are being made with no consideration for customer retention ( Pro retention ). I just don't get it. 

Community Regular

They see everything, it's just not the right people seeing it.   I know they are seeing it, because I received a Message from Thumbtack that my comments violated their rules and were removed.  I used no profanities, was very businesslike and professional in my comments, but yet, because I called them out on their greed, they modified my comments to meet their standards.   The Mods are there to weather the storm, they can't do anything.   I have over 100 requests in my inbox and don't even bother looking at them anymore.  As you said, way too many pro's sending in bids and then getting ghosted after the initial contact.  When a person shops for a service, they don't get on the phone and call 15 people, meet with each and every one of them and get estimates.  They call 3-5 businesses, get an estimate, and go from there.   I put in a real request for black top repair and paving.  I got nothing back, an email saying there are no pros in my area, which I know is not true.  The prices and competition is ridiculous so pros aren't bidding anymore.    I also read something that made sense from another thread.  TT maybe trying to sell and may have a prospective buyer, which I'm guessing Amazon or Facebook if this is the direction. But in order to look more fruitful to a buyer, they are trying to get their revenue up.  Either way, until their bidding platform changes, all of those requests will just sit there in purgatory, unanswered.  Then this is what will happen, people will stop using thumbtack because they aren't getting any businesses to do business with.  RIP thumbtack. 

Community Regular

You are forgetting that if the customer didn't respond within 48 hours, we got our money/credits back, but keep trying to, maybe one of your bosses will come up with a script that actually makes sense.  I really feel for all you moderators.

Community Manager
Community Manager

@missyj09 I just wanted to clarify. In the past, if the customer didn't view your quote within 48 hours, you would get refunded. So for example; if they viewed your quote before that 48-hour mark, but didn't respond, you wouldn't be refunded. That doesn't apply now because you aren't even charged until the customer responds to you. 

Community Regular

When I started this credits were $1.67  I think and it took fom 2 to 6 to quote. I had to make the effort to view quickly the request  as I have multiples specialties with state licensure. Now I do not see the request as before, now the same quote if I am contacted will cost from $31.65 to $75.00 since TT has been nice enough to let us see the cost now.   So if 5 Pros old system @$10.00 contact a customer TT=$50.00

New system: Customer 8 Pros to respond to @ $75.00   TT=$600.00

Quote for free. Pay for responses.

There's no charge if the customer doesn't respond or if the first response is just "no thanks."

You'll pay $75 if the customer responds.

 

 

Community Regular

that isn't how you worded it in your original comment.  I have been with thumbtack since 2014.  I know exactly how it worked.  I would quote 10 jobs at an average of $5, that's $50, and if 2 of those people didn't look at my quote, I got $10 back, so it was $40 to quote total, now I got hired by 4 of those people to clean their house at $150 per clean, that is a profit of $560.  because only 5 people could bid the job and I was the lucky person out of 5 to get it.   Now to quote 10 jobs, it's an average of $30 per quote, which comes to $300, lets say now only 5 of those people respond with the instant match, I have now paid $150, and maybe only get hired by 1 person wanting their house cleaned which low and behold runs around $150.  I have made absolutely no money.  because now I my profession has been  out to 15 people and I didn't stand a chance becaue I don't use instant match.  I am sure this is going to be modified because I used a word that doesn't meet your standards, but so be it.  Thumbtack doesn't meet my standards so I don't really care.  I am now just here to keep digging my heels in like the rest of the pros.  Cant you people see that your system is only working for Marco.  Open your eyes, wake up and smell the coffee or use whatever cliche you want to use, but someone better do it quick.  

Active Community Member

@missyj09 wrote:

They see everything, it's just not the right people seeing it.   I know they are seeing it, because I received a Message from Thumbtack that my comments violated their rules and were removed.  I used no profanities, was very businesslike and professional in my comments, but yet, because I called them out on their greed, they modified my comments to meet their standards.   The Mods are there to weather the storm, they can't do anything.   I have over 100 requests in my inbox and don't even bother looking at them anymore.  As you said, way too many pro's sending in bids and then getting ghosted after the initial contact.  When a person shops for a service, they don't get on the phone and call 15 people, meet with each and every one of them and get estimates.  They call 3-5 businesses, get an estimate, and go from there.   I put in a real request for black top repair and paving.  I got nothing back, an email saying there are no pros in my area, which I know is not true.  The prices and competition is ridiculous so pros aren't bidding anymore.    I also read something that made sense from another thread.  TT maybe trying to sell and may have a prospective buyer, which I'm guessing Amazon or Facebook if this is the direction. But in order to look more fruitful to a buyer, they are trying to get their revenue up.  Either way, until their bidding platform changes, all of those requests will just sit there in purgatory, unanswered.  Then this is what will happen, people will stop using thumbtack because they aren't getting any businesses to do business with.  RIP thumbtack. 


I agree.

I now see DJ quotes can go as high as $45.  The times we live in...

Community Regular
It's seriously too late for a lot of people to believe a word of that. We've just been blown off too many times. Good effort, but you've just not given people any reason to trust what you're saying
Community Regular

You say in your video "When a customer has to wait for a quote"

UM Dude, you dont even know who your customer is!!

It is not the person looking to hire, THAT IS ONE OF YOUR RESOURCES

The customer of Thumbtack is the pro PAYING for the lead.

Until you understand that you will be on a death spiral.

Your product is leads, not the work of the pros who pay for the lead.

And you have pretty much alienated most of us.

Community Regular

This in no way will get us more customers. Just make us leave thumbtack. I've been with you for several years and now I'm so disgusted with paying $60 for absolutely nothing. Customers don't respond to us when we followup or they ask a question that is clearly stated in our proposal. I feel $60. is a crazy expensive fee for a lead period! Our supossed customers are also paying the price because we won't bid a job that cost big $$. You're hurting your pros who in turn pay your bills. Go back to the credits or lose more pro's. Your choice! I'm not paying anymore.
Signed
A small business owner getting shafted.

Community Regular

Hello,

The cost of using Thumbtack is way up, I am not able to customize my profile as I would want to, such as: We also take checks, We do offer after hours service but at a higher price. We want to show all of our license numbers as we have several licenses, which shows a higher level of professionalism to potential clients. It would also be nice to have ability to have pictures and names of staff in a seperate area so people know who is coming and who to expect will show up at there door. We want the ability of knowing the cost per customer to aquire them, right now I have no idea. If your charging me $20.00 for a responce that I may or many not get. How do I make any money on this job when we charge $98.00? $98.00 seams like a lot but take in to account, Licenses, Business insurance, bonds, workmans comp, Unemployment, vehicle insurance, van expences, phone service, email, etc. It leaves me with less than $20.00 per hour. I like Thumbtack and customers over all have been great based on our 4.9 review score.  I would prefer a pre-set cost per responce like it use to be or a flat monthly fee. 

Chris

Petersen Electric, LLC.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Community Regular
I'm starting to think us pro's are wasting our time responding to these inquiries from thumbtack. They'll never fix anything. Only reword what they've already said.
Community Regular
Wrong. Refunds were givin after 48 hours if there was no response.
Community Regular
You make it so I can see it's going to cost over $60 to quote. Tt haven't you noticed our customers are not requesting quotes now? I used to get several leads a day now I'm lucky to get 3 a week. What's up?
Active Community Member

@Meckell yes, we can see the quotes now, but that just means I pass on more of them.   Right now, you are charging $16.09 to quote on a resume writing job that nets me maybe $60.00.   That would ALMOST be economical if everyone I quoted actually hired me.  

Just going back to the first of October, I did 10 quotes that were responded to by customers.  Of those, 5 hired me... the other five were just tire-kicking...  So I ened up spending $160.00 for about $300.00 of work.  And again, I'm a top pro, with 300+ hires and 140 positive reviews.  

The better solution would be to ONLY charge the pro if he or she gets hired, not contacted.   Or make the price of sending a quote so cheap that you can absorb the tire-kickers.  

 

Community Manager
Community Manager

@JoeB131 you are very successful on Thumbtack and I want you to continue to utilize us to get connected to new customers. I understand why you're frustrated about the cost. We are constantly re-evaluating pricing and your feedback is more beneficial than you know. Keep it coming! 

Community Newcomer

Yea,

 

They've lost the vision.........

 

 

Frito1955