Have a question for Marco?

Community Veteran
13 348 12.9K
On Thursday, March 21st, we'll be hosting a live Q&A with Thumbtack CEO and co-founder, Marco Zappacosta (@MarcoZ).
 
Post your question here for a chance to win $100 in Thumbtack credit. Terms apply.
 
Want to know what we're working on at Thumbtack? Interested in learning more about our vision and strategy?
 
Marco will answer some of your questions live during the Q&A on March 21st.
 
All other questions will get a written response in the days that follow. Our moderation team is on hand to answer support questions, too.
 
Thanks for all that you do!
348 responses
Community Newcomer
The time I have been on thumbtack, 2 Years, you have changed the way we get credits or pay for leads, Why have you chosen to do this, and how did we end up at the current result? It has kept me from wanting to bid!
Community Newcomer
Is the customer aware that the professionals are getting charge for a response or reply?
Community Regular
Very good well said.Theres always going b all little ghosting going on but they have to get the technology to do so.
Community Regular

I am a big fan of TT and have used it for 5+ years. I have been hired 43 times, and currently hold a Top Pro badge. As an one woman shop in interior design, I feel that is significant. I was involved your mentorship program where I shared my success with new TT users. I was even approached to be in one of your commericals. One of my TT jobs for a full home remodel and addition was feature in the press/magazine and TT was mentioned (free press for you!). I have told numerous associates about your platform from my trade people to contractors. I have even used TT when I needed services for my personal life.

Having said all that, I understand that you want to make your platform potential customer friendly. You have changed your platform many times. I feel that we, the professionals are your customer, we pay your salaries, insurance, etc....., but all of our tools that worked are being taken away in the "let's make it easier for customers". We are your customer and the platform is not working. I am not getting leads! This scares me. Why, TT is 95% of my revenue stream. I feel that perhaps TT should have brought in a focus group of professonials using your platform and asked them what is working, what isn't. Again, I can not stress enough that we are your customer and without successful professionals who stop using your platform will cause TT to not be competive in the lead generation arena.

What can you do to bring back what worked in the past? Don't fix it, if it is not broken.

Thanks,

Debby Adelman

 

Active Community Member
I m thinking the same thing......
Community Regular

Hi, Mr.:

Thank you so much for your reply.  I was a bit stressed writing my post because it was so long, but, I have conveyed this problem, issue, matter, whatever one what's to call it, many times to several customer service reps.  Each time they say they will look into it and get back to me - they never do.

When Thumbtack was out of Utah, seriously, it was truly the best.  I get it, businesses grow and that's a good thing...for them, but it seems the "customer service" part gets lost somehow, unfortunately.

My lead numbers do not lie - I could show proof as the display in our software but I can't because client names are attached.  I remember at one point thinking I would hire a person just to handle Thumbtack because that's how many leads and follow-ups and calls needed to happen and I just started running out of time to keep up.  Now, as I've said, I'm lucky to get 2 or 3.  Today, I've received 3 leads, yesterday I received 5 leads and only 4 on the 18th. Worse, only 2 on the 16th.  

I truly don't understand what they've done to ruin our category. I would think they were making more money the other way, don't you? I mean, as I've said, my numbers don't lie. And, when I look through 2015 and 2016, especially 2016 - I used to get A LOT of leads.  I hope we can get some answers tonight.

Again, thank you so much for reading my post and for commenting. I was hoping I got my message across, although, there is more to say.

Take care!
Tana Corporon

Active Community Member
It keeps happening to me as well...and even when client writes “I ll travel to the pro” and then they won’t you still pay for the quote!
Community Regular

Is Thumbtack going to start doing something to help cut down in the fake ads so us professionals don't get charged for services. that we dont make any money for

Community Regular

As a Thumbtack Pro, why do you not supply alternate means of reaching out to leads other than through your platform? It would be nice to have access to a customers email address at a minimum or telephone number once we have paid for a lead. I've had several clients contact me by telephone indicating I never reached out to them when I did. Reaching out to leads through your platform only is a massive roadblock to securing business.

Community Regular

my same question, not to mention prices have gone up for wedding photographers a 450 dollar wedding for a 22 dollar fee

Community Regular

Hi, JCP:

So sorry you're having the same issue, but it's good for me to see that I'm not amiss with this issue.

Oh, yes, you are correct about profitability with the higher pricing, it's insane that it increased higher than some "legal only" leads place where they actually vet the potential client, require a phone number and all the other processes they do to HELP convert that lead, which is why one pays more for their services.  Thumbtack doesn't vet at all, yet charges high and ever higher prices than those legal only places.

I want to stay with Thumbtack, but if it doesn't change, I need to put my money where the business is, you know?

Thank you so much for your comment!

Tana Corporon

Active Community Member

Hahahahahahah.... Chat Has Been Disabled in the Webinar.... totally perfect.

Community Regular
I can already tell this live chat is going to be a runaround
Community Veteran

Any updates on how things have been going? Any hope that pros are being heard?

 

Community Newcomer
Yes, can you work on developing a remote/face time feature to recognize the area of work? For renovations, remodelings, painting etc.
Community Newcomer
Is there anyway for customers to note their budget range on job request? Saves everyone time upfront

Ex: customer needs an 8 camera system installed but only willing to pay $200-250, some reason are, they think it's easy, they didn't pay much for system..etc
Community Regular
I have used thumbtack to hire other pros and when I use the website it almost seems like I am going to get and instant price, then after filling out the information I am then told pros will contact me. Obviously I know how thumbtack works but if. First time person online using your website it is very confusing and a little misleading. I feel like this results in bad leads that we pay for. If you could tell customers up front how the process works up front I fell like it would greatly dimish people just searching for general cost and are not ready to hire anyone yet. Is this a common complaint or just me?
Community Regular

You suggest that you and the TopPros are "partners" but I'm seeing countless TopPros - including myself - incredibly frustrated (and having left) your service, because the partnership seems one direction. The model changed and blew us all up and the response we've gotten is always the same...be sure you promote, be sure your settings are correct...same old, same old. When will Thumbtack actually partner with their TopPros? You are losing people left and right.

Community Regular
I think my biggest challenge with thumbtack is the fact that the client is going to select one person to send a message to off the list. But then they will message 12 other people just to cast a wide net. Thumbtack makes money for each pro that is contacted. And often times, I get no response only bc I’m one of the runner ups. Is there any way for pros to not get charged if the client that reaches out is obviously not a fit (ie their budget is under 250 and I charge 900)( I’m being charged for the 900 dollar quote) ( they’re not going to pick me).
Community Regular
They totally avoided the hard hitting questions.
Community Regular

Hi Marcos, thank you for invites us, We are very happy to be part of thumbtack, Our small business grow thanks the help for Thumbtack. It had been a big opportunity. I would like to know if soon thumbtack will change the system to promote a services, because i would like to participate but some customer contact aprox 7 or 9 company finding quote, we think is a lot person to contact. thank you Marcos

Community Regular
I know, that was the worst live q&a I have seen. Totally avoided most of our concerns and questions
Community Regular

As a Top Pro you say we are partners with Thumbtack, I just finished my taxes and figured out I spend a little over 12 hundred dollars last year going after projects. Now I have been a Top pro for 2 years at least. I would say I would be hard press to have made much more than 15 hundred dollars after paying Thumbtack there cut

Community Veteran
There are many, many questions on here - many similar - and you didn’t even answer. What keeps you up at night? Really? And only 30 minutes for this webinar? There are over 200 questions on the feed alone. Very disappointed. I wanted to hear tough questions and answers. Address the overwhelming theme of questions here. I appreciate Marcos willingness to get up front and speak. However, this was a waste of time. Let me come and ask the questions and run it like a real seminar. Like - will you be putting a cap on the amount of pros a customer can contact. Because allowing a customer to contact 7-9-12 other pros is unnecessary and only benefits Thumbtack. It decreases our odds of getting booked. Thumbtacks willingness to let a cap on this will show their support for us pros. That’s a real question, real concern. Wow. Really disappointed with this. Hopefully next one will be more productive. However, I do belive efforts are being done by Thumbtack to guide this ship.
Community Newcomer

Did anyone else find tonight's online session with Marco to be a frustrating waste of time? Prior to the meeting we were asked to post questions. I did, and I saw many others which, like mine, complained about the current pricing structure. None of these questions were read aloud tonight and the issues with the pricing model were barely touched on. Getting charged to respond to a lead that has supposedly selected you -- even if they also select 5 other people, is ridiculous. Not being able to respond to someone who asks for something you don't do without having to pay to tell them that makes us look unprofessional (and Thumbtack look useless). The only pricing really discussed was why they don't offer flat fee monthly pricing (they don't want to charge us if we are too busy for leads). It's ok to charge me on promote for a lead asking for a service I don't offer? I came away from this "event" even less satisfied with Thumbtack. I've been hired almost 800 times here and have over 350 reviews, but the changes to the way it works are not working for me anymore. It costs me too much and the quality f the leads has gone down down down.

Community Newcomer
How and why should l use thumbtack instead of Home Advisor or the other business platforms that are pulling me hard to ditch you ?
Community Expert
@ronatrains
I wasn't invited.
Asked to post questions? Then @JasonB thread asking for questions was just a total waste of our time?
Community Regular

I'm new to this. I've always sent direct correspondence to TT. I'm so enjoying reading this forum. My question: How do you get your level designation? I hope it's not by how many times you've contributed. Who knew? I seriously regret not knowing I could have been shouting across the rooftops for the last two years...I've only emailed silently to TT...dangit.

I'm very competitive so if this level rating has to do with contribution then you might want to pause me. Ha! 

Seriously, If TT is reading (yes you are) then thank you for this forum and the opportunity to make our relationship better. We all want to be successful. Me is so yesterday. We is now. Collaboration and partnership is the springboard. Listen. Learn. Share. Grow. 

Community Regular

Excellent Post Stories UPSTL!!!! 

everything you said: Yes. 

Community Regular

Ronatrains is right! You can't respond to ones you might actually get because you are used to getting jilted. Looks unprofessional. But it's too expensive. I have a catering business and I started declining almost every one because I can't afford the No's that I know are coming. Before you could cast that net a lot further for a lot smaller of a price so it didn't sting as bad when you pulled up the net with a big rubber boot. 

Active Community Member

@jcp - I wasn't part of the invite list so didn't get to see the session.  I'm disappointed to hear that it was lackluster, but then again, I'm not surprised.

What did surprise me, however, was that my question was chosen - I submitted the question about what keeps Marco up at night and heard from another Pro that he answered it.  I asked that question because I was hoping that he'd offer some type of personal acknowledgment about the disruption this new platform has caused to so many Pros (myself included) and what he plans to do about it.  Wishful thinking, I suppose.  Many other questions echoed how I felt so it's a shame that it seems he didn't address any of those at all.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share some perspective about why I asked that question.  That's something that I often do in my business to "gut check" the value that I offer my clients and in posing that question to him, I was hoping that he would catch the drift, so to speak.

-RCPS

Community Regular

Sharon,

Thanks for the positive comment. They actually read your question tonight! Good Job!

Community Regular

Thanks HLP. Tell me about it. I'm in the LV market and the pricing stucture is comical. This is why TT needs to accumulate a think tank of their catering Pros or at least their best clients and garner the knowledge that it takes to ask a "lead" what it is they want instead of full-service or drop-off? Those two things alone warrant so much more info!!!! Most people have never had anything catered. And if they have, I hate to say, they probably aren't looking on TT. They already have a great catererer. Most people blindly searching are blind so you have to educate them on the whole process. Why not partner with a pro to set some basic parameters and guidelines for the client? It would save Everyone a lot of unnecessary back and forth. I would offer my consulting services for free. Clients would love the crash course in hiring a caterer! Pros would get matched with REAL leads. 

Active Community Member
I spending money and time talking with customer service every day about this!
Crazy.
Community Veteran

I'm very surprised that it was such a short Q&A (25 minutes) especially given the number of questions and issues Pros in this thread took time to submit. 

There was one part in the Q&A where Marco revealed that the main reason for the recent changes was that Thumbtack felt the need to adapt to the changing needs of its end-users. My understanding from what Marco said is that Thumbtack's end-users wanted to see more information upfront and that they wanted pricing upfront - that's why they introduced Search. It seems like a sensible move for Thumbtack, they want to accommodate and attract more end-users - it makes sense.

I really think though that Thumbtack didn't give enough consideration as to how these changes would affect the Pros. Specifically I think that Thumbtack have grossly overestimated how many of their end-users will actually choose to voluntarily reach out to a Pro on the new platform.

Thumbtack Search works great at giving its end-users what they need, but where does that leave the Pros? It leaves the Pros scratching their heads wondering why they're only getting a fraction of the leads they used to get. Why is that? Why are we getting fewer leads? Weren't the changes supposed to make us more successful? Shouldn't we be getting more leads not less? Doesn't Thumbtack want to encourage our success?

That fact is that because of the changes Thumbtack made most end-users don't need to reach out to us Pros at all anymore. Why? Because most end-users are merely window shopping, they're just looking for ballpark pricing for whatever job it is they need done or maybe just trying to glean some information. Thumbtack Search gives them all that for free now. All it takes is a quick search and they get everything they require. There's no pressing need or desire from most end-users to voluntarily reach out to a Pro. That's why we're seeing fewer leads.

Reading between the lines from what Marco said, Search is definitely here to stay, Thumbtack can't reverse course, they are too committed. As a result the current decreased volume of leads I'm receiving will I expect be the norm. For the last few months I've been getting on average 2-3 a month, that's 24-36 a year. I reckon I'll close about 20% of them if I'm lucky, which works out to about 5-7 new customers this year on Thumbtack. Hardly a recipe for success, but it is what it is, I know where I stand.

The other consequence of receiving fewer leads is that I will end up spending less money on Thumbtack this year than in previous years. I wonder if Thumbtack considered that. I don't think I'm alone in this regard and if that's the case then over the coming months Thumbtack will begin to realize that its Pros are spending less money because they're now receiving fewer leads. 

If that happens then Thumbtack will have to come up with another revenue generating plan. They are wedded to Search so they can't change that. What they could do (and it would be pretty easy for them to do) is start automatically charging Pros everytime someone views their profile. It would be a modest charge, at least to start off with. I can't imagine how that would be received by the Pros but if the Pros are spending less on leads because there are fewer leads being generated then Thumbtack will have to make their money from somewhere. How else are they going to do it?

I'm disappointed (but not really surprised) that Marco didn't dig deeper and really try to address the concerns and issues Pros have raised in this thread.

The fact that the Q&A was only 25 minutes long says a lot (or little depending on your perspective). 

Regards,
Laurence.

Community Expert

@patricklytle 

If we are partners with him, then he would make sure we are being heard and taken care of. Which I thought that this Webinar was about.

Community Veteran

@DJStevie Agreed - I have the feeling that you will see the participation on these forums drop off pretty substantially as my guess is the recent avoidance of the big issues will be a deal breaker for many and a confidence killer.

Silence should not be construed as positive acceptance.

This is no longer at the level appropriate for the moderators to address successfully as their pay grade does not allow them to make the changes that are needed to restore confidence. Last night, from what I understand, was a major missed opportunity on the part of leadership. (I really hope the leadership team didnt go out for drinks after the conference celebrating how good of a call it was )

It's unfortunate, but, as I recently posted this morning on another thread, I have turned off promote on all of my categories until I see positive change as I simply cannot afford to spend money in a place where the ROI opportunity is so minimal. If TT fixes this issue, I will happily revisit.

Community Newcomer

@DJStevie Jason read a couple of questions that has supposedly been posted in the thread but none of them dealt with the frequently repeated issue of being charged for bogus leads and not being able to respond to someone who has selected you to tell them you don't offer what they ask for (or clairify what they are asking for) without getting charged for it. It was like they cherry picked the softballs. The online event was a total waste of my time.

Community Regular

 

 

I attended the online forum for this meeting last evening. I am still left with some questions and feel that might  have been addressed but not resolved.

Firstly, I DO NOT HAVE A REP from Thumbtack that has ever reached out, introduced themselves, nor supported me. While I have met many during meet-ups/Self made filming back in December 2018 etc, I was never presented with a direct contact.

I have names. 

Of course when I reach out to address an issue it is handled for me, but that is because I am taking my time to REACH OUT.

 

Secondly, This past year started off ok with the changes in your platform. The past 4 months it has been the pits. I keep updating my service details and areas to make sure that the leads being sent to me are correct. It seems that Thumbtack is not paying attention to my service areas and keeps sending me leads that are way too far or unfeasible for me to work in. Secondly here, what is the purpose of our CALENDAR? Isnt it to mark off areas that we are NOT available? Then why would you continue to send leads, charge for potenial instant matches, to that which is already NOT AVAILABLE?

These are definite areas that need attention. I appreciate Thumbtacks participation within my business, but I do not want to feel like it is only beneficial to you.

Please respond

THANKS

Linda 

LindaZuniga Events

Woodland Hills CA

Community Expert

@Lai @THEPack if customers have stated that they will travel to you originally through the job form, but then state otherwise to you in the messenger, the best thing to do would be to use the new in product refund process: https://community.thumbtack.com/t5/Product-news-updates/A-new-refund-experience/m-p/21349?advanced=f...

Our teams will be able to review your refund request and then let you know the final outcome.

Community Expert

@jrcgolf how recently did you notice this change in price? It could be that we now charge when a customer reaches out or responds to you as opposed to before where we'd charge a pro for each quote they sent out. Did you notice this with one job specifically or have you noticed a more overall trend?

Community Expert

@GailGutenmann correct the level shown for each pro in the Community is simply based on the number of posts they've contributed and kudos given. Thank you for recognizing our efforts to hear and advocate for pro voices. This online Community has been a great tool for us at Thumbtack to be able to do just that as we work to improve. 

Community Expert

@805_AV_Design  when looking through your account I was able to see that you are not promoting. In order to set a specific travel radius pros will need to finish up their settings and preferences through promote. Through the Jobs tab you'll be seeing a wider variety of jobs within a 150-mile range, however, you'll only pay for customers responding to quotes you've sent yourself. 

Community Expert

@JMJ-Locksmith As of right now we've chosen not to offer any sort of service that involves automotive. However if there are questions or filters that you think could be beneficial for us to add for regular locksmith jobs, I'd be happy to share those with our teams.

Community Regular
Why have masonry and Concrete jobs changed so dramatic in price? $75.00 for a lead 4 others paid for? But if they say “no thanks” for their first reply then you’ll get refunded in CREDITS. That needs to be fixed..
Most people want more than one quote and a conversation with people before deciding. So if one customer talked to 4 contractors and finally chose one at the end, you mean to tell me thumbtack gets away with $300.00 from those 4 pros, possibly $375 if I was out of my mind and decided to pay that.

You have facts that people will still buy it because it’s their life and business, but I haven’t been able to use thumbtack with the way your promoting and pricing works since November 2018.. I built my business off thumbtack and now I’m leaving because I don’t have time to wait for change. My business is day by day. You should be able to make these changes to specific pros and not have them affect everyone.
I’ve been a top pro back to back, and I’m afraid I’m going to lose that status now. Constantly getting reviewed from my jobs without asking, I shined BRIGHT with 32 five star reviews and it just.. stopped.
I don’t understand.
I spent a little under $800.00 last year on leads, $600.00 of that were leads I paid for with NO reply.

Just a sad day. I hate to feel like I can’t even post something on thumbtack forum without it being deleted or removed because it’s not “positive”.
Why can’t I just post my concerns because I’ve gave you my service, I’ve even promoted thumbtack because of how much it worked out for me, but if I post something that’s not positive it gets removed?
Why would you do that?

Community Veteran
Is the replay of the Thursday evening webcast going to be posted for all pros to hear?
Community Veteran
@PtbSolutions
No. They are not as far as I can tell
Community Regular

Where and when Merkell??

 

Community Veteran

@PtbSolutions I've been a member of Thumbtack for 10 years now. The leads are not & never have been aware that we get charged when they reach out using any of the conversation starter questions or if they viewed your quote when the credits system was used. I've made the suggestion many times over the years that the lead should be aware that the service pro gets charged when they contact us. I guess that suggestion like many others I have made over the years have fallen by the wayside.

Community Veteran

@kathy  It was last Thursday evening. Only some Top Pros were invited.

TT did say before the webinar that they would post the replay for alll to experience. Since last Thursday evening they have been silent on that however and nothing has been posted.

You can read in this thread some comments on what was covered and not covered  by Marco. 

 

About the Author
I've been a mobile DJ/MC for 29 years this year. Very proud to say that I turned a hobby into a successful business. I've been a part of many organizations, and played at many weddings through the years, but one very dear to me is being a regular DJ for the Tim Tebow Foundation "Night To Shine". I have my parents and best friend, Tommy who was a monsignor and part of the God Squad who had a weekly radio show on Long Island, to thank for encouraging me to pursue my dream of being a DJ. Even though they aren't here to see me be a part of a high profile event, I know that all 3 are looking down at me, smiling proudly.