Have a question for Marco?

Community Veteran
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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
Thumbtack Employee
Thumbtack Employee

Thanks, @Bossbabe.  I just peeked at your reviews and they're great. Well done!

Let me respond by talking about our refund policy generally:

We try to be as accurate as we can when matching you with potential jobs. We are doing our best to make sure every lead you pay for is worth it. If you feel that a lead wasn’t worth the price, or if you feel we matched you with the wrong job, check out our refund help. You’ll be able to read what leads are eligible for a refund, and what to do to make that happen.

In fact, we have recently improved this process to make it even easier for our pros, and that is all thanks to your feedback! We’re now giving pros the ability to request refunds directly from your Thumbtack account. This means you no longer have to spend time calling our support team when there is a problem with a charge. Once you dispute your charge through the Help with a charge link, you can get back to running your business while we look into your case.  Then, we’ll email you in 2-3 business days to let you know if your charge qualifies for a refund under our policy.  Learn more about this update here.

Beyond that, if you have specific questions about specific cases or situations, definitely reach out to @Meckell and @Kameron. They're in the best position to help.  

Thank you to the other pros who asked related questions about refunds. @Kelvin @lai @MeridithAlexand @NickCavallaro @EJ @KevinSPhoto @TrainerDad 

Thumbtack Employee
Thumbtack Employee

Thank you for sharing this, @TanaCorporon. I appreciate you taking the time to write such a thoughtful post. 

First and foremost, I just want to note quickly that we're still based in Utah.  Our Salt Lake City office is the home of many of our most crucial teams and function areas. 

Beyond that, let me say that I hate to hear that you aren't seeing the same success that you used to.

At the end of the day, we’re your partners and we are in this with you: if you aren’t succeeding, then we aren’t succeeding either. Teams of people are working day and night to make sure you have all of the tools you need to find success on Thumbtack. We’re rooting for you.

If you aren’t finding success on Thumbtack, let’s find out why. Check out all of the tools at your fingertips or contact us through our support channels. Ultimately, we want you to succeed and we’ll help you do that. We want you to get a lot of leads and we want you to get hired as much as you can handle.

You should also look to each other and support one another! That’s what this Community is ultimately all about - that’s why we created it.  Check out these SelfMade stories and these inspiring posts from pros like you, who have found success here. Try posting your own question, or replying to another pro’s thread.  Poke around. There are a ton of great tips and great advice coming from other pros, and we’d love for you to share some of your own, too.

Finally, if you have thoughts on what, specifically, we should change or what, specifically, isn't working, then we're all ears.  We know that Thumbtack isn't perfect. So share you're feedback here. Everything posted in this Community gets recorded and shared back with the relevant teams.

I hope that helps.  And of course, don't hesitate to reach out to our moderators, @Meckell and @Kameron, if you have more specific questions about your account. We're all here to help. 

Thanks again. 

Thank you to the other pros who also shared related questions about finding success. @lar @Kelvin @Nnservices @lai @CSID-Inc @AlikiKibouri @LindaZ @K-9 @BeDeCluttered @MR @jcp @rgyanks @JHampOfficiant @RichieKaye @Travelagent01 @Vegasminister @wincincala2 @Patriotdoor @handsonmusicllc @Blanche @zona5101 @Kartisme01 


Thumbtack Employee
Thumbtack Employee

Thanks for this question, @vaughn.  And thanks for all of your partnership with our team. We're really proud to have you as one of our first TackMasters on Thumbtack.

There were a few questions about what we're working on, so let me try to answer all of those together:

Ultimately, the main things on our roadmap are some of the things I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this thread: improving targeting so that you can get more of the right types of jobs, improving lead quality so that you get value out of Thumbtack, improving profiles so that you can better showcase your work (and make Thumbtack feel more personal!), and improving prices so that they’re fair.  

At the end of the day, we know we have a lot of work to do to set you up for success and give you the tools you need to build your business on Thumbtack.  That’s where we’re focused.

Beyond that, we want to grow, too.  We want to make Thumbtack a household name and a branded destination.  We want to make it the first and only place anyone would ever go to hire a great pro for whatever project they might have on their to-do list.  In doing so, we’ll get more customers using Thumbtack, which means more jobs for you all.

But as I mentioned above: we’re in this together.  We can’t succeed unless you succeed. And that’s why you got to keep the feedback coming.  What else should be on the roadmap? Where else would you like to see us focus? What can we do to make Thumbtack feel more personal as we grow?

Thanks to the other pros who asked related questions about where we're headed @FranciscaRogelZ @bg @Drummerpro @lar @aai-sanantonio @SharonM7 @LZDNVG @MidknightGenius 

Thumbtack Employee
Thumbtack Employee

This is good feedback, @VicZ. Thank you. We'll make sure it gets passed along to the relevant teams.

I'll also take this as an opportunity to say something you already know: You are the experts in your field. And so, we always want to hear from you. If there is something that could be improved in your specific category, let us know.  We have an entire team - the Category Management team - that’s focused on improving Thumbtack for specific categories and industries. They want to hear from you, and they monitor the Community.

One ask: when giving us your feedback, please be as specific as possible. For example: telling us, “Prices are too high” or “Customers don’t give us enough info” is not enough information for us to take action on. We need to know the what and the why and the how. Tell us what isn’t working, why it isn’t working, and how we could improve it.

The more detail you provide us in your feedback, the more action our teams can take.

Also, keep in mind that we have hundreds of thousands of pros, in nearly a thousand categories across the entire country. While we can’t take every suggestion we get from our pros, we do hear every piece of feedback. We then synthesize that feedback and decide where, and when, we can take action to make the greatest impact for our pros.

One of our priorities is to increase the transparency around what we’re working on, and the Community is a great place to stay informed.  We have a Product News & Updates board, where we post about all major product announcements.  And we’ve just started publishing a monthly round-up summarizing these announcements.  Check out the March roundup here.

The bottom line is that you are the ones using Thumbtack, and we need it to work for you. So, please keep your feedback coming.

Thanks for all that you do.

@Jay360 @ChefZacki @SunsetPhoto @WendeePease @JMJ-Locksmith @WideOpen0097 @VicZ @TrainerDad @Hankster @AlohaServices @DJStevie @bridalqn @Patriotdoor @JasmineWorrell @bridalqn 
Thank you to you all for the feedback you shared regarding your specific categories. 

Thumbtack Employee
Thumbtack Employee

There have been a few questions about the calendar, so let me try to respond to some of those together:

I know it can be extremely frustrating when you are matched with a job on a date where you are not available. Be sure that you are using all of the tools available to you in your Thumbtack account to keep your calendar up to date. Remember that the calendar feature is a separate feature from your business hours.

Q&A!.png

If you are still matched with a job on a date where you were marked as busy, please go to our new in-product refund help and let us know. We'll take care of it.

As for the ability to sync with other calendars, we are working on this, thanks to feedback we’ve received from many of you. 

Overall, updating your calendar and other functionality related to availability is definitely a priority of ours. So stay tuned for more news here soon. And if you have specific questions about your calendar or availability, let @Meckell and @Kameron know. They'll also log all of the feedback you've shared about calendar and availability, so that it gets passed along to the relevant teams.

Thanks again for participating and please keep the questions coming!

Also, thank you to these pros who asked related questions about calendar and availability @Lai  @JHampOfficiant @pastadeej @JeCroisbeauty @Markoharps @lclifephotos @bev @TrainerDad @LindaZ 

Community Regular

The quick replies aren't working for the Graphic Design industry.  I'm spending much more money than I was before Promote was available in my category (which I'm sure Thumbtack is excited about), but I'm landing about 10% of the jobs that I was before.  Most leads ghost me.  And I have yet to receive a lead, in MONTHS that I actually would have chosen to bid on. 

Transitioning to Promote last fall was essentially the same as being laid off right before the Holidays.  It was devestating to my family and I.  In order to even receive leads, I had to lower my hourly rate by 65%.  Then I pay and get ghosted.  I couldn't care less about the discount.  In the middle of this, I was asked for my mailing address, so TT could send me a Christmas card.  TT also took away my personal rep, who was trying to help me figure out a way to become more visible.  We're still trying to recover, and I'm trying to find a way to transition away from Thumbtack.  I feel so taken advantage of, and I also feel like a total tool for even sticking around, but I had put so much trust in TT in the past, that I put too many eggs in that basket.  Pros are becoming emotionally exhausted, and completely burnt out with this system.  But also feel the pressure to stay, because it USED to work, and MIGHT again someday.  

Thumbtack has been wonderful for me, my business, my family...  But it's not anymore.  I used to happily recommend TT to other entrepreneurs.  I wouldn't dream of it now.

I guess my question is: Would TT ever be willing to use different systems within different pro categories?  I had a fighting chance when I was paying when clients responded to bids.  The current system is broken for my industry.

Community Expert

@MarcoZ 

Quick replies aren't working for me either! I was hoping that you addressed my questions and concerns as @JasonB said that ALL questions would be answered. No offense, but it just adds to my frustration.  I've given my feedback as to what I'd like to see for Promote months ago, but nothing has been mentiioned to me if and when that will be reviewed by Thumbtack.

If you @MarcoZ have a chance to get back on this thread, please address my questions and concerns. A reply would be greatly appreciated. The Moderators have been trying to help as did @DustiO , but it is more than frustrating when I'm number one in search results in my area and not even a booking in 2 weeks. And when a customer sends a conversation starter, they have been given other Pros to reach out to "just in case".

Community Regular
Thx u Marco o do appreciate your hard work,Eddie The People's Painter Inc..
Community Regular

That doesn't keep me from having to decline a dozen+ customers a day that are contacting me from outside of my service area. Maybe when enough customers complain that contractors won't reply/constantly decline their request.

Community Newcomer
Three concerns.

First, the pricing wouldn't feel so outrageous if only the WINNING pro were charged the fee and those not getting the work were refunded. I would go after many more leads if this were the case.

Second, and this is only from my perspective with regards to my area but I'm sure it relates to make other types of business here. A lead to build a new deck for a $75 fee is acceptable to me it I get the work. A lead for a repair to a deck, however, cost me as much as $50-60 where I might have only charged $100-150 for the entire repair. This is completely unacceptable and the algorithm for those fees need to be adjusted as i won't even look at a repair leads anymore as a result and that was more than half of my business prior to now.

Thirdly,

The leads for decks and porches need to be separated. I don't do concrete and concrete guys don't do decks. I have had a number of occasions where I replied to a lead on paid a fee only to find the needed stamped concrete or something similar. This could be easily rectified by making the 'type of material preferred' category a menu that MUST BE FILLED IN by the customer so that concrete and decking pros can differentiate what the customer wants.
Community Veteran
If the lead reaches out using one of the conversation starter questions we get charged. In the DJ category it can be anywhere from $20 up to $40 bucks and not get a leads phone number. The leads do not know that we get charged when they contact us. You should see some of the surprised reactions when I tell leads that have hired me how the process works on the service pro end when they ask me. Throw us a bone! If the customer reaches out using the conversation starter then make it mandatory that they provide an email address and phone number. They've gone through the process of taking their time & reviewing the service pros they are interested in. What's the big deal at that point in having them provide their contact information?
Community Veteran

Pricing.  What can I say that has not already been posted all over the community board.   Many seasoned Top Pros very unhappy.  Thumbtack changed my life 4 years ago.  Now.  I am a TT top pro for over 4 years - highly successful, and I know exactly what I was paying for leads way back.  When things changed about 8-9 months ago my business dropped off 100%.  I could no longer be successful with the way I responded to leads.  The triple price - instant match - etc.  I had to stop engaging with the site because as a sole proprietor, cost to advertise is crutial and must be compared with return of investment.  It did not work for me at all.  Two weeks ago I came back to try out the promote and I am giving it 30 days to see what my results will be so I can make a judgement call.  I followed all the advice and got all the settings correctly implemented and I have to say my first week I did great!  Very happy so far.  But two more weeks to go for a true assesment.  Yes, the cost of leads are significantly higher than before but I am going to push through the 30 days.  Just so you know - I will never, never pay for a lead that is over $20 - but last week on promote I was forced to pay $26. two times - that ended my weekly budget for that particular service.  Fortunatly,  I booked one of them.  Turst me, No one on this platform should ever, ever pay more than $20 a lead regardless!  In any field.  In any service.  When I read that some pros are being charged $85?  What?  I did see one partial match come to me and the rate was $50.  Seriously, TT, we don't want to see leads that cost that much regardless.  Especially when TT allows for 8-9-10 other pros to be contacted by the customer - it reduces our odds of being booked.  That is a mathematical certainty.  My odds are better if only 3 or 4 are contacted and maybe a $50 take a chance might be worth it - well - no it wouldn't.  So the justification for higher prices because we have better chance of being hired can not be true when the odds are decreased by the amount of Pros that a customer can contact.   I am just hoping at some point TT will bring the pendulum back to the middle with prices and be fair and balanced on both sides.  Being a Videographer and Photographer - parties, events, corporate, personal, etc.  I see a lot of leads.  I believe more attention should be looked at customer budget when cost per lead is considered.  I did a corporate video last week for $350 and a birthday party for $350.  Same time at each event, same amont of editing.  But the cost of the lead was a difference of $10.  Just because its corporate doesnt mean the budgets better or the job is different.  It's still video and editing.  And corporate wants cheap too!   I would say right now - my biggest concern is that TT allows the customer to contact as many leads as they want.  TT can not say that being up against 9 others being contacted makes the lead more valuable when they contact me.  It's not.  Customers should only be allowed to contact 3-4 pros for free.  That's it.  Anything else they can go do their own search on google.  Nothing upsets me more than seeing I paid $26 for a lead - oh and that is a discount price because I am on promote - and then only to see that the customer contacted a total of 7 pros.  A year an half ago that lead would have been $11-12 and only 5 of us would directly respond because they wanted that lead and read the details.  That was a fair deal.   Anyway, I am looking forward to the next two weeks to see how my 30 days goes.   Remember TT - pros on this site are mostly sole individuals, small businesses.   And most of the customers I see come to this site don't have high end budgets.   

Community Expert

@jcp glad to hear that your first week has gone so well. The number of pros contacted vs the cost per contact is something that you've mentioned before and I wanted to let you know that feedback has been shared. I actually had a similar conversation with another pro about this topic HERE if it interests you. Keep up the great work and I hope the rest of your 30 days continues to be a good experience!

Community Expert

@sttnyc just in case you didn't see it, I wanted to let you know that your question was chosen and answered by Marco in the live Q&A. Be sure to check out the recording HERE at 2:57. 

Community Expert

@PestbyMD great question! Marco was able to answer one similarly at the beginning of the live Q&A. If you missed it here's the link to the recording: https://community.thumbtack.com/t5/Forum/Recording-from-our-live-Q-A-with-Marco/m-p/22023#M5427. Be sure to skip ahead to 2:15 to see where he mentions that we can improve at keeping pros in the loop with updates. 

Community Expert

@MarcoZ 

You say that we get matched exactly from our preferences. How is that? Only the Pros know who is an exact match for us. Please elborate a bit. As a DJ, all factors come into play when choosing a client, not just clicking on music, number of attendees, etc.

As for travel radius, why is it automatically set at 150+ miles? That's not in my preferences. You allow us to set a travel preference, but we can't utilize it unless we Promote, true? Then why give us that option? I would never travel 150+ miles to DJ an event for 3-4 hours, and customer has a budget under $300. I know that I can decline those type of jobs, but why send it to me in the first place if you know what jobs I want? Something is wrong somewhere.

We shall see if sorting jobs by distance works, but personally, I feel that it may not work if we continue to receive jobs 150+ miles away. We need more local jobs coming in thru the Jobs tab.

Community Veteran

No mention from Marco about my biggest problem with Thumbtack's new system which is the vastly decreased volume of leads.

I tried to get answers to what was being done about this in another thread. I didn't get any and I've come to the conclusion that the decreased volume of leads simply isn't fixable. It's baked into the new Search/Promote system. It's how the system works now and Thumbtack couldn't change it even if they felt they needed to, which they don't.

You can't unmake an omlette.

Regards,
Laurence.

Community Expert

@Lar 

None of my questions/concerns got answered either. I was tagged in some of @MarcoZ replies after I asked him to please address my questions. After all, @JasonB said that ALL questions would be answered.

Community Veteran

@Lar  Here's my thought, as much as TT says that they have seen a healthy increase in pro/lead interractions, we sure aren't seeing that on these boards. Yah, I get that boards like this tend to weigh more towards the negative comments.... but anyway... if the new system is bad for the pros, it is likely bad in the leads eyes as well. I tried it from a lead perspective as has others as well.. its not nearly as user friendly as it used to be... and getting messages that a pro has responded is not graceful at all.
Thumbtack wont provide numbers on useage... so.. we are left to believe what we believe we should believe.... 

 

Community Veteran

I urge ever Pro here to do a little bit of simple math.

Go to your Insights, go to the figure "4 Week Overview" and make a note of the "Views".

That's the number of customers who visited Thumbtack and did a Search that matched your criteria.

Mine says 411 views in the last four weeks.

We have been told lots of times by Thumbtack that in the old system 80% of customers never got to see a Pro. If we take Thumbtack's word that this figure is a statement of fact then it stands to reason that 20% of the customers DID get to see a Pro.

OK then, if we were still using the old system and 411 customers visited Thumbtack looking for my type of service I can estimate how many of those 411 would have got to see a Pro. That's 411 customers, 20% of them enter their job details, that's 82 customers. 

The job details of those 82 customers would have ended up in my Inbox and in the Inbox of every other Pro that matched the customers job details. Think about that for a second. That's 82 leads in the Inbox of EVERY SINGLE PRO who could fulfill that service, myself included.

Guess how many leads I got with the new system in the last 4 weeks?

I got 6 ... 4 or which ended up getting refunded because they did not match my job preferences and 1 was a test job I sent to myself.

I've had  1 viable lead in the last four weeks. With the old system I estimate I would have got 82.

So yeah, I think I do have a bit of a problem with the new system. 

Go ahead, estimate how leads you would have got with the old system and then compare that to the number of leads you're getting now. The problem is obvious, or at least it is to me.

Regards,
Laurence

Community Newcomer

Hello DJ Steve,

I wanted to share that I agree with what you have shared. I am a DJ company within Thumbtach as well and my questions were not answered either. I have been bringing up the same questions for a few years and I dont see what is so hard about doing it this way.

1. DO NOT alter the Thumbtack charge depending on the location etc of the event in which you are being asked to perform at. Example: If the event is at a rural location and 50 people are attending for 6 hours the price we are charged to JUST ANSWER QUESTIONS is less than an event that is located within the BIG cities and 150 people are attending for 6 hours. To me the Thumbtack customer is not being treated fairly and in turn WE are not being treated fairly. The services DO NOT change, in the DJ world, regardless of the location and how many people attend.

2. I keep asking Thumbtack to charge us DJ's a % of the contracted amount and not a fee for answering THUMBTACK'S CUSTOMERS questions. Within the DJ trade they are not our customers until they book and a contract is signed. If this was to happen I feel many of us would reply to many more questions being asked by THUMBTACK'S customers and a better referral base would be shared to visit Thumbtack. I feel a 5% charge of the contracted price is a fair amount to pay for the lead. It would be easy to police this by a simple email to the Thumbtack customer asking, like they do now, if they have been booked. Then add a simple question "What is the booked price"? Then the DJ company gets charged 5% of that booked price. Thumbtack could also duplicate the question to the DJ company as well. The DJ company knows they will be asked this along with their new customer so it is wise to be honest. If you find some to be dishonest give them a warning and if it happens again kick them off your program.

To me it is easy and cost effective to 1 treat everyone equally regardless of their location, guest count and hours and 2 try out this new formula on how to charge ud DJ Companies.

 

Thank You for your time   

      

 

Community Expert

@Soe 

Good to hear that another DJ Pro has the same issue as myself. I know that @Hankster and myself have been trying to stress the pricing for months now, so good to hear that we aren't alone.

Each event that we DJ are different on all kinds of levels for the way that we charge a customer (family issues, start-finish time of event, lighting or no lighting, gobos, etc) But the lead costs is very expensive, even when we Promote, even though they tell us we get 20% off. When Promoting, we don't get to see the cost ahead of time. If we did, then I can say yes or no to charging me.

Thanks for agreeing with what I have shared. It means alot, because at times, I feel alone in the DJ category when voicing my concerns and suggestions to improve Promote, as well as improving the manual jobs tab, which I am tired of receiving jobs that do NOT fit my preferences.

 

Community Expert

@MisterMarriage I took a quick look at your profile and I just wanted to say congratulations on being a Top Pro! I pulled you up in the search results and it looks as though your doing everything right with your awesome profile, reviews, photos, and promoting. You'll likely always have at least one other pro that you're competing with. In order to make sure you can get to those leads and jobs quickly have you tried turning on the push notifications in the app? Those are usually just a little bit quicker than being notified via email. 

 

Community Expert

@keiradavis27 if you'd be able to send me a direct message with any examples of this, I'd be happy to share those instances with our teams so that they can use them to work on / make sure the calculated travel fee is accurate. 

Community Expert

@Atlas51 I'm really sorry to hear that this has happened more than once. Be sure to check out our Help Center article that I've attached with tips on how to make sure you receive payment for the work you do. If you have any current issues receiving payment from Thumbtack customers, contact us with the link at the bottom of the page.

https://help.thumbtack.com/article/receiving-payment-for-a-project

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi there @rackumup3 be sure to check out Marco's post here that talks about our pricing. 

Thanks for bringing up your experience on scheduling reviews - I'm sorry if it was a little confusing. Customers are able to review a pro based on the experience they had with them, even if it didn't end up in a hire. 

We definitely want you guys to get the info you need from customers. Are there any questions that you feel are missing in the request form for your services? Do you have any suggestions for us to help you get that needed info? 

As far as a hired button, thanks for your suggestion! We'll be sure to pass along that feedback. For now, I recommend utilizing the update project status feature that's in the messenger. 

Active Community Member
So well stated. I agree. I received all of 4 leads this month. I used to receive 30 to 40.
Community Expert

@wincincala2 thanks for showing love to our support staff! 

Many Pros are quick to answer as the responsiveness of customers increases with quick response. More pros responding to a customer quickly is more often seen for jobs that could possibly international or done remotely. So I wonder if time zones may come into play there. Your question about customers responding is similar to one that you were tagged in with Marcos response.

I also wanted to point out, in case you missed it, that your last question was answered in the live Q&A! If you haven't seen it already you can find the video HERE and skip to 5:00 to hear your question. 

Community Veteran

@Lar Excellent post.

I just cant see how TT doesnt change the system soon. My lines of business have gotten pretty active lately and I have been booking new business at a good clip - lots of pretty decent leads coming in to the point where I am now blocking off calendar time for scheduling and consults pretty far in advance - all from my other lead sources... In that same period, I have received 1 or 2 promote leads on TT and absolute zero heartbeat from the leads.  TT has completely gone dead.

Among other things, that is telling me that the customer side has gone elsewhere and are seeking their pros on other sites.

 

Community Expert

@eliascurtis thank you for this question. In case you missed the live Q&A I wanted to let you know that your question was chosen and answered by Marco. You can find the recording of the Q&A HERE and your question if you skip ahead to 16:25.

Community Expert

@sm00thm00d I'm glad to see that Meckell was able to get to read and respond to your post. I also wanted to let you know that part of your post was chosen and addressed in the live Q&A. Feel free to check out the recording HERE and you can skip to 19:35 for your question specifically. 

Community Veteran

@Kameron @eliascurtis 

I just listened to the video beginning at 16:25 - although he acknowledged that pros want to connect with leads to set up consultations to hopefully win the deal and that we all have the same desire - he said nothing about HOW TT will facilitate that or provide functionality to do that... and to add more color, the current system is so full of ghosts that can't be what he was referring to.

So what is he talking about from a functionality part? 

 

Community Expert

@RCPS I wasn't sure if you saw it or not but your question was chosen and answered in the live Q&A. If you haven't seen it already you can find the recording HERE, and your question is towards the end at 26:00.

Active Community Member

Okay, great. Thank you.

Community Regular
That’s great. Yes, I listened live. Thank you for answering my question!
Community Regular

You asked for my feedback and here it is.  I used to love TT and it was my best resource for leads and jobs for three years.  I was able to adapt to the price changes and continued to grow with it.  The instant match and the unknown pricing is not working for me- and I have heard and read that others feel the same way.  It may work for others but not me.  I don't cookie cut so I need to see what, where and other factors before I spend an unknown amount- also be put in a pool of 15 others.  I have responded within a few minutes and then to find that I was the slowest.  I have been a top pro for a few years but I am certain I can not do that anytime soon.  

Community Regular

Excellent way to put everything.  I am a photographer and my path has been almost the same as yours.  I can not go back to TT the way things stand right now.

Community Veteran

If I had a dollar for every one of the posts like this....

I am a photographer and my path has been almost the same as yours.  I can not go back to TT the way things stand right now.

c'mon TT- how many times do people need to post this message before you commit that change (and I mean big change) is needed???

 

Community Veteran

This thread is now 34 pages and the feedback Thumbtack requested from their Pros has been overwhelmingly critical, some if it extremely so. With all that criticism there was one post by '@JenBrookman that really stood out to me and highlighted the seriousness of what Thumbtack has done and how it has affected (and is continuing to affect) someone's life in the most negative way.

If you haven't read Jen's post do yourself a favor and go read it now. It's eye-opening, 

In part Jen said...

  • I'm landing about 10% of the jobs that I was before.  Most leads ghost me.  And I have yet to receive a lead, in MONTHS that I actually would have chosen to bid on. Transitioning to Promote last fall was essentially the same as being laid off right before the Holidays.  It was devastating to my family and I.  In order to even receive leads, I had to lower my hourly rate by 65%.  Then I pay and get ghosted.  I couldn't care less about the discount.  In the middle of this, I was asked for my mailing address, so TT could send me a Christmas card.  TT also took away my personal rep, who was trying to help me figure out a way to become more visible.  We're still trying to recover, and I'm trying to find a way to transition away from Thumbtack.  I feel so taken advantage of, and I also feel like a total tool for even sticking around, but I had put so much trust in TT in the past, that I put too many eggs in that basket.  Pros are becoming emotionally exhausted, and completely burnt out with this system.  But also feel the pressure to stay, because it USED to work, and MIGHT again someday.  

Of all the posts I've read since being here I read Jen's post and my heart went out to her. I didn't reply initially because I wanted to see if Marco or someone else from Thumbtack would say something in reply.

They didn't. No-one from Thumbtack said a word.

Then earlier today I saw a thread started by @PhilippaB titled '4 Secrets for happy customers' - it's a good thread. Philippa offers some very sound advice and she strikes me as being very much like @DustiO, just two genuine people doing their best to encourage and help the Pros in their own way.

One piece of advice Philippa shared was...

  • Empathy is everything. If a customer has a problem or complaint, put yourself in their shoes to understand the issue and offer the best solution. If necessary, apologize, and let the customer know you recognize why they’re upset and want to help. If you’re not sure how to solve the problem, ask them what solution they’d be satisfied with. And, even if the customer is being rude, always remain calm and don’t take it personally.

It's excellent advice but when I read it I couldn't help but get angry because as good as Philippa's advice is it apparently didn't apply to Jen when she made here post expressing her hurt and anger because of what she was having to deal with as a direct consequence of being a loyal Thumbtack Pro. I wasn't angry at Philippa, I don't expect she was even aware of Jen's post. I was angry at whoever is making the decisions at Thumbtack that has affected Jen, and every other Pro who is having problems with this system, myself included.

I got in touch with Jen and I asked her if someone from Thumbtack had taken the time to reach out to her privately to discuss her concerns. Jen said no-one had. That's when I decided to write this post.

There is something very wrong when a company sees feedback like Jen's and no-one says anything.

If empathy is everything then where's the empathy here? Maybe Thumbtack realize that saying, "we're working on it" or "we'll pass on your feedback", to someone like Jen wouldn't be credible or helpful since that's all we've been hearing for months without seeing anything change. 

Regards,
Laurence.

Community Veteran

@Lar 

Excellent post!

One thing I have said several times on these boards - TT's silence to these messages actually speaks volumes. TT, we hear you loud and clear.

However, as long as we are here, you still have the opportunity to make sure we are hearing things as you want them heard - not as we interpret it to be.

This is getting exhausting.

 

Community Manager
Community Manager

@Lar thank you for this thoughtful post. I agree with you that empathy, as @PhilippaB expressed, is one of the greatest characteristics we can embody - not just as business owners and Thumbtack employees, but as human beings. I hope you will understand that every pro is important to us, and that these stories matter.

When I owned my cake company, my income was our only income. I remember a tiny charge on my debit card putting our bank account in the negative - and then a series of fees and bank charges uprooting my life for several weeks. I understand that Thumbtack plays a pivotal role in the real lives of real people - and it's critical that we make our pros' investment in Thumbtack worth it. I talk to pros every single day - in this Community and in person. I talk to many pros that are winning on Thumbtack - I know we are headed in the right direction, but I know there is still much to be done. 

Posts like @JenBrookman's are important to us. If we haven't gotten to it yet, it doesn't mean that we don't care or don't plan to address it. It could mean that we were traveling across the country to meet and hear our pros. We take time to personally respond to pros here and, well, that takes time. 

Thank you for tagging me in your post so that I could address Jen more quickly. This is what this Community is about - our pros supporting and connecting with one another.

@JenBrookman I thank you for staying with us, even in the face of immense frustration and exhaustion. I am working tirelessly (we all are) to make sure we get to where we need to be. If you want to reach out to me in a DM I am here - let's see what we can do together.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Marco Q&A. Congratulations to @voicecoachlisa - you are the winner of the $100 Thumbtack credit. You'll see this in your account here shortly. 

Community Regular

Wow! That's fabulous! Thanks so much!

Voice Coach Lisa Marie

Community Regular

Hi, I think there seems to be a large amount of people who don't reply, to me included, so I think a lot of Pros are frustrated at paying for leads, when they never even hear back from the customer. I know you said in your post that "we are working hard that we get you the best leads possible", but perhaps what should be done is that pros should not have to pay for leads unless they win the job. Or maybe make each lead $5.00. I don't understand why leads are $14.45, $16.39, random numbers that don't make sense.  

Community Expert

@Suenue36 thanks for sharing! For some additional context, Marco answered some questions about what goes into factoring our prices HERE. He also mentioned the steps we take to hear pro feedback about prices. I'd also check out our live Q&A recording as well, the topic of why we don't currently charge per hire was discussed at about 5 minutes in. 

Community Veteran

This is regarding OVERNIGHT PAID LEADS with PROMOTE.   I am trying out Promote for 30 days to see the numbers and if this platform can be a viable investment as it once was.  I learned something every day about this Promote that was confusing before so I want to make this clear to all.  I have my business hours listed as 7am - 10pm - with the belief that I would not get any Paid Promote leads overnight.  Because those are the hours listed as my availability.  When I walk through the steps of setting up my promote page with a customer service person - this is what they informed me - or what I was led to belive would happen.  I woke up this morning to see that 2 paid promote leads came in while I was sleeping.  I automatically was charged for these two.  Of course I contacted support only to find out that is not how it works.  So I could get 3, 4 or 8 leads at 3am or 4am and be charged if I am on promote.  Unless I PAUSE promote every single night to stop this from happening.  Then turn it back on every morning.  This is a lot of work staying on top of this new system.  Fix my calendar, fix my budget, turn promote on and off . . .     So this is something that I think should be known to everyone.  I made it a rule (with the old system) to never respond to requests that were from midnight to 6 am.   And I beleive it was a good choice and a good way to measure my dollars when we had the choice to pick and choose who we responded to.  Rightfully.  Now . . . . it doesn't work that way.  So - keep in mind that promote will still send you leads 24/7 regardless of what you have put in for your business hours.  Being aware of this will help with wasted advertising dollars.  Unfortunalty, you will have to monitor your promote ON and OFF diligently.  Your odds of being booked with the fierce competion means you have to respond quickly - or don't bother.  So use Promote when you have the ability to respond quickly.  Good luck everyone!  I am in my 3rd week of my trial and week 3 was not good.  I got 2 leads so far this week, both while I was sleeping, 11pm and 3am . . . .    not looking good TT.  Fingers crossed for my final 4th week assesment period.  I recommend that we have a little more control of hours.  A weekly set time that we don't want any leads overnight should be something we click on and not have to Pause and re-activate every day.  It makes me worry that when I Pause it wont quickly re-activate immediatly. 

Community Veteran

@jcp  This is indeed the case. 

For my category of legal services, the calendar is ignored as there is never a conversation as to when I am available as we set up a consultation.  So, no matter what I set, leads used to come in 24 hrs a day (You'd be amazed at how many people say they need a divorce lawyer at 3am)

Now that is all moot though as I get 0 activity through the promote channel anymore - and I am virtually always listed as 1, 2 or 3 and have promote on.. so... with promote, your mileage may certainly vary.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Thank you to all who participated in Marco’s Q&A. A lot of amazing questions were asked and we heard some great feedback. I hope you all had the chance to read over Marco's responses and catch a recording of the live stream. 

This thread will be closed for new comments to keep things organized and relevant in the Community. Have a great weekend!