Hey @ProPhoto I feel you, when I used to take calls on customer support, duplicate requests were difficult to speak on. Just like you said, not only do pros pay to send their info, but they take time to explain exactly what they offer. It'd be very frustrating to see the customer's name pop up again. Right now it's still something our product team hasn't solved entirely, but there are some actionable steps we've taken and can be taken.
Duplicate requests are actually a big reason the number of quotes a customer receives were raised. If they're given more options, they're less likely to go in and place another request. However, we're aware it's still happening, so if a customer submits two jobs within 72 hours and contacts you for each one, let us know and we’ll refund you for the second contacts. If you're still on the model where you're in charge of sending out your quotes (instead of Instant Match) and you see a duplicate request, instead of replying to the new one you can reply to the customer in the original posting, letting them know you're still available. I've seen pros even professionally mention they've seen the new request and ask if there was anything missing from their offer.
As for the customer knowing it costs the professional, the info is there for the customer to read. However, I get it - I don't think Thumbtack makes it super obvious and the majority of customers may not take the time to look into how we work before sending in a request. Something we could improve on for sure.
I have been using thumbtack as a pro since 2014, I also have used thumbtack as a consumer. There is absolutely no information that tells the consumer the pros are getting charged inflated prices when they put in a request.
I'm having similar experiences. Here is a conversation I had today when a prospect countered my quote. The quote was for $160 in which I estimated 2 and a half hours at $45 an hour. I was countered with "I'll pay $50". Take out the $38 and I'm looking at working for $12. It seems it now takes winning 3 jobs to come out on the positive side. Would like to find a more fair solution.