IMO, this is about the 4th time you've fixed something that wasn't broken, and sure enough, each time it's more thoroughly broken than when you started. I'm a cabinetmaker, so all of this will be from the perspective of a construction trades business. Furthermore, my shop, like most construction businesses, has no stock price lists, because there are no "stock" jobs. Every job is different, and calls for custom pricing based on the exact details of that particular job. The price list concept may work for a masseuse, but it won't work for a contractor.
In the beginning, we paid a few bucks for leads that looked good to us. Sometimes we'd reach out to them and get no reply. Frustrating, but the cost was low enough that the averages worked out okay for us. And we were able to deposit money in a TT account to be used to pay for credits as required.
Then, TT, claiming that many of us were too stupid to understand the concept of credits, started debiting our bank accounts on a per-hit basis, for the same amounts per hit, but with a separate debit for each hit instead of once a month. This, of course, did nothing for us but add more time to our accounting processes.
Next, we are only paying when a contact replies to us, but at a much higher rate. This led to questions by some Pros as to whether TT was generating fake contacts. I have a question about that myself, as I have had 3 or 4 contacts that reply with exactly the same response: "What's your next availability", after which there is a brief exchange, seeming to lead to receiving drawings or having a meeting, after which the client suddenly disappears. And of course we've already incurred the cost of that "lead". Once, they say, is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. So TT must be aware that this is in the minds of some of their Pros.
Now, if I understand this latest "improvement" correctly, you are making our profiles available to the public in such a way that if they contact us, we incur a cost without consent. We don't get to decide whether the client is a good fit, you just debit us. How is that a good deal for us?
I have almost all 5-star reviews, I have pictures, references, and what I think is a pretty good spread. TT gets its share of tire-kickers, and when we are able to pick and choose we can usually weed out most of those. But when they get to decide whether we pay you or not, with no regard to what we Pros think, you've made this service completely untenable for anyone who does have stock pricelists.
I don't close anywhere near half of the people I "speak" with on TT. People like my page and all that, but my pricing is higher than a lot of guys on here, and that loses me some jobs here. But in many cases, I never even get to the pricing part before the "client" simply disappears.
One customer looking for someone to repair a damaged cabinet door could conceivably contact four or five shops, costing each shop how much? That's not something our shop would do, but if they hit on us, we're going to be billed for that? You know, and all the contractors reading this know, this concept is not going to work. Your Pros will be bailing out of here faster than a politician making an campaign promise.
For me personally, the first time I get a debit from TT for a contact I didn't originate, TT should expect a phone call to get this right. After that, I don't know. Depends on whether you guys come to your senses.
Very well stated @CabinetmanTom. I can not see how this latest brainchild can ever work. It will never work for our business. We just sit back and watch all of the thrashing. When all is said and done TT has to be good value for the Pro!
So perhaps I have been away too long. I stopped quoting on any projects. While I understand managing these platforms may be complicated, they are also an income generator - not just for us but for Thumbtack.
My services are VERY customized. I need to understand often MUCH more than what I client includes. Now I cannot even understand what it will cost me JUST TO communicate? I have 2 different profiles I wish I could combine. Yet either way if the changes continue to increase in being obtuse and costly and at least for many of us - inefficient I can no longer use this service., nor suggest it to my students (100s who are coaches or training to become coaches.)
Because of the type of business (piano teaching), but would take 45 min to an hour to get to me. I pass on those jobs, as those are not likely to pursue my services. Also, I do not like having a "canned" quote response, because I need to tailor my response to the needs of the person looking for a piano teacher. I found that to be more effective than the current system.
Ok, You guys keep making changes but every business is different. So I will point out my issues with your Web Site. First of all you send me leads outside my mileage area, With the new pricing I will not respond to any of the leads so you might as well shut me down. For my business your typical customer for me has one blind that needs repair and they normally bring it and drop it off to have that done, The normal charges for this would be $30.00 for a small shade and $40.00 for a large shade, I can't pay you $19.00 for a lead and pay my employee $20.00 to fix it I would loose money every time. If I was bidding a $10,000.00 dollar roof etc. This would be a bargain. You also contantly send me stuff I do not do, I don't install ceiling fans or holiday lighting etc. and I do not clean blinds. and another thing that has always bugged me is I have no way of sending a message to a customer to let them know I do not perform a certain job or travel to the area because I will be charged for talking to them.
Thank You, Jeff Titus / The Drapery Doctor
I'm very glad that Thumbtack is moving in this direction. I hope this new system will eliminate spam-like requests. I was receiving a lot of requests that did not comply with my travel preferences. I let Thumbtack know about this multiple times, but it didn't stop until I moved to a low-population area (and haven't received any requests). I am hoping to utilize Thumbtack again in the future, as it has been a great resource for my business.
For me, the Promote thing could work *if* the matches really use my job preferences. For example, there's a parameter that I don't accept jobs with less than two weeks notice, yet I got matched via Promote (and paid) for a customer that needed the work done yesterday. At minimum, I've asked TT to be transparent - exactly what parameters are used in Promote matching - so I'm hoping for a response shortly.
@TheLast10SF definitely understandable that you may need some notice in advance before certain jobs. I double checked your pro calendar settings and the flexible calendar setting "I prefer the times I set, but match me with leads outside these times.", was on and would be why the customer was able to contact you for the job on shorter notice. I've shut this off for you and will be sending you a direct message in regards to this as well.