I completely agree! I have actually stopped using Thumbtack until they fix the issue of paying for leads when the client passes.
For example: this morning I got a lead from a client that requested me on a day that I had my calendar blocked off for. They wanted me to pay $11 to even RESPOND to say I was unavailable. As a business owner who takes great pride in customer service, I never just want to ghost a lead. I always want to respond, even if I am unavailable, because that is good customer service. But I refuse to pay $11 for just saying “id love to work with you, but unfortunately I’m unavailable.”
I have had NUMEROUS people reach out to check availability and I pay to respond to each (I don’t get refunded the lead fee if they decide to go with another photographer.)
I’m basically paying Thumbtack to have a conversation. And I will no longer use the service until we only pay for the lead AFTER the client has booked.
I think what would be nice is if when we decline a lead and TT asks us why and we responde with Availibility issues that the client would see that response so they know it wasn't a matter not wanting to do their job