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Are ghost leads in violation of the terms of service?

Terms of Use

Last Updated: November 1, 2018

PROHIBITIONS

As a user of the Platform, you may not:

Sign up for, negotiate a price for, use, or otherwise solicit a Pro Service with no intention of following through with your use of or payment for the Pro Service

 

 

If a ghost lead contacts a Pro (or several Pros) in the promote system, and then follows through with none of them, that's exactly what occurred no?

If the customer engages in any amount of conversation with any of the Pros, beyond an intial click, I would say they shows some intent to follow through with use of the Pro service and could count as a valid lead.

If there is zero follow up with any Pros then I would say the user is in violation of the terms of service.

Furthermore - if the customer has not even READ the response(s) from the Pro(s) that the reached out to, this is an even better demonstration of lack of intent to follow through.

 

Thumbtack has all of this data. We used to be able to see it, but now that functionality has been taken away from the Pros (seeing when a customer has read our messages). 

 

Thoughts?

7 responses
Highlighted
revbrian
Level 8

Re: Are ghost leads in violation of the terms of service?

Several excellent side points in this (in my view), most salient is the one about Thumbtack having "all the info" and have taken access to much info about leads away from the Pros over the recent couple of years. This has tipped the balance in most matters of dispute or even basic research towards the Job Poster and Thumbtack as a corporation. Go back four years and we Pros knew much more about a Job Poster and the Job and were able to make far more informed decisions about them BEFORE paying anything to Thumbtack so we could respond... Ah yes, the Credit system. Remember the good old days?

Still, this is about if a client who posts and then choses NOBODY here breaks the TOS, isn't it?

How many of us have had the Ghost experience? I am getting between 25% and 50% level of Ghosts on all my Promote leads.

Remember that Job Posters of course, sees nothing of these costs of doing business. It's not even that they contacted me directly and are over 2 hours each way from my area. Thumbtack seem to have got a little bit better recently over that stupid idea that we will drive 150 miles/two hours each way to make $100 net on a job, but still - that it was even a thing at all... But even THAT is not the point of this post, is it?

This is about accountability.

We Pros have no option in Promote but to pay for whoever decides to ask us "Are you available on my date?"

Job Posters have zero accountability or spend, come what may.

This needs to change.

 

 

 

Re: Are ghost leads in violation of the terms of service?

@revbrian 

Well said.

 

"Still, this is about if a client who posts and then choses NOBODY here breaks the TOS, isn't it?"

 

In a way, yes. In another way - even if the client does not choose a pro, but DOES respond to at least 1 pro, or at a minimum even reads the responses from the pro - it could be said they are at least slightly engaged in the process. 

 

Zero responses, zero reads on our messages shows zero engagement, and = zero intent to ever hire the pro(s) they have solicited.

TheLast10SF
Level 7

Re: Are ghost leads in violation of the terms of service?

TOS not withstanding, there's really no valid argument to charge Pros for leads that do no engage in *any* conversations. I have no problem competing with other Pros for engaged customers. I've got no problem with customers that decide, once they've engaged, the project is too expensive. Occasionally customers do come back a few weeks later, great charge me at that time. I don't even get mad at customers who ghost us, life happens right?

But to continue the arguments those customers might at some point become a customer is just maddening. In fact it keeps me from bidding on a lot of projects because there is no recourse for ghosting.

I'll bet if ghosting refunds were automatic, TT would find Pros bidding on a lot more jobs knowing TT is guaranteeing we pay for only quality leads. Win:win for everyone. 

 

Moderator Kameron
Moderator

Re: Are ghost leads in violation of the terms of service?

@ScottArcangel I hear your frustration about customers who are unresponsive. But that section of the Terms of Use is actually referring to something else.

"As a user of the Platform, you may not:

Sign up for, negotiate a price for, use, or otherwise solicit a Pro Service with no intention of following through with your use of or payment for the Pro Service"

What that statement is referring to are the instances where a customer hires a pro, work or service is provided, and then the customer does not pay. 

With that said, the ghosting topic is one that we've had addressed in a few other threads and in Q&A's. It's a pain point that we at Thumbtack are certainly well aware of thanks to pro feedback, and it's something that we're working hard to possibly solve for and have happen less often. 

Re: Are ghost leads in violation of the terms of service?

@Kameron 

Appreciate your response Kameron.

 

The way it's worded, it has two clear & distinct implications that must both be recognized -

 

A user may not... solicit a Pro Service with no intention of following through with the use of the Pro Service (the ghosting portion)

AND

A user may not... solicit a Pro Service with no intention of following through with the payment for the Pro Service (the non-payment portion that you reffered to)

 

As to the second part of your response - thank you for continuing to solicit feedback on the issue.

 

Since it is an acknowledged pain point that Thumbtack is aware of and "possibly" going to solve -

Is there any chance that Thumbtack would absorb a portion of the pain caused by this ghosting issue? Or will it most likely continue to be passed on to the Pros until it is possibly solved?

I would hope since we all share in the success of the platform, that we would all share in the growing pains as well.

Thank you

mm
Level 7

Re: Are ghost leads in violation of the terms of service?

Ghosts are a “no thanks”, period. Not once in my 5 years on TT has a ghoster ever reached out to me later. Never.
Mrydens
Level 1

Re: Are ghost leads in violation of the terms of service?

I disgree if there are three pro's conctact and all three make appointment and the customer hires the frist pro but does let the other two pro's know then he the thumtack should refund the other two pro's for that led sense the verbal agreement was up held by the customer I have presonally lost a couple of hundred dollars.

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