I am a photographer, and I'll photograph almost anything . . . except weddings. I won't do weddings. Ever. Unless it's a relative, and even then I probably wouldn't do it. Corporate events, however, I'll do those, and I'd do them every day if I could.
Weddings and Corporate Events are VERY DIFFERENT kinds of events. Why not separate these into two different categories? It would save us Pros from the hassle that I'll explain momentarily, and it allows those who DO shoot weddings to focus on those clients needing that work. That sounds like a very simple fix.
But back to my point: I don't shoot weddings. Since I have reluctantly reengaged "promote" for the EVENT category of services (as I wasn't getting ANY leads of ANY kind when I wasn't under "promote"), I am now getting a lot of these wedding requests, and I am also getting the opportunity to PAY for those requests that I never wanted. The weddings category under my Events is NOT selected (see graphic embedded below). Yet, I get requests for weddings.
This seems suspiciously like a way for TT to make more money from its Pros.
So, moderators, you tell me: how do I turn OFF the Weddings category? I don't shoot weddings (hmmm, I think I mentioned that), and I don't want to pay for the lead that would allow me to shoot a wedding that I'll won't ever shoot.
But wait... havent we been told time and time againg that when you set your preferences, and jobs come in that dont match those preferences.. you dont have to pay for those jobs.... Maybe those words dont mean what they think they mean.....
Thanks for all of the great feedback about your category @Billieharasharp. Although it's a wedding and event category, if you set your preferences and don't have weddings selected, you won't show up for weddings and won't be charged. When you say you're getting requests for weddings, are they coming in through your Jobs tab or are customers reaching out to you directly?
< Sigh >
I'll state this again: Job posters are (1) reaching out to me through my profile [through "promote"] and jobs also appear on my jobs tab (I get both kinds of job alerts). When they appear on my jobs tab, I can ignore them. When they reach out to me via "promote," I am charged. I am charged even though the "weddings" category has never, ever been checked in my profile for desired job types.
This isn't a new concern. I have raised this category concern over and over and over again. The platform is broken in a lot of different places, and this is just one example.
Lucky for me, I suppose, after spending 45 minutes on a chat session with folks yesterday, I was refunded the $11 for that lead, but I also had to spend 45 minutes getting that to happen. I don't have an extra 45 minutes a day to battle over $11 when that $11 charge should have never happened.
As I mentioned in my post (and provided proof), the weddings category is NOT checked and has never been checked in my profile, yet I get requests to shoot weddings. This isn't the only wedding event that has slipped through. I get these ALL THE TIME. I don't have the time to battle each one, but I also can't afford to disable "promote," as when I do, I get NO LEADS AT ALL from anyone. (Thanks, Thumbtack!)
As an aside, when I was chatting with a CSR yesterday, she intimated that I must have "turned off" the wedding category right before I opened the chat . . . I did this so I could dispute the charge.
And you (Thumbtack) wonder why people are so angry with you.
@Billieharasharp I'm so sorry to hear that this has been a continued frustration for you while using Thumbtack. I took another look into this and think I've discovered the route of the issue. When I search for wedding/event photographer in your zip code I'm seeing you at #5 on the list when I have none of the filters selected. If I was searching for a wedding photographer specifically but didn't feel that I needed to use any of the given filters I may be inclined to reach out to you assuming that you shoot weddings (which we know isn't the case). However, in that instance, you should be given the option to accept/decline the lead, because when they do choose to contact you they will be presented with some questions including "What's the occasion?" with wedding listed as one of the choices.
I'll be reporting the functionality issues that are occurring in your case by having wedding/events bundled. However, my next question is if you've been getting automatically charged for these wedding leads? Or are you being given the option to accept or decline them? If you were automatically charged for the most recent instance of this, could you please send me a direct message including that customers name so that I can verify and share the example.
This one is for the Pros:
I am a Caterer and the choices customers are given to express their lead needs are very limiting. For example: The Catering category is called "Wedding and Event Catering. This is a turn off to clients seeking events that are NOT weddings. They percieve weddings as far more costly than a baby shower or bachelorette. Speaking of baby showers, TT actually groups these as baby/bridal shower!
How does a pro respond with specificity with vague information such as that? Why are the customers not able to specifically state the prospective guest count? 25-49 is way too vague. Given the utter nonresponsive attitude of TT and their somewhat non existent vetting, how can we know if the lead is real?
Betcha anything that the Moderator's response will be something meaningless about setting preferences; as if that is the solution!
Another really important move would be splitting Weddiings and Engagements away from Events.
Events and weddings can be two very different jobs with different requirements, agendas, budgets, and expectations. A corporate event is nothing like a wedding.