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topic id 100: Is quick reply worthy of charge?
topic id 11582: Pricing
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topic id 5571: Pricing
topic id 7120: Charging practices
topic id 7090: Insanity
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topic id 5713: Quote pricing / how much will I pay per quote?
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topic id 3937: Unhappy with thumbtack
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Chasing ghost customers

In todays competative market, this app has brought me about a dozen hires. However, it does NOT compare to the money Ive spent on “ inquisitive “ online customers. Those that respond to quotes saying “whats the next step, or whats the process for working together or sounds great when can I chat with you?” Then NEVER respond back past that, yet we get charged none the less. People need to understand that their simple request for info is free for them, but we get charged significantly. Ive been charged, yet again, $80 this week and got one customer. Yes, it will be repeat business, but when will this one customer that I see every 6-8 weeks, managed to offset the money Ive wasted?
There has to be a better way to manage this process because the only people making money is Thumbtack! I cannot contnue to spend over $300 a month gaining perhaps one or two new clients.
My thought is to have a warning to the ghosts customers we chase online and inform them that their simple request is costing multiple companies. Customers that choose to continue and send the request should be MADE to at least give a phone number. After all, the final sale with a customer cannot be made strictly by email alone. Thumbtack has become so consumer friendly that we the employers of Thumbtack are throwing away hard earned money. Yes, this app is good, however, for what we are paying, it needs to be great for consumer AND the companies seeking them.
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9 responses
mldimagery
Level 4

Re: Chasing ghost customers

I just had a long conversation with a rep about this issue. I explained that I understand the model, but there needs to be some sort of way to weed out customers who aren't serious. This one-and-done thing would be fine if the contacts were just a few dollars, but when the contact costs $14.xx, there isn't much of a value proposition. It's one thing if I have a detailed conversation with a contact and they choose someone else, but when a contact reaches out to 10 pros and then doesn't hire anyone, you have to question if they were serious or not. If they aren't serious, then the cost that we pay for the contact should be lower.

RoseMort
Level 5

Re: Chasing ghost customers

If each of the ten pros are charged $14 because the customer reached out to them, then Thumbtack just made $140 --- which is possibly even more than the pro who gets the job will make! I got charged $21 to respond to a job where I quoted $160.

Re: Chasing ghost customers

My financial advisor is telling me to quit Thumbtack and find an alternate solution for advertising. He thinks I’m crazy for spending that kind of money that I’m spending and not getting a benefit from it. He ran numbers and said I could’ve rented a billboard sign for six months an reached more people than what I’m getting right now.

Re: Chasing ghost customers

This is very frustrating. I am ready to leave TT. I just got my weekly report, it says I spent $86 dollars and made 14 new contacts.
In all actuality, I made one because 13 “contacts” never responded back past thier initial “TT auto responce inquiry of “sounds great, whats next? Or, I’d love to chat, when can I call you?”
I have sent a few emails to each of the 13 and NEVER hear back. So in all actuality, I paid $86 for ONE tangible client!! This is insane as it does not even cover what I charged my new client.
So frustrated!!
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mldimagery
Level 4

Re: Chasing ghost customers

My experience is a little different. I've been able to land a reasonable percentage of the customers who actually engage in a conversation with me and the income has more than covered the expense.

But you raise a great point. If the customers are allowed to auto respond (which these  messages seem to be) are they really the "interested contacts" that thumbtack claims they are.

We're not charged when a customer says "no thanks" on the first response. I think that list should be expanded to include typical responses from these ghost clients. I've seen things like: "Do you have any references?", "Sounds great! what's next?", "What's your next availability?", "When can we chat?"and the list goes on.

If a potential customer asks one of these questions and then doesn't respond when the Pro responds, I question the validity of the contact - especially when I check the insights report and see that they haven't indicated that they hired anyone.

I hope that Thumbtack will make some adjustments in these areas. As I told the rep, I'm willing to participate in a focus group and/or provide any insight that I can to help the platform become a success, but I won't keep paying for ghost contacts if they aren't willing to make a positive changes in the system to eliminate them.

TParis52
Level 1

Re: Chasing ghost customers

 

I agree this new format of charging us undetermined fees for work Is at best unreasonable. We are not being told what we will be charged. I have never worked with any company that says we'll determine what to charge you based on the inquiry / What ??? . Now I just tried to make a quote and it has changed again and wants to charge me 15 dollars for a customer that asked , am I available on the date she requested. obvioulsy i said in my first line of response that I am available . I have had it with Tumbtack that is it.

 

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TEOCONNELL
Level 4

Phantom Request

Seems to still be getting a lot of request or replies so my credit card can be billed!!!! Only to never hear back!!! Really starting to think this whole thing is a scam!! If it continues I will be canceling my service!!
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Tking
Level 1

Re: Chasing ghost customers

I definitely agree with you it’s ridiculous to waste that amount of money and only get 1 one 2 repeat customers...there has to be another way...the other issue I have are the ones that lie about where they live to generate more quotes...I wasted a good amount on quoting people who don’t even live in the area I service and no refund, or the people that ask for a quote and then cancel the job after contact then put the job back up the following week...again ther has to be a better way to stop all this from happening...you should only be charged if you get the job that’s a great option.

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Batkitty5961
Level 4

Charged for customers that don’t respond

Once again the pricing structure has changed and now I’m getting automatic messages saying that because I’m on match I’m being charged. Once again I respond within minutes to these customers who never respond back to me… Yet I have been charged! Just like a car dealership these are nothing but tire kickers but we get charged. Again I say and I do mean AGAIN… “Not fair”!