@jcpRight on! 'Are you available' is inquiry asking a question. Not an interested customer. Of course the moderators at TT don't think that way. They think that's an intersted customer. Baloney! When the next step is taken by the customer to say 'I like what you have to offer & your price. When can we meet? Here's my number & e-mail address' Or something along those lines that's an interested customer. Period.
I agree with Thumbtack that it is a lead. If it were one penny for that "Are you available?" then this would be a non-issue. There is value in showing your name, notifying you of a potential lead, and that individual can take it further. We all have to work hard to make a sale and it doesn't always work out. We're free to close our wallets at any time.
I'm frustrated as well and I'm also at 0 quoting activity. That is a more powerful response than this forum.
I was a top pro with many different jobs going on through the service. Word of mouth eventually takes over.
You are supporting dishonest intent in the customers. I must point out the dishonesty of customers who you are presuming have an honest interest in our availability and therefore might hire us. They clearly show their ability to misrepresent the truth by how they write their Request. They either state or imply a sense of urgency by putting in dates for the job starting with the day after their request and running for the next 5 days. Then, they mysteriously contact me after those 5 days are passed and ask my availability. I WAS available during those original 5 days or I would not have quoted the job. They clearly do not have, nor will they ever have a job in the past five days per their Request if they contact me after the fact. And... they write a request for a 2 bedroom 4 bathroom house to be inspected. I can state with certainty the odds are in my favor that there is no house in the United States for sale with 2 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. Oh, they might have typed it wrong? I will give them the benefit of the doubt when you give us the benefit of the doubt that they do not in fact have an interest in hiring us. Then they lie to me and say they have a lower price, will I match it? Check the history on that Request. I AM THE LOWEST PRICE QUOTE ON THUMBTACK! I can see that fact in the insight for this job. Should I still believe this customer might hire me? How credible is this customer? I deserve a refund on that quote due to the incredible dishonesty of the customer. And, that customer should be banned from Thumbtack.
Did I also tell you he posted two jobs one day apart in two different towns? And they did not include the finished basement in their request for the first job. This adds 50% more work to the job. Imagine their shock when I must amend the quote I gave them to adjust for the finished basement. And while I am writing a reply to his first set of questions a 11:59pm, he asks the same "When are you available?" question on the second jobs. Have some consideration. Do I get extra points for responding to two Requests from the same customer at midnight? I sure would not want to lose my good standing with Thuumbtack as a fast responder that Thumbtack deems to be so critical to my success. I would sure love to know how the Pro that got hired for those two jobs enjoyed working for that customer. Maybe you should see if that custmer even hire anyone that he contacted.
So, I have an issue with what you just wrote: "I understand if you don't think a customer asking for your availability is interested, but we disagree." How much effort has Thumbtack ever put into determining the credibility or genuine interest of your customers in hiring us? I just do not think Thumbtack understands much about our experience with customers who are being dishonest and what form that dishonesty can take.
And for all of this charade, Thumbtack gets paid and you trusts the lying customer more than the Pros.
One of the problems I've encountered is that the clients aren't professionals. They have no idea how to fill out the questions that Thumbtack asks accurately, no idea how long a job will take (I can't tell you how many jobs I've seen from people who think that renovating their bathroom will take one workman a few hours), and aren't even sure what some of the questions they are asking mean. For example, I've been contacted by people asking "What's you availability?" meaning "When can you come and look at the job?" and people who have asked the same question wanting to know when I can start the job.
It would be great if Thumbtack had education in place for customers as well as contractors.
Just want to start off to say I write this with pure heart and good intentions.
Respectfully, lead generation is very different from advertising, so this analogy feels a little off the mark?
Interesting that you should equate it from the perspective of a billboard ad that results in a phone call, because that requires an interest of course, but also a proactive initiative (true and viable interest) of the potential customer recording the number or calling on the spot, and putting contact and sales power in the hands of the Pro, something Thumbtack has taken away from both the service seeker and the Pro (customer) with it's Instant match and most likely the soon to be implemented Promote feature.
It would be different if the customer were able to actually call us, rather than say, click a button with a prefabricated and arbitrary response. I of course understand why this is not possible as it would risk you not being able to make money of the Pro, which we are all happy to have.
I would strongly disagree that Thumbtack isn't different than those traditional forms of one to many advertising, at least it was. And that's what made it so great. But until Thumbtack is able to solve the inherent problems of Instant Match and the subsidiary features that are supposed to enhance it, i am afraid that it will become about as useful as the old, ineffecient and cost-prohibitive advertising forms.
Touching on your last question to @Hankster , I would begin to trust the system more if Thumbtack were more accountable for the lead.For example by not REQUIRING any contact info that can be passed to the Pro, it opens the floodgates for those that do not have a high level of interest. If you required a phone number, you would of course have LESS service seekers ask for a quote, but I believe you would have MORE hires for your Pros.
If someone in real life introduced me to a potential client in passing, Iwouldn't give them anything but a handshake and a thank you. However if they gave me somebody's number and said this person said he is interested in you and wants you to call them, I would reward them often by passing on the profits of the initial lesson to them. I do it all the time.
Pricing needs to reflect this if you offering features that are supposed to support this. Are you referringme, are you giving me a lead, is it a billboard like other sites. Reflect the pricing for the service we actually recieve. Did you send someone to me? Bill me based on that. Did I get hired? Bill me based on that. Both? Bill me. I don't care as long as I am able to maintain a good ROI.
The problem is we are being told that we are being charged for one service, and that service is being valued as a number of services. Perhaps the band aid, (I can't honestly say fix, because the true cure is going back to the old system, which we all know you guys aren't going to do, and we all understnad why) is to tier the pricing based on the service you actually provided the Pro with that service seeker.
Just some thoughts and I look forward to your response.
Hey there @ChristopherW thanks for your response! I want you to be able to trust Thumbtack and utilize us to help continue growing your business. All of your thoughts and suggestions are extremely helpful, so thank you for sharing! If you have any other feedback for us, please don't hesitate to reach out.
I am sure you havent noticed but I am posting a bit less on these threads lately. Why? Because I have gotten the very distinct impression that no one truly cares about our feedback! There are pages after pages full of feedback on MANY threads but nothing has changed for the better. It is all the same old same old responses and no changes have been made to help the Pros out. I am now considering doing something else to earn money, something at will not rely on job sites like this and Care.com. Both site charge way too much plus decent jobs are just not showing up here or Care.com. I have asked more than once for someone to really look into this, but no one has. On either site! The message is loud and clear to me and almost every other Pro here: