Everyone that made a comment here has told the same thing to the so called "customer support". Nothing changes so why keep discussing issues that will never get fixed ? Thumbtack cares about the "money" they receive from the vendors that helped build the company to what it is now.
I got my first "High Five" badge for giving this post a "kudos." Irony....
Here’s another suggestion that I think will be productive and solution focused.
Stop giving me meaningless badges.
I am going to attempt to respond your post and actually answer your questions and points. I do this not because I believe that TT will listen, act upon, or remotely do anything other than what they are doing now, but more so to provide insight as to why this is a waste of time and so other pros may be able to see it the same way and move on from TT to other platforms so they no longer pay more for less as they do under the current model.
First, your statement:
"So how do we determine what you pay for leads? Simply put, we try to only charge you for the value that you’re getting."
I'm sorry, that's wrong. It's wrong because TT can't decide upon the value. You can try something you hope will be perceived as valuable, but Thumbtack cannot define value nor create or manage value perception in any way. That is basic business economics 101 and you are not the first moderator to pedal that. Value perception is set by the customers, the pros. I'm embarrassed for the moderators that do try and push the value angle because it's more a reflection on lack of core understanding of business than we would have expected from a company that has made it this far. But no, you do not charge us only for the value we are getting because we aren't getting any. We are getting less leads, less bookings, less business and a 3-10X increase in cost. That's not value, that's gouging. The "value" of what you are offering is out of your hands, so if TT thinks that this is what they are doing then the defense of this laughable new system is flawed from that point forward. Value is set by the customer.
Uh, OK, why? The sentence in its entirely doesn't make sense. You have plumbers and carpenters and bakers and caterers and voice teachers and vocalist and dozens of other professions represented here on Thumbtack. There is absolutely no way under any reasonable explanation that managers and data folks at TT have enough knowledge of all those industries to make that determination. Yes, I am sure you have data analysis capability out the ears, but that's not enough. And no amount of trend analysis or staring at the data (data by the way that moderators are always mentioning in their canned and patronizing answers but never seem to be willing to show) will give you enough knowledge to decide what jobs are more or less valuable across such a wide range of industries. You don't have that capability as an indivisual or a company. And it is patronizing to assume that we would take that as a reasonable explanation. And when you add in regional and geographical realities as well as the fact that some profgessions are seasonal and some aren't, you simply cannot know those "unknowable" aspects of a job and it is rediculous to assume anyone believes you can. In fact, it has the opposite effect. When pros hear these kinds of explanations, pros who by the way have done business for a lot longer than most of the people who work at TT, it doesn't serve as an explanation for the changes, it serves as proff of why they have been a disaster. Because we know both intuitively and through experience that these things are unknowable it proves to us that this whole thing has was ill conceived by a company whose management doesn't understand the dynamics of the professions they are purporting to serve.
Third, your question: What do you find most confusing about our pricing?
Really? Is that a question that can be asked at this point with a straight face? But on the assumption that you don't know what we find confusing, I can't reply to that any better than the hundreds upon hundreds of replies as to what pros find confusing. Please go through all the threads and read those. They will give you the answer by the hundreds and have been doign so since May. It will save us and you a lot of time rather than trying to restate them hundreds of times more on this new thread. Again, this is a point that is having the opposite effect than what you intend. Instead of proving that you guys are listening and resposive (which we already know you aren't), it has the opposite effect of acting as proof that TT isn't listening or are they likely to change anything that has been suggested. In short, if they had been listening, they wouldn't allow moderators or staff to ask those questions after this amount of time and this number of replies has gone by in which that question has been answered by the pros ad nauseum.
Fourth, What would you consider to be a fair price?
1. Go back to the old system, revert. Admit the mistakes and go back to charging $3-$5 per credit and 2-3 credits per quote, and if the customer (our customer, not TTs, the pros are TT customer) doesn't open the quote after 48 hrs refund the money. That worked, it worked across the board and it kept TT from having to fix something that wasn't broke because they thought they could do it better through data. We already know you can't, so....keep it simple, the old way was simple.
2. OR, charge a small subscription fee, $9.99? $14.99? $19.99? to pros to use the service. We pay the fee, bid on as many, or as few jobs as we want and if we are booked.
3. Same as #2 above but add: charge a small subscription fee, $9.99? $14.99? $19.99? to pros to use the service. We pay the fee, bid on as many, or as few jobs as we want. Become a payment pass through and if we are booked, TT gets between 2.5% and 5.0% of the booked cost. (I use Gigsalad and that's what they do. It works great...clean, seamless. I close about 25% and there hasn't been a month where the subscription and percent commicssion to them hasn't paid for itself several times over)
All of the above suggestions will bring steady level revenue and each pro can control and monitor their costs within the realm of their own business, nbot through TT trying to mystically cypher what they consider a more or less valuable job because as discussed, you can't. You don't have the kind of knowledge, experience and know how to do that and no one could. Best bet is simple and agnostic toward what TT considers the "value" of the job. (By the way, TT believeing it can set value and that it can determine what factors justify a more or less valuable job intrudes on the one mechanism that can actually determine that...the free market.
But whatever you do, at least roll back the single stupidest business change I've seen made in over 25 years of management (by the way, I am a Six Sigma Greenbelt who has spent most of my career managing turnarounds where I've seen some pretty stupid stuff) - the change I'm referring to is the one where a pro has to pay for a "reply" to their quote. It is an astonishngly stupid method and truly one of the most myopic, clueless and unprofessional steps I've ever seen taken. Paying for a reply is not a lead, it is nbot valuable in any way, it serves no purpose, it doesn't bring any pro closer to getting a job and it makes us all embarrassed to know that there are people there who actually thought this was a good idea, or at least didn't think it through.
Fifth: What are other ways we can make using Thumbtack worth it for you? No, I'm sorry, there isn't. This is just another one of those kind of questions that TT moderators and staff ask to either make themselves feel better that they are trying. It also has the opposite effect. It is patronizing and insulting to ask this because if you can't reign in the disaster and offer pricing and quoting that pros find value (again, pros determine the value, not TT), then there really isn't anything else you can do. But giouging the price and screwing this up this deeply, you've removed 99% of what we considered valuable in the first place. So, no, thanks, we're good on "other ways" of making it worth it. At the end of the day, with this system, it isn't worth it, and no amount of badges, rah rah happy words and canned answers can override the negative value perception you have already created.
Thanks for letting me reply. I am not being rude when I say that I don't believe any of what I say will make a difference. None of us do at this point. In fact, I still stick by my suspicions that perhaps your ownership is positioning itself to sell to a bigger company and the gouging prices were a way to pump up the balance sheet a bit to make that more attractive. Either that or TT is shifting its paradigm to one that services the buyers rather than the pros and the gouge is a way to bring in engineering and development money to fund that. My bet is still on the first. But either one is possible as there is simply no way anyone could have rolled out something this bad and let it go for this long without a reason such as that.
I wanted to thank you for articulating my sentiments exactly and for spending the time to respond point by point to TTs ridiculous line of questioning.
I think you are probably spot on in your last paragraph. This might very well be a pump and dump...at our expense.
Keep inmind when reading that I am a Small Buisness Owner, with a VERY tight budget.
What do you find most confusing about our pricing?
Why can’t it be go back to when you displayed it off to the side how much the lead was going to cost us? I remember when it displayed the price of each lead before you submitted the quote (which I liked alot), then it changed to you had to be surprised with how much it cost after you were contacted by the customer…. Yah we had one during that time period where it surprised us with a $150.00 lead cost, for one single lead, that we didn’t even get the job for. You guys have now switched to what is currently in place, where you have to click on the details of the lead, then select “Learn More” to get the price that lead will cost before submitting a quote.
Why it fluctuates so much over time and per category? How is it that when I first started, handyman service leads were only around 5 dollars, 7 dollars if you thought it was bigger. Then they went up to about 20ish per lead, and now sit at around 10.
Why is it a homeowner can post something in one category and then a different homeowner can make a similar post in another category but yet they have two vastly different costs for each lead associated with them.
What would you consider to be a fair price?
Ha Ha…. Free….
Somewhere between free and not ghastly. By that I mean when I charge an $86 hourly rate and you want to charge me 38 dollars for a TV mount lead I’m then looking at a starting 48 dollar profit, which you then have to take out the time spent in traffic and gas to get to the customer’s location, in addition to any other unforeseen costs… The profit margin then starts dropping, and makes it so I don’t want to submit a quote.
What are other ways we can make using Thumbtack worth it for you?
Making it so that every time the homeowner contacts a pro, each pro isn’t charged the $75 dollars would make Thumbtack more worth it for me, in addition to not charging so much for each lead. So if for example, 5 pros submit a quote and the home owner responds to 4 of them asking for more information, you guys generated $300 dollars off that lead, each pro was charged the $75 but only one of them gets the job and the others “eat” the cost of that lead. Making it somehow that the one that “wins” the lead is the one charged the $75 would make it more fair to your thumbtack pro users.
Your current set up I have to pick and chose which leads I respond to making the assumption that every time I send out a quote I will be charged the amount it costs…. so I don’t send out quotes, which makes it hard to use you guys to grow my business.
I might not get every quote I send out, I know that, but making it so that it doesn’t cost so much per quote means for me I can send out more, increasing my conversion rate. Much like fishing, more lines in the water means more chances of catching a fish… If fishing costs too much, I don’t go fishing….