A quick reply from a potential customer is not a lead, especially when you are not hired. I can market my services, but if the client does not follow-up I have no way to directly contact them. I think we should only pay for leads when we are hired. Otherwise, I'm sending quotes to people who may just be curious, doing their own market research, or too flaky to follow-up and hire me.
Also, referral fees should be based on the total cost of the job, not a flat rate for a type of service. My rates vary depending on the size of the job. I should not pay the same amount for small jobs where I only make $25 for jobs where I have the potential to earn $400. It is not fair to the clients that I will not send them a quote, because it's not going to make me any money.
I really liked when it was a set price per lead, instead of this weird fluctuating scale that has been used. Your algorithm is no good at determining which jobs are most valuable to me, and I miss having the option of getting to weigh the cost of each lead I choose to respond to myself. It also seems that the service itself isn't working as well, which makes the fluctuating pricing even more frustrating. Sometimes leads close immediately after responding, even if they don't show any responses, there are multiple leads from the same customer, and messaging is really glitchy.
I have been with Thumbtack for about 4 years now, used this servive HUNDREDS of times and I would send in bids for $3.33, to maybe around $8.00 MAX but now with the weekly budget the same jobs that were maybe $5.00 are now $15.00 and that doesn't mean you get the job, it just means you just spent that for nothing. I haven't used this new system since then and I won't use it ever again. Go back to the old way of buying credits, I think everyone is pretty much saying the same thing as me. I'm guessing you're losing pro's by the truckloads by now. You lost me.
I swear I already posted a resonse and it disappeared.
Quick summary: Instant Match sucks, especially when you cannot use a custom quote.
The credit system was much better.
You should NOT get paid a cent from us unless we actually get hired, period.