The suggested customer replies feature have caused me to be charged more than I'm making on Thumbtack. Although I was excited about my Top Pro status, I've recently stopped sending quotes.
The whole point about value of the contact doesn't make sense and I already voiced my opinion to multiple reps who said that it will be considered. Value means what? If the customer contacts me and how? How does that even make sense, because if the customer calls me, that is a greater value than if the customer just says I am thinking but not interested? Well, I got charged more for the second one, then the calls in many of the cases. Also, what I never understood is that I get charged less per 300 job than for a 175 job for example. I have been charged for 175 as much as 45 dollars, so not sure where is the value in that. I proposed before and still do, to base it on the amount of your quote and a percent, so that each time you bid on the job, you will know up front what it will cost if you get a contact responding to you. I bid on the jobs blindly and not knowing what the fee will be which is calculated based on some formula but has nothing to do with what I will make from that job, if I do make it. A set percentage will at least let me know if I want to raise the price a bit or even worth bidding on specific jobs.
In my opinion a lead has no value if it's not properly verified, some people doesn't place their phone number or it doesn't even reply a request. Thumbtack should have a veriication system before sending the lead.
This new price plan isn't working for us at all. It went from a couple of dollars per lead, to almost $30 just for someone to respond with "are you open on my date" even though we already answered that in the initial message, and then we never hear from them again. It was the same scenerio with almost every lead. I disabled all leads from Thumbtack, and I plan to leave it that way until Thumbtack comes up with a better option. We do just fine without Thumbtack, but that WAS a nice way to fill some open dates for us.
I have never booked a single thing through Thumbtack. The pricing seems to change often..how things are priced change...etc...etc...etc. I have booked through other such services that make things easy. If Thumbtack would simply take a set fee or a set percentage AFTER a gig is confirmed and the deposit paid it would be so much easier for everyone.
My biggest question is regarding the leads that reach directly out to us and we get the message "no need to quote, just reply". I believe these leads cost more than other leads, yet I have yet to have one turn into business for me. They seem to respond less than other leads and not be near as valuable.
I think it would be valuable to have a tiered lead system. One in which everyone pays to play and receive communication for the lead at a lower amount per pro. This allows you to recoupe your investment for providing the lead, but doesn't put everyone on notice for a huge lead fee if they don't get the business. Then have an additional fee for the business that actually wins the business.
Let's say a lead normally costs $15 and 3 pros get the lead....maybe one gets the business and maybe the customer turns out to be a flake. In this case TT gets $45.
In the situation I am referring to, how about that lead cost $5 for all the pros to receive and then $30 to the company that lands the deal?
I would happily pay $35 vs. $15 to get a job that gives me business. However, I get annoyed with leads that cost me $15 over and over again and they never reply to me after I respond to their request. This is the big problem with the "Fake Leads" you hear everyone screaming about. If I pay $5 for a lead and never hear back from that customer, it is just like a PPC fee for someone coming to my site and they are just fact gathering.
I think a system like this would make pros happier and give TT more credibility for seeking to offer value for pros. They key would be to ensure pros know that by accepting leads they pay "X", and there would be an additional fee of "Y" if they actually get the job.
Plus, you would probably find more pros willing to compete for the work, which gives you guys more money for the lead vs. higher amounts per pro.
The set price made sense to me and worked well. Now I am never sure of what I am paying. As others have said a contact with a client does not mean that they are hiring you. Often they call just to say that you charge too much or they were just information searching. Many of us are finding the changes frustrating.