You claim to charge us for the "value" we are getting which is very little. In my profession, architect, which you people have no clue what are client process is, being charged an exorbitant amount of money just to contact a client (not quote), borders on criminal behavior. We cannot quote (or should not, there are idiots out ther that may quote without conversing with a client) without having a short discussion about their project. If I have been charged any money for just asking a prospective client to discuss giving them a quote, I want that money refunded immediately. I will be leaving you site right away.
I'm grateful for the Thumbtack platform, which is more reasonably priced than other platforms such as wyzant. But, the practice of charging when potential clients contact us actually discourages me from quoting because I inevitably get questions which do not fall into Thumbtack's refund policy but do not lead to business. Hence, I quote substantially less than I'd like based on a conservative estimate of costs versus benefits. I'd prefer that Thumbtack take a larger cut of what I charge for my first session with the client.
I wish there was a way for us to rate customers/contacts. I've had so many in the past month set an appointment and then never answer my call or reply back to me. We should get a credit for those clients. We're going to invest it right back in TT so it's not like you're out anything. Also, we shouldn't be charged for clients that message to tell us they didn't chose us without speaking or messaging with us. Why is that even an option for them to pick if it's going to charge us a fee?
Because contacts can reach out to a million of us and don't get rated, I've been taken advantage of a few times. A few contacts will hire several of us to do a job since we require payment after completion and then not pay us. If they were rated, we could avoid those contacts altogether as they take away from real contacts on TT.
I agree that the price per contact has gotten much higher in the past year. As a small business owner, I have to watch every dollar and eventually won't be able to use TT. Paying $20 for a lead on a $75 job seems excessively high.
What do you find most confusing about our pricing?
That I don't know what I'm going to be charged ever.
What would you consider to be a fair price?
5%-10% is a fair finder's fee from my experience. That's from a guarenteed gig/service though. You are charging that based on response and not guaranteed gigs. I get that you need to mitigate from people taking the conversation offline, but maybe having a smaller fee for every bid you make is more equitable. If you can get the platform large enough, that means you'd make a tiny amount on every bid. I think the idea of getting credits and being able to use some of those for future bids is a good system - it will keep your best vendors around showing your loyalty to them as well.
What are other ways we can make using Thumbtack worth it for you?
Making it clear to the customers that if they respond the vendor will be charged. That to me would be helpful.
Thumbtack has been great for me, it's generated a lot of leads and I have been pretty successful on getting these customers. I'm currently in the lawncare, landscaping and pressure washing business. I do feel there should be a standard rate. Some landscaping jobs that I receive are very small compared to my lawn jobs yet I've been charged double for the landscaping... there's different price fluctuations in the lawns, and not all jobs are as they seem once you are on the property. I think a standard rate would work better and let the field professional make the decision as to whether the jobs are big or small. A lot of the information entered by the customers are also incorrect and your prices are being based on incorrect information. Also some customers just want a consultation and have no intention on completing a job this year, those should be in a different online consultation catergory.
Overall I have had a positive experience and am hoping to continue with the app. Once the 2019 budget comes in for my business we can see whether we will move forward with Thumbtack.
To begin, I do love that your service exists and think it's an important tool for entrepreneurs and freelancers. Over the years I have spent a lot of money on quotes and received most of it back, but not all. Then you made changes that I quite honeslty believe only benefit your company and the clients. This does not feel like vendors are included in your new pricing. To not be able to see the prices that we "might" be charged is insane. How can you expect people who are operating under budgets to do that? And this rational is completely flawed:
"You pay a different amount for each lead based on whether we believe the job is more valuable or less valuable."
Right there is the problem. It's what you believe. That feels quite arbitrary. The instant matching does not work. I'm paying for quote where clients contact me who reply no more than, "thank you" or "I'll be in touch" and then you never hear back from them.
At least there was transparency with the former system. I'm not saying it was perfect but it was a lot better than the current system.
If you really want to be fair I think you would at least include the prices on the listings so vendors can make up their own mind. The "instant matching" system is based on these arbitrary prices so if someone has a smaller budget then they're screwed. 9 times out of 10 they won't get the job and that leaves them spending money for nothing. And vendors should not be charged unless there is a "meaningful" exchange with a potential client and not a one word response.
I think your service can be of great help to the vendors but that's only if you focus on our needs and not just those of your company and the clients.