Pros... I am convinced that after reading the many responses to this topic, that all the burden still lies upon us as the pros to get the jobs without TT figuring out the problem. Why are the pros being singled out to be paying these high lead prices? I am a strong believer that it is a two-way street here, for example, if we are charged for the leads isn't it only fair that the client looking to hire a professional should be required to pay the same amount to obtain the professional person that are seeking. I would hope that they could figure out a way for the system to prompt a command once we click on a desired professional and then when hired, generate charges if need be. Simply, charging the professional that doesnt get hired is not exactly the best business practice.
So the problem with the current system is TT makes money regardless if we get hired or not. But it wouldn't be practical for TT to charge only when we get hired since most people would probably just never indicate that they were hired in order to avoid paying any fee.
If TT could provide some sort of incentive for clients to mark when they have hired someone, that might be a good way to solve the problem of people avoiding paying TT.
Perhaps in the fee that TT collects for a job, they give a small percentage back to the client when they mark someone as hired. And maybe do not allow any reviews unless it's from someone who indicated that they hired the pro they are leaving a review for.
To further encourage clients to mark people as hired - maybe TT can collect payments on behalf of the pro and give another small discount back to the client for paying through TT. That would need to be optional since I know a lot of pro's would prefer to collect payments using their own methods.
Me personally, I've been relativelty fortunate in that the money I've paid to TT has been less then what I've been paid on jobs, especially since a few of them turned into repeat clients. But for the one shot clients, the fee often makes the jobs barely worth doing since TT fee amounts to about 15% of what I get paid.
Yikes it sounds at the end of it that you're giving most of your gross income to Thumbtack!
I would disagree that it's a problem that Thumbtack collects money whether someone is hired or not.
If Thumbtack collected 1 cent ($0.01) per pro that contacted a client, you wouldn't draw that conclusion. You'd complain that there's too much competition! The way it stands now, the prices are so high, there are very few bidding. Also, the responsiveness has declined. Anyone who wants a job can go after it. Still doesn't mean you'll get it. If you're not good at your job, doesn't matter, competition on this platform is shot. High quality people are leaving.
The prices are simply too high, and they don't know how to set prices. What's their goal in setting prices? Probably to make the most money. However, it's broken, and in the long term it will drive them into bankruptcy. What happens when clients have poor experience with Thumbtack? What happens to the quality of leads? Where do the professionals go? what happens if they can’t find a qualified professional? They don’t get paid! Yikes.
...or "perhaps" TT should return to the old system and ditch this one.
I've thought about how this would all play out for me using Thumbtack.
Thumbtack is an excellent service that can immediately notify you directly on your smartphone whenever a lead comes in, give you the choice to pay for the lead, allow you to bid or request more information, and get right back to work.
You can set up the alerts how you like them, set categories, and distance to the job, etc. It gives you a free preview of the lead which is great. You can keep alerts running even when you don't need the work. Free of clutter and scams like Craigslist. Allows for customer reviews and a rating system. Free for the potential client.
It's that bit about when you don't need the work. At some point, word gets out that you provide high quality work at a great value and you no longer need leads. They call you.
To this day, I don't know what will keep me using Thumbtack. I know higher prices doesn't help [smh]. I like being able to gather reviews. I like being able to claim Thumbtack "Top Professional" status.
I guess at the end of the day, I believe in the concept and the value that Thumbtack provides, not for me, but for my potential clients. I just thought of a suggestion but I'll save it for later.
What do you think? What keeps you using Thumbtack?
Your pricing is just strange for my category - Architectural services. Without more information from the customer it is just a blind process which has gotten expensive with no return. I don't mind paying for good and qualified leads, even if it was more expensive, but in its current state, Thumbtack's leads for architectural services is just a waste of money.
It is almost impossible to give customers a price for architectural services when there is virtually no suitable information to gauge the job. There is no budget information provided and there is almost never a description, and if there is, it generally does not help giving a quote.
Every time I send a quote it is a crap shoot and in the very few instances where I get a response, the clients are unaware of the process. I think if I were to close my eyes and randomly select a lead I would have just as much success as I am currently having.
I am not even sure this is legal in California. In California it is illegal to promote/advertise/provide any architectural services unless you are licensed to do so in California, so I would be curious to know how many pros in this category are unlicensed.
Additionally, I have yet to succeed in getting someone at Thumbtack to respond to my messages. I have been charged for leads that I clearly should not have and yet I can not get a response. In essence, in addition to the poor quality of leads, in instances where I should be given a refund I can not seem to get in touch with anybody to do so. I have tried using the feedback and refund request to no avail. The other day I got charged for a quote because it said somebody called me. Nope. Never happened and yet I got charged and nobody from Thumbtack will even answer me.
I am going to stick with your service for another month and if nobody contacts me or I don't see changes, then I will definitely be one of the people who leave without anything positive to say about my experience.
I see a job request on ThumbTack. I ask the client a question and they reply and I get charged for that. It wasn't a quote and it wasn't an acceptance. It was just a question about their project. I object!