Right on the money @jcp, I've raised the same issue in the past.
This is the not so secret little secret with Promote isn't it? Thumbtack pitch Promote to Pros saying that we automatically pay for the leads we ALWAYS want. That's not true though is it?
I don't want to ALWAYS automatically pay for leads who can't afford to hire me. @jcp doesn't, nor do any of the other Pros who've raised this particular issue with Promote. Despite all the protestations by Pros here over the months Thumbtack continue to automatically charge Pros for leads they don't want. It's wrong.
I only want to charge you guys for leads that are worth your time and money. If I’m sending you something and you’re looking at it saying ‘not worth my time, not worth my money’ we haven’t done our jobs right. I acknowledge that we have a challenge where there are clients who come in and never respond, never engage back, which is incredibly frustrating , and there’s the cost aspect which is certainly annoying but it’s the pain of having done the work and sent the message and then not getting anything back and having that burden completely on you. So we are working really hard right now to mitigate this problem, to avoid you having to waste your time and money on things that you have no shot of winning. That’s not how we’re trying to make our fees; that’s not what we think you should be investing your money in, so it’s something we are working very hard on.
Marco Zappacosta, Thumbtack CEO, Thursday March 21, 2019
Today, 47 days after Marco's Q&A Thumbtack are STILL sending Pros leads that in Marco's own words 'aren't worth [our] time and money'.
Staying 'solutions focussed' because I don't want this post deleted I suggest that Thumbtack's product team take what Marco said in his recent Q&A to heart and give Pros a system that doesn't make them 'waste their time and money' on leads that aren't suitable for them.
Potential client asks for availability but not a quote. I’d prefer to quote and be competitive and not pay for an alleged lead which is simply a quote in disguise. For example, after learning of my availability she questions the cost of the job. Because I want the job I reply with a quote. She then decides to look elsewhere with my quote as bargaining power. I’m at a disadvantage because I’m locked in and paid for the limitation while she has a quote from a local provider that others bid against. She doesn’t come back to me for a counter offer. I lose every time. This lead versus quote method has reduced the number of jobs for me. Please advise. Potential client is waiting on a direct response from me. (Which will cost) Direct support from thumbtack is not available directly.
@jcastille2nd I took a look at your account to see that you hadn’t yet set up your preferences and listed your pricing. This would be the best way to let the customer know your prices ahead of time before they choose to reach out. If you don’t prefer that route, you can always list your rates in your profile as well. In this instance, I’d simply respond back to the customer with what your prices would be for their needs and try to close the sale.
Hey there @TomPotter, I'm sorry to hear about the experience. If you go to your services and scroll down to General Contracting, you'll see that there isn't the option to set prices. This is because it's an unpriceable category and we understand that pros need to see the job to give an accurate estimate. If a customer is interested, they'll just contact you for the price!
I want Thumbtack to be a useful tool for you and your business and there are a few things that I think would really help you! First is expanding your profile. Your profile looks great, but adding more of your past projects and getting a few more reviews will really take you to the next level. The second thing I'd recommend is setting your preferences by promoting your business so that you get more of the jobs you want!
If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to reach out! We're happy to help you in any way that we can.