I know I'm not alone in feeling that the current fee model is a blatant money grab.
I have a 100%, 36 5-star reviews and had 3 successful years using the old model. Small fees, refunded if not viewed that when averaged over time, made good sense as a an advertising buy. The 7x - 10x fee increase with unlimited quotes is far too expensive for a small business to gamble on.
The truth is that I would have no problem paying higher fees for a job I get through Thumbtack. Why not set a standard percentage fee that is paid for by the pro who gets hired? That model reflects the usual marketing agency concept and would greatly reduce the amount of disgruntled pros like myself whose complaints about pricing seem to be falling on deaf ears...
We share your sentiment. Due to the increased (now unrealist) pricing of the TT lead generation model we have reverted back to what has worked for 20+ years. We put our advertising dollars into our own website and use an outbound marketing effort to drive our prospects to our company owned website. We are fortunate not to have to market much as we have a large clientelle due to our specialty and being in business for a long time and always with a client moneyback guarantee. If our client is not satisfied for any reason we make it right. No exceptions. We have never had to use it as we put our clients needs first, always, and we are selective before we take an assignment to insure success. We have not had to market our sevices in many years but when we do we simply go out and talk with many people as possible. We leave business cards and have a single fold brochure as a leave behind. But we make a concentrated effort to talk to as many people as possible about our services. It has always worked when we need to generate new business. The online services have always been intriguing and worked very well until greed took over. Now the market controlling participants all seem to use similar models with extremely high costs for what is being offered to participate. Once they lose their value they become unnecessary overhead. Back to business basics for us. If and when the online model puts value back into their offerings we will reembrace them. Until then we just do not need them. I hope TT will revisit what they are offering and get realistic again.
We also share your sentiments. We joined TT over 3 years ago now because Home Advisor had these same exact problems TT is now having with this new model - the "ghost leads". TT's old model was working wonderfully for us. If this new model continues, we will be closing the account completely. In fact, we haven't used TT in weeks because of these issues.