Are you kidding me?????? Just when I thought that Thumbtack could not get any more insane/unfair in the ways it treats the pros, here it comes, a new low...blind bidding!!! So, Promote is pretty much a bust because it raked us over the coals getting unending charges for unwanted leads.
At least with Promote off, I could decide when I saw what a bid would cost me, if it was worth my investment. The geniuses who created this just found a "clever" way to force us to be in a system that is "Promote Light." No way would I bid if I do not know what the bid will cost me. At one time when Promote came out, I did do it. Inside of two weeks, I was in for over $1,000!!! This is exactly what will happen bidding blind.
I have to wonder if the team at Thumbtack would let someone put a hand in thier pockets any time they chose to? Oh, for example, let's say you all go shopping at a store where no prices are displayed. You shop and find out what your items will cost at the register. Once you go to the register, YOU MUST PAY. Go ahead and be honest, Thumbtack team, who of you would do that??? Well, that is what you are doing to us. SHAME ON YOU FOR CHEATING ESPECIALLY THE LOYAL TOP PROS AND MAKING IT HARDER FOR THE CLIENTS TO FIND GREAT PROS!!!
@Marylyn We want you to be in control of how much you spend, that's why we have the option for you to set your budget. When you set your budget, you tell us how much you want to spend on leads for that week. You'll also see that we will tell you a range of how many contacts you should be able to expect to get out of that budget.
When you promote your business you set preferences to get in front of more of the right customers for the jobs that you'll always want. When you were promoting, were you getting jobs that were outside of your preferences? We want to make sure you're only getting charged for customers that match your preferences, so if that's not the case, we definitely want to see what's going on. Let me know!
Why not be 100% transparent. That is not even close to how the Thumbtack system is set up for the pros to pay far more than we should or can. You know as well as I do that even though I set a budget, the criteria for sending me leads is not based on what it should be based on, ie: the parameters I set for my price per job. And, that price per job should be based solely on my number of guests, type of event/service style, and location. We all know where our profit margins rest. YOU DO NOT!!! For Caterers, these criteria are crucial. I am certain that for many others, their criteria is just as crucial. Promote nearly broke me by not following my criteria. Blind bidding would do the very same, budget notwithstanding.
Now, let's talk turkey. I spent literally hours on the phone with many levels of staff and management till I got the answer I needed to why I was getting jobs that did not match any or few of the criteria I set in my profile. When I found out what was being used to send me these leads, I was stunned and angry. There is one small section in the profile that asks us what kind of food we work with: standard or premium. Because I had both checked, anyone who wanted a caterer in my geographic area that check either of those boxes, I got that lead. Literally everything else could not match, but I got it anyway. When I said that category was not the way to determine if a lead worked for me, I got the normal crap answer...We'll bring this to the attention of the team.Meanwhile, I was being charged outrageous amounts of money. Here is why that category stinks for sending leads to caterers:
1. People do not know what premium means. I did my own survey and asked everyone I spoke with from the Thumbtack leads. The answer was usually, organic food or I am not sure what it means as opposed to standard. It is a term that means many different things to many people. It is subjective and therefore cannot be fair to use as a criteria for sending me leads and spending my money!
2. People will check premium because who would not want premium? Just sounds better than standard.
3. People check premium and their budget is way too low for me. Still I paid for the lead... often $75!!!
4. So, the only option left to me was to delete the premium or standard categories. Well, Thumbtack, when I did that, I got an immediate message telling me how many leads I would lose by doing that... Cannot win!!!
So, here is the only way to sends me bids that is NOT SUBJECTIVE OR UNCLEAR IN ANY WAY. Send leads that are only in my designated price range and fit the other criteria you require me to complete in my profile. Of course, when using the two categories, what happens for Thumbtack??? Thumbtack makes a ton more because we are charged for far more leads than we would if leads sent to the pro were based on the criteria we pre-determined. We, not Thumbtack, know what we do and do not want!
I am sure that for every category of pro there is some kind of hidden hook just like the one it took me forever to understand. Talk about being non-transparent, Thumbtack. By the way, no point in denying this is how Promote is set up. I have an e-mail that confirms everything I am saying.
So, if you want us to bid blind or participate in Promote, put the control for choosing or declining a lead back where it belongs...with the PROS. I will gladly pay for leads that I know have a reasonable probability of success. After more than 3 years as a top pro with excellent credentials, I use Thumbtack less and less. Just cannot afford the cost of leads and do not like the "hidden" pitfalls in the system!!!
@Marylyn I'm happy that you were able to get in contact with our support team to get some of your questions answered. If you have any questions that are still lingering, don't hesitate to reach out to us here in the Community. We're more than happy to help!
It sounds that your main concern has to do with standard and premium services. Do you have any suggestions for us on how to better educate customers on what a standard service is versus a premium service? When you surveyed your Thumbtack customers, did they have any suggestions to better specify what these mean? You know your business best and any insight you have to offer on this is always appreciated.
As far as customers reaching out to you having a lower budget than what your service costs, I can see how that's frustrating and will be sure to pass on this feedback to our Product Team. I see that you're not promoting your business right now, so if a customers budget is lower than what you offer, go ahead and pass on that lead. I appreciate you taking the time to write this out as it's important to us to know what's working and what's not working for pros.
We hear that you all want more transparency and I can assure you that's something we're working on. Stay tuned as we continue to make updates and know that we want nothing but success for you and your business. Let me know if there's anything I can do for you.
Did you read my notes carefully? If you did, how can you not be replying to the problem of using standard and premium to charge us??? I gave you exactly what needs to happen. The categories have to be removed from being the criteria for sending us pre-paid leads. Thumbtack must use our criteria only. And, those two categories are useless for caterers. Take them out. There is just no way to define them to the general public that would make it crystal clear. Anyway, I SAID people choose premiun and still want it all for $25. I am in the NY Tri-State area. You can't buy a roast beef sandwich, bag of chips and a drink for less than $10 anywhere. I don't think you understand what it costs to do business here. But, the point is, I DO. Let me be the decider and still use promote!!! That is what everyone wants... Don't you get that????
When you promote your business you set preferences to get in front of more of the right customers for the jobs that you'll always want.
Define 'right customers'.
For Pro's 'right customers' means customers who's job requirements match the Pro's preferences AND more importantly customers who DO actually want to TALK to the Pro and have a GENUINE desire and interest in hiring the Pro.
For Thumbtack 'right customers' means customers who's job requirements match the Pro's job preferences. It doesn't matter to Thumbtack if the lead doesn't actually want to talk to a Pro. It doesn't matter to Thumbtack if the lead has no genuine desire to hire you a Pro. It doesn't matter to Thumbtack if the lead doesn't want to hire anyone in fact. All that matters to Thumbtack is that the 'right customer' means the customers job details matched the Pros preferences. That's it.
So when Thumbtack say When you promote your business you set preferences to get in front of more of the right customers for the jobs that you'll always want, it's doesn't mean what you think it means. Pros don't want jobs from customers who don't want to talk to them. Pros don't want to jobs from customers who have no genuine desire or interest in hiring them.
With Promote off, imagine if you're a Pro and a lead reaches out to you and you see they have already contacted 8 Pros ahead of you. What would you do? I know what I'd do. I'd decline the lead because they are most likely just fishing around for the cheapest price and because I'm up against 8 other Pros the competition is stupidly high. My chances of getting hired are very low.
What if you'd had Promote on though?
You'd have been automatically charged for a lead that you DIDN'T want because you're not interested in leads where the customer has reached out to loads of other Pros ahead of you. Too bad for you though, Thumbtack already have your money. Thumbtack did their job by putting you in front of what they think is the 'right customer' even it's not a customer you want, it's actually the 'wrong customer'.
What about a customer who doesn't enter additional details about their job and you typically decline those kinds of leads?
With Promote you'll be automatically charged for leads that you DIDN'T want because the lead didn't provide any additional information. Too bad for you though, Thumbtack already have your money. Thumbtack did their job by putting you in front of what they think is the 'right customer' even it's not a customer you want, it's actually the 'wrong customer'.
Most Pro's don't trust Promote because too often it doesn't put you in front of the 'right customers'. All you can trust Promote to do is to put you in front of customers who match you job preferences, that's all. Pros define 'right customer' in a very different way to Thumbtack.
Many of the problems Pros have with Thumbtack (like @Marylyn) are because Promote causes Pros to pay for being put in front of 'wrong customers' not the 'right customers'.
Hello All, Thank you for helping out a newbie. I thought that Thumtack only charged you when you messaged a lead? I am being charged for when leads message me... Is there a way to change this? I don't see how I should be charged for leads that I am not taking. Thank you.