@DiegelmanServic If there are quotes that you think qualify for a refund, go ahead and send me a direct message with your email address and the names of the customers. I'd be more than happy to look into it.
As far as your posts, yes, we do edit and remove posts as needed if they go against our Community Guidelines: https://community.thumbtack.com/t5/Community-news/Community-Guidelines/m-p/4#M2%2Fjump-to%2Ffirst-un.... If you have any questions about what is being edited or deleted, please respond to our Message.
We accept criticism here, but it needs to remain constructive and relevant. We want the community to be a productive and positive environment for all pros and appreciate everyone's contribution.
I attended the webinar yesterday and it gave me a pretty good idea of the direction Thumbtack is moving. Ultimately it's looking like commissions or something effectively commission-based (even if it has a fancy new name) is the future, and pros will pay after they've been paid.
While the reasoning appears logical and sensible on the surface, if I'd wanted that model when I started using Thumbtack in September, I'd have signed up with Fiverr or Upwork or something. I chose Thumbtack for its transparency and clear up-front fees.
Thumbtack's pro focus, very evident when I signed up, has switched round to something focused on the clients. While I get that happy clients continue to use the system and unhappy clients don't, that doesn't explain the mess that is the New Thumbtack. We got told several times that "our research has shown us..." while ignoring the fact that research about variety/choice/number of options shows the new system will make for a less satisfactory end result (this is peer reviewed, repeatable, third-party research).
There was a huge focus on the fact that 4 out of 5 potential clients who started on Thumbtack didn't end up hiring someone. Apparently some genius made the decision that these are missed opportunities. But many of them were getting a feel for costs or using Thumbtack to do their research. The new model addresses that to some degree, but there is probably a way to give potential clients price ranges without gouging the pros.
From September to November, I mostly dabbled with Thumbtack while working other gigs. I got more serious in December, and things worked pretty well for my business, leading me to hit the Top Pro requirements last month. I tend to get short gigs (1-4 hours) without a lot of potential for repeat customers. A contact for me is not NEARLY as valuable as Thumbtack thinks it is.
My account went live with The New Thumbtack yesterday, and it's simply incompatible with my business. The route of paying per bid was great. I could carefully monitor my expenses, knowing that I'd selected the potential clients who most fit my skill set. I didn't get every job I bid on, but I got enough that I was making a profit. I offer three services and two of them require such a weekly budget equivalent to 2-4 hours worth of work.
I'm currently utterly unable to use Thumbtack for new clients, and this used to be my primary resource. If things change in a way that will work for me again, I'd be happy to give it another go, but for now, my account is going to sit and collect dust.
I'm not going to sit here and whine and wait for Thumbtack to fix things. I have a business to run, and for now, I'm going to have to do it with other freelance platforms.
This past Thursday, I received the following email.
"Hi Janet, Based on recent feedback from pros and customers, we're simplifying some categories on Thumbtack to make things easier for everyone. You quote in one or more of these categories, so we wanted to let you know about the changes in advance. What's changing? • Streamlined categories. On June 18, 2018, we'll consolidate the Writing Services, Web Content Writing, Blog Writing, and Editing categories into a single Writing Services category. • Simplified control. Your request preferences let you control the types of jobs you see. Be sure to review your Writing Services preference settings to continue receiving requests for the jobs you want."
It was notifying me of changes to my category, editing. As of yesterday, June 18th, the Editing category disappeared. I no longer have a category on Thumbtack!
The Writing Services category is not applicable l for me in its current state. I spent over an hour yesterday trying different Services categories. None apply to my Editing category anymore.
I called and spoke with a baffled customer service rep, who was very nice, and told me he would email me a follow-up. He did today.
"Hi Janet, I'm just following up with you on our previous conversation yesterday about the consolidation of the Editing Service. We’ve been hearing that there wasn’t much demand for some of our service categories, and that others were too specific or out-of-date. So we’re simplifying some services offered on Thumbtack. This makes it easier for customers to find pro's, and is more convenient for pros to control their preferences. We make a lot of changes to our site in our effort to make Thumbtack better for our pros and customers. With any change, we recognize some updates may have a better response than others. I’ve shared your thoughts with our team who works to improve Thumbtack. They’ll be sure to use your feedback (along with other pro and customer input we receive about this change) to make sure we continue evaluating steps for future improvements. You can also continue submitting feedback using our Suggestion Box."
More of my clients need editing services than writing, and I agree that lumping everything under "writing services" is not helpful for you or me.
Given how different the various types of writing and editing jobs are out there, and the skill-sets that go with each of those jobs, I'm really concerned about this new change on top of the other changes. Am I going to get charged for contacts from potential clients who want nonfiction or romance fiction editing, when my specialty is speculative fiction? How will the personal statement clients find me now? I'm not seeing any of those pop up in my listings, though folks are starting to work on these.
I feel the same way. As an editor, and a Top Pro, TT is just not working for me. I've been charged over $200 in the past few weeks with no jobs coming through. I've interacted with clients but they seem overwhelmed by the ten people they've been sent, instead of five and many of them are just gathering information. It almost seems like there is a whole new cient base out there but that can't be true. They are just uncommitted and unresponsive because of their own confusion. The form for editing requests does not ask them for EXACT word or page count, or length. It has 4 different ranges that they can check. I give my quotes automatically from doing the math, so I need to know how many hours I'm going to be working on something. I can't estimate that with a wide range. Plus, there is no "editing" category anymore. It's all Writing Services, which is vague and can cover a lot of jobs I don't do. I called yesterday trying to get my money back from a client who got into a conversation with me about copywriting and wasn't really looking for editing! They would not refund it and said I had engaged with her and she may be back. Very few come back after an irrelevant conversation. I'm upset with this new system. I believe they do want to make it work and hopefully some other changes and corrections will come forth in the next months but that doesn't solve my day to day need for clients.
So I get a message from a potential contact.
It reads: "Are you availble on my date?".
Nice.... except nothing in the email that Thumbtack sent to me has the date included in it. NOTHING. NADA.
I have to log into the Thumbtack web site to display the client request to see the date and then work out if I want to respond to the client.
Come on guys!
The old system included all the details that the contact provided, how on earth can I work it out ith them, if I don'teven know when they want me?
GO BACK TO THE OLD SYSTEM AND STOP TICKING OFF YOUR PROS.
Oh yes - and how do I tell this potential client that I am not free, once I have gone into the web site and found out her date? Do I just ignore her?
And, along the way, I learn what the min, max, and average price my competitor Thumbtack Pros are charging. Then I add $50 to $75 to the average Thumbtack price and that becomes my price when I get referals from the Realtors who need a home inspection done by a seasoned home builder.
I am nearing the point where needing Thumbtack will soon be an asterix at the bottom of the page in the history of my career.
But I still hate the idea that any and all advice I have offered to Thumbtack is ignored. It makes the Pros feel used.