TT just sent me a survey! Yay! I can now tell them what I really think. I hope
they get the feedback they need in order to change some signifiant drawbacks to using them.
1) Too many Pros delivered to the potencial customer.
2) Instant quote is not personal
3) Too expensive
4) No budget
5) Too many false leads
I did give them a few kudos
1) Easy platform
2) Decent exposure on the internt.
They just don't work for my business. I can't do individual quotes without changing my profile for each one. When a customer chose me directly, that was always free before. Got one yesterday and thought great! I went to respond and was cheerfuly informed that it would cost almost $15 just to respond. I don't even know what it cost to bid, that seems to be a big secret now. I don't have a problem paying, I just want to know ahead of time how much! They have changed so many things and most not for the better, at least not for wedding officiants.
Actually seeing others that feel the same way as I do about Thumbtack! I used to ( as someone else mentioned, operative word USED to) love Thumbtack. I told all of my pro friends to check them out. A lot did! I had wondeful success in the first 3 to 3/12 years I was using Thumbtack. Seriously, I was booked every weekend that I wanted to be, and was at a place that I could turn down leads. All of that changed about a year and a half ago when, literally, in one afternoon the cost of sending a quote for a wedding jumped from 10 credits to 30 credits. No joke, that day (I can't remember the exact date) I sent a quote in the morning that was 10 credits and by the end of the day, for the same "kind" of quote it went to 30 credits. That's when everything changed from a "set" number of credits to a "sliding" number of credits based on supply and demand. (they say) I scaled back my amount of money I spent on Thumbtack. Not sending nearly the amount of quotes that I had in previous years. Then came the "end of credit" era, to be quickly replaced by the "instant match" junk. (Sorry, that's my opinion)
One of my last quotes had 17 responses! The client sent a generic response to everyone and we were all charged for the response. For me, it was $40+ for me to get a reply of "Thanks, we're still checking portfolios and hope to make a decision soon." Ended up, not one of the 17 pros was hired for the job. I've called in and voiced my concerns, begged, and pleaded to go back to the "old" system. Of course, I was told my concerns would be passed on the the higher ups, but the only changes made were for the worse. (from my standpoint) I became so reliant on Thumbtack for my business that I went from shooting 45 weddings a year down to 20 this year. I'm dying over here. Of course, I'm a photographer, I basically shoot only weddings. I've only used Thumbtack to send quotes for weddings. I'm in a market where "everyone has a nice camera and thinks they are wedding photographers".
Since all of the new changes have been made on Thumbtack, I've seen crazy leads come through such as someone wanting 10 hours of coverage, two photographers, and an album. They have a budge listed as "$250 or less". I'm sorry that's just insane! Not to mention the fact that if I had sent a quote for that particular lead I would have been charged $50+ if the client responded to me, based on the number of hours that the client requested. I've noticed on the most recent quotes I sent (a couple of months ago) that the pros sending quotes were either new photographers, or new to Thumbtack because the majority of them had few or no reviews. I've had clients telling me that they liked the fact that Thumbtack limited the number of responses to 5 because they felt overwhelmed by other sites that would send them continuous quotes or emails from pros. Now, that has gone out the window, and who knows if we are actually being considered because the couples are overwhelmed. My last Thumbtack hire said she talked with a couple of people that didn't sound professional or legit. Again, I refer back to my "new to Thumbtack or new photographer" comment.
I have so many complaints/concerns pertaining to the "new" Thumbtack. I wish they would just bring the "old" one back! If it ain't broke, don't fix it! I've taken the notifications off my phone and rarely even look at the leads nowdays. I sincerely hope that those who make the decisions in Thumbtack will take a look at all of our replies and actually do something to make Thumbtack someplace where I want to spend my money.
As a small landscape compant that focuses on yard clean-ups, my average job is usually around $200 or $250. I had to turn off instant match entirely because at $17 or more per contact, it ended up costing me more to get the job than I made. And since I don't do hardscaping, I frequently got charged for jobs that weren't within my scope of work simply because someone clicked "Great, what's next?" on every landscaper that popped up. It's too much money when I can't control who sees the quote.
When I do send out quotes, I can choose who to send them to and my rate of return is a little better. But it's a lot of time to go through every quote, and still be charged $17 if someone responds. It means I can't bid on smaller jobs because it's just not worth the money, even though smaller jobs are what my company does best.
What can we do to get it back on track?
We have to voice our concerns and decide if we can afford to bid on the leads or not. The one thing we have learned over the many years of being with Thumbtack is "It will change again"! They are blazing a trail of trying to offer all types of businesses to all types of customers. With that being said the number of variables for all kinds of businesses are in the stratosphere. The TT systems have to mature. In the interim we may feel like the tail being wagged by the dog as they attempt to tame the monster. We will have to see if they can do it.
Our business has chosen to sit on the sidelines for a while and see what happens. We can not make the current pricing structure and bidding methods work for us at all. The costs are much too high for our business vertical under this program. We are fortunate, however, to have a full schedule without the lead generation just due to the years of being in our business.
Our suggestion would be to not give up totally on your investment in the TT program as you may want the infrastructure later. We invest a lot to build it. Remember if a large percetage of the Pros are not satisfied enough to bid, Thumbtack will change it. Let's all encourage them to get it back together so we can all go back to accomplishing good business.
I'm not very happy with what they're doing. Supposedly, now people will be able to search out writer / editors like me. We'll see how that turns out. I've had major ongoing discussions with Thumbtack about allowing someone I don't even work with to "review" me and give me a one-star because they didn't like what I told them. That's happened twice. Thumbtack is very immature abou this and doesn't realize that some pros will simply leave if it gets bad enough. On the flip side, I've met a lot of great clients here and have helped them get impressive books published.