Perhaps you could let the advertising department know the following: For most service providers: Cheap and High Quality are mutually exclusive.
If Thumbtack wants to cater to JP’s (Job Posters, we Pro’s are the true customers) who only care about price; The JP should be compelled to stipulate a budget, and Pro’s in a category should not be auto-charged for leads when the JP’s budget is NOT in-line with the Pro’s preferences. By all means, low-ball service providers are entitled to earn a living, and the TT Pro’s who provide bottom of the barrel service can duke-it-out amongst themselves for these jobs. But Pro’s providing a premium service should not be auto-charged for leads who are seeking bare-minimum service.
It is important for TT corporate advertising to understand that search results like this upset a great many Pro’s. If you do not believe me, make it a question on your next survey.
Someone else posted this search result in a Facebook group.
Reese T. Nov 15, 2019
*title edited by moderator on 2/11/2020 for clarity*
On several occasions in yesterdays thread where TT staffers gave us insight on the new TT credit system, the term marketing platform and advertising platform (or something similar, I dont have time to go back and look) was used to describe what TT is to us pros.
I am sure that there are very few pros who would use the term Cheap to describe their services... the denotation of that word is bad, but the connotation is even worse.
I asked TT to re-think this strategy a few months back. I am dissapointed to say the least.
From time to time, I've seen "Cheap DJ's" advertised. I take offense to that as I provide a quality service which major organizations have recognized and hired me to be their DJ(Time Tebow Foundation, Trustbridge Hospice Foundation to name a couple).
I can't compete with DJ's who "lowball" costs and just offer a service where they click music on their phones, I've been at events where DJ's on this platform provide that type of service. I can't control the type of service that they provide, and I know that such providers need to make a living too, but I know if a "customer" wants quality service, they will receive that service from me.
DJ Stevie 11-15-2019
@ReeseTee I can see where you and other pros are coming from with thoughts around that phrasing. I’ll make sure to share this example towards any similar feedback we’ve received on this.
After hearing pro feedback around customer budgets, our teams have implemented a customer budget option to choose when setting targeting preferences. This means if the pro has set their targeting to exclude lower end budgets that the contact will be one they have the option to accept or decline. I checked and it doesn’t appear for the categories that you’re currently targeting for, but it is an option across many other industry categories.
@Kameron Thank you, that would be great.
I had a lead ask me to do a full estate plan for him and his wife yesterday and was extremely upset when I would not do it for the $350 or so dollars he said he was quoted on Thumbtack. I like the idea of being able to show prices on the system, but there needs to be much more granularity in setting price lists. Also, I would be happy to put prices in my profile, but I find the amount of people who actually read the profile is very small. Right now its seems like all I am getting is bargain hunters who believe because they are finding me on the internet I should charge internet prices like LegalZoom and all of the other internet legal chop shops.
I totally agree with Reese! Frankly, I am the one who posted a copy of this ad and I am incensed that you would publish something like this! There seems to be a concerted effort to drive down the pricing for every pro signed up for your service and you will NOT win "hearts and minds" with an approach like this. 80% of the video jobs I see are at the <$400 price point and since they are not exact matches to my stated preferences, I don't touch them. If anyone at Thumbtack is the least curious why my account is on pause more that it's active, your advertising should tell you everything you need to know.
I will echo what @VideoTerry has said. If on the rare case I actually don't get ghosted by a TT lead, 9 times out of 10 they are lookng for virtually free legal service. They are not low income people who deserve the value that a pro bono attorney can bring. They are actually people who can afford to pay but do not see the value in the service we all provide. Just yesterday I had a lead tell me they could not afford my very reasonable fee for a probate case but also told me that there is a $450,000 home in the estate that would be the subject of the probate. Needless to say I passed on that lead. Or, the other week in serving a client from TT who said they had limited means, and I did reduce my cost by quite a bit, when I reviewed their asset lists, they disclosed a relatively new Mercedes and Volvo for the wife! These are clients I just do not want. However, these are the people who may be attracted by an ad that advertises "cheap professionals"
I now refuse to lower prices to meet this demand... the race to the bottom is a losing race for everyone and is a discredit and insult to my profession. It would be very helpful if TT asked ALL leads for a budget up front and then do not present us with leads that are below our threshold. They do not have to expose what the lead entered, but it is not fair to charge us for leads that are a guaranteed fail because they are not willing to pay. I am all for negotiating a rate, but there are limits to what we are willing to negotiate and we need to be protected from those leads that are outside our limits. In many cases, no client is better than a client we take a big loss on. Also, in so many cases, the leads DO NOT value our time, our experience and our insight. These are real parts of the products and services we provide, and if a lead is not willing to see (and thus compensate us for) value in these intangibles, I do not want to even have a discussion with them - they are outside of the limits of my negotiation strategy, and just make no business sense at all.
I know what I type here is specific to my profession as a lawyer, but I am sure it rings true for so many of of the other professionals and professions represented by the TT portfolio.