I've noted the same thing. Thumbtacks profit is now over the top. Allowing customers to respond to as many pros as they want and Thumbtack increasing the cost triple is a fact we can all see now. My question would be Why not put a limit on how many pros a customer can contact. I cringe everytime when I see a customer has contacted more than 3 or 4 pros at a cost of anything over $20. No lead should ever be over $10-$15 if the door is wide open for customers to contact as many pros as they want.
My question is: With all the dramatic changes in the last 6-7 months, how do you justify the increase in price for a lead contacting us when our odds of getting book have decrease? It is a fact - we went from 1 out of 5 chance with a reasonable cost for the lead - to a triple cost now competing against the entire data base of pros in our field that fit request. I see customers responding to 7 - 8 - 9 pros in some cases. This has significantly increased TT's opportunity for profit - but decreased the opportunity for individuals getting booked. If a customer now gets to see a huge list of possible pros for their request . . . shouldn't the cost to us pros be lower when competition is fierce? I have been told by TT staff that if they contact you the odds of them hiring you are greater because they contacted you. Shows serious interest. Well not if the customer is contacting 9 other pros. And last week I saw two requests come in that were $50 to respond and the customer contacted 9 pros. That's a $450 profit for Thumbtack. I was shocked to see that. It's shameful that TT makes that much profit. I looked back a year ago and that same lead would have been $12. Maybe a cap on how many pros a customer can contact should be applied. Maybe customers should see all that is available but only allowed to contact 3 pros. That would justify increase in prices, make my odds better and make more sense. If TT is allowing a customer to contact as many pros as they like - then the increase in price to us pros is not justified in my mind. Something to consider because I really dislike the fact that I see 7-8-9 pros contacted. There is no need for a customer to be contacting more than 3 pros and TT's profitability should have a cap on it.
Thank you for wanting to take time out of your busy schedule to hear my and my fellow peers questions, comments, concerns and suggestions. Hopefully you will take time to answer ALL of our questions with concrete answers, and not the vague responses that we usually receive. I am also not interested in winning the $100 credit, as I just want to have a successful 2019 and beyond with Thumbtack, just like the success that I had for most of 2018, until the new system came to be.
With that said, My input is as follows:
Some Pros have mentioned here why are we charged for conversation starters? Personally, those aren't very interested customers, just "tire kickers" or what I call "click happy"
1) For my business, If I'm using Promote, I need to see customer profile, event information and lead cost ahead of time. After reviewing that information, and I decide to reply to customer, THEN charge me. There are many variables that go into my decision making, that all preference settings don't have the capability of providing me.
2) Why was the control of contact put in customers' hands? I was told by Thumbtack that 80% of customers weren't in touch with a Pro, but now with this new system, it seems that 80% of Pros aren't in touch with customers. We pay for the system, not the customers. Therefore, I feel that we should be back in control. We know our business better than anyone else. If Thumbtack is a lead generation company, then provide us with the leads as we used to get.
3) With Promote off, majority of us are receiving leads 150+ miles away. Why is that? As a DJ, I will not travel 150+ miles for a 3 hour gig, where customer budget is under $300. I've expressed this concern with the moderators, on line reps and a rep via phone. Only response I receive is that Thumbtack doesn't know what jobs I want, so it is left to me to pick and choose. 95% of those jobs I pass on. I'm sure that there is way that Promote preferences can be set for whether Promote is on or off. We shouldn't be punished for not wanting to use Promote. The way Promote is currently set up, it's not for every job category, or the way that majority of the Pros conduct their business.
4) Please give back the "customer viewed quote" tool! That was very valuable. I know that Thumbtack wants us to focus on conversing with the customer, but how can we converse with customer if we don't know if quote/message was viewed, or if they even saw our response to their so-called conversation starter?
5) Why are lead costs so high, even with Promote on? Why not set a flat rate for each job category? In my business, a lead can cost $25-$40. With the lead cost high, and if a customer wants a DJ for under $300 because of a personal situation, it doesn't give me much room to work with the customer, when I have to figure in gas, gobo purchase, insurance, etc. And there's no room for profit.
6) I know that we get matched to customers via preference settings, but even that's not perfect! I take into account many variables on a daily basis before I decide on if the customer is a good fit for me or not. Update the preference settings, especially the quotes page. We're supposed to set a prices by the hour, yet in my business, I usually charge by the event, so each job is different.
7) Please do away with the conversation starters. Customers aren't viewing the Pros profiles in their entirety. If they were, we wouldn't receive "What's your estimate?". "What's your availability?", etc.
8) Also, please give back the jobs as they come in real time, instead of grouping them into 1 or 2 emails. This was another useful tool, now when those grouped emails come in, it's too late for us to bid on.
9) Can our credit cards go back to being charged once per week instead of for every $50 usage? I can reach that $50 in 1 or 2 jobs, and the once per week charge helps me maintain my weekly budget, as I discussed with a rep via phone.
10) Why aren't reviews listed in chronological order from newest-oldest? If I'm a customer and I see older reviews listed ahead of newer reviews, I will think that the Pro hasn't done much business recently. I had one customer contact me as to why reviews are scattered, thinking it was me. I told her that's how Thumbtack does it and she didn't believe me. Please fix the review listing asap.
Thank you for allowing me time to give my input. Looking forward to answers not only to all my questions, concerns and input, but to answers to all of the pros who are commenting here
I’ve been a proud Thumbtack “Mentor/Top Pro/Best Of” – Handyman Contractor for almost five years. However, with each change in your software and quoting procedures over the last few years I get more and more inappropriate job listings. For example; They come through as “Door Repair” (which I do) but they are in reality plumbing, electrical etc jobs that I do NOT do. This is due to your default settings on the customer form and should be a very easy software fix.
Paying Thumbtack more to “Promote my business” is, understandably, not an option as long as inaccurate jobs are sent to me. As a result, even with my over 125, 5-Star reviews I do not show up under the local contractor search, while companies with only two or three marginal reviews DO show up. This is a disservice to both your Pro Contractors as well as to your Customers.
Can you please help me STAY a happy Contractor and continue to provide outstanding Top Pro Services to Thumbtack customers?
Aloha Services LLC
Thanks, @Bossbabe. I just peeked at your reviews and they're great. Well done!
Let me respond by talking about our refund policy generally:
We try to be as accurate as we can when matching you with potential jobs. We are doing our best to make sure every lead you pay for is worth it. If you feel that a lead wasn’t worth the price, or if you feel we matched you with the wrong job, check out our refund help. You’ll be able to read what leads are eligible for a refund, and what to do to make that happen.
In fact, we have recently improved this process to make it even easier for our pros, and that is all thanks to your feedback! We’re now giving pros the ability to request refunds directly from your Thumbtack account. This means you no longer have to spend time calling our support team when there is a problem with a charge. Once you dispute your charge through the Help with a charge link, you can get back to running your business while we look into your case. Then, we’ll email you in 2-3 business days to let you know if your charge qualifies for a refund under our policy. Learn more about this update here.
@MarcoZ If you are going to continue to use conversation starter questions then let me suggest as I have several times in the last few months on these forums & also with Chris a support supervisor who is based out of Salt Lake City, UT. I spoke with him last December. This is the ONLY conversation starter question that is needed in my opinion.
“I've read your profile & your reviews. I really like what I’ve read. Your reviews are awesome! I would love to speak to you further about my event. Please call me at (insert phone number here) or e-mail me at (insert e-mail address here). Thank you”. Heck if I'm paying for a lead after they reach out to me because they like what they saw in my profile & reviews or back in the old days when the credit system was used then why can't we have that leads e-mail address & telephone number? Why play the cat & mouse games?
I've been using Thumbtack for about 10 years now. I've seen every platform. I've made dozens upon dozens of suggestions over those years. It seems like every upgrade that is done benefits Thumbtack & the customers that use Thumbtack. Not the service pro. You'll see on this thread the major disappointments with the latest upgrade where the customer viewed your quote has been taken away. Used to be at one time in the early days of Thumbtack where you were able to see that a lead read your response to them. Promote may work for Thumbtack & the customers who use it. Doesn't work for the service pro. Not in it's present format.
I've said this statement ad nauseum over the years to anyone at Thumbtack who cares to not only listen but hear......Please work with your service pros! Not against us!