Everyone here seems nice, and Thumbtack has helped most or all of us, so kudos all around.
But I'm pretty sure, @Kameron, that "to take a look into both of those contacts" (of @CompleteWeb) will not help. The problem is with search results. Perhaps these results are in Google ads. And perhaps Thumbtack moderators, and even Thumbtack techs, can't help, because this is not their department.
When I've mentioned this in response to "Tell us why [you declined]" I've gotten help desk responses that also don't hit the mark, or else they're clueless; things like "you can decline," "I can see you were not charged,"or "you can change your preferences."
I think this is worse for Thumbtack and its customers than it is for me and other pros.
As a reminder, two or three contacts have confirmed that indeed I showed up as located in their home town.
Here's another example of a potential client, about whom Thumbtack tells me, "Bob has only contacted you!" It's pretty clear he thinks I am near Dallas. It's been 10 hours, and still, Bob has only contacted me. Sorry to dissapoint you Bob. Thumbtack didn't do right by Bob...and most of the potential customers who contact me through Thumbtack.
@Mac_House_Calls we indeed understand your issue and we're definitely looking into it. The screenshot you provided is helpful for our team to look into as an example, thanks for sharing that! Your situation in particular has been passed along to our Product Team.
Thanks @Meckell ! Note that the several screenshots I put at the very beginning of this thread are just as good, maybe better. They also establish a start date for the problem (must have started earlier still, but whatever).
As to passing along my situation in particular, thanks, and if it helps, great. But it's a general problem. (What might set me apart, if anything, is how I documented it.)
For me, the way forward is clear: I'll assume that when contacts reach out, it's almost always based on misleading search results and I'll decline. If in doubt, I'll decline.
As potential customers get used to Thumbtack contacts going nowhere, it's not good for Thumbtack, I think. But only a minor hassle for me, not a big deal.
Any news, @Meckell? It's been some months, and the problem seems to be there. For example, today, Jon B. of Virgina chose just ONE Pro, me! Great, but it's for a job that requires me to be in Virginia. He chose the option "Travel preferences: Professionals may travel to my address."
Now, Thumbtack did correctly include "You’re not targeting jobs like this, so double check if it’s a good fit." But I think Jon assumed I was nearby, because of how his search results looked. In other words, I don't blame Jon B., I blame Thumbtack. So I declined, and both Jon B and I have wasted our time, and Thumbtack looks bad.
Why do I not think Jon B was being dumb, and why do I blame Thumbtack instead? Because this keeps on happening, and in one case the customer showed me screenshots which made it look like I was local.
@Mac_House_Calls thanks for reaching out about this. I just did a search for Computer Repair in the Virginia area. When no filters are selected, you indeed show up as you do offer services remotely. When I selected the filter under travel preferences that I wanted work to be done at the customer's location, your profile does disappear as you're not in that selected area.
I reset the filters so that I saw your profile again, viewed your profile, and put in the Virginia zip code. Because you're not in that area, we tell the customer "This pro might not be the best match for your project." (screenshot attached.) With that being said, customers are made aware if pros aren't a good fit whether it's due to specific preferences or the travel area.
No exactly sure how to send you a direct message.
The 2 contacts located in the Chigago area did say they were looking for local. These 2 contacts I was actually able to get on the phone to hear them out. Now that the system has changed, a majority of potential customers that seem interested by requesting a quote or a time to chat but never respond. I am assuming one of the main reasons is that after they click the button to contact me they see that I am not local and do not respond. This means I am paying close to $60 per request that is unqualified. My marketing budget would be beter spent elsewhere if this does not change soon.
Good to know I'm not the only one dealing with this.
So far, in February, I've received six leads from customers who specified that they wanted to meet in person, but they live out of state. In my introduction, I state that I live in Los Angeles; most customers do not even take the time to read the first line of my profile.
The most frustrating part is when I decline one of those leads, thumbtack asks me to tell them why. If I select "job is too far", thumbtack tells me to consider updating my travel preferences. Why not update the system, so I never get the lead in the first place?
I've suggested multiple times that a pro's location needs to be clearly visible - it should show up alongside the name and photo in a search. And, if a customer is looking to only meet in person, then thumbtack should only display pros who live in their area.
Thumbtack needs to fix this. It's wasting customers' time and pros' time.
Based on responses from the moderators in various threads here and the lack of this very easy fix (I.E. uncheck "Phone & Internet" by defualt) I am concluding that this is profit realted. Thumbtack is benifiting in the short term here from these irrelivant contacts. They may be making more money now from the way this is set-up but the pros will not stick around if this continues. There are other options to spend our marketing budget.