Introducing Price Assurance!

Community Manager
Community Manager
3 171 5,683

Hi pros,

You told us you should only pay for leads you have a real shot at winning — and we agree. That’s why we’re rolling out Price Assurance for your services with targeting preferences. 

With Price Assurance, your exact match leads are eligible for:

  • Unread refunds. If the customer doesn’t look at your first message within 48 hours, you never really had a shot at the job. So we automatically credit the cost of the lead back to your Thumbtack balance. Look for “Read” under the messages you sent. These read receipts show you the most recent message the customer saw. 

  • Shop around savings. If a customer contacts multiple pros from the start, it means more competition for you. We don’t think you should have to pay full price these. So the more pros initially competing, the lower the price (for everyone using targeting preferences). 

Check out the full terms and conditions to learn more. 

So what do we need from you?

  • Turn on your targeting preferences. You’ll pay automatically (at a 20% discount) for leads that exactly match your preferences. Learn more about targeting preferences.

  • Respond to leads within 4 business hours (8am - 8pm local time). If the lead is an exact match to your targeting preferences and you pay automatically, you’ll be covered by our Price Assurance.

Frequently asked questions

How will I get the unread refunds? 
Unread refunds and shop around savings will both be credited back to your account automatically. Check your Payments to see what you’ve saved. 

When will I get my unread refund?
We’ll email you when an unread refund is on it’s way. These can take 3-4 days to appear in your account. 

Shop around savings are included in the lead price. You'll see the savings reflected in your Payments 15-20 minutes after you get the lead.

What else do I need to know?
We're also changing the cost of leads for some services to ensure they match the quality of the lead you get. You’ll see those changes starting Monday, Oct. 28. 

Price Assurance for pros carries a simple promise: when you set your targeting preferences and pay automatically for those leads, you’re protected. We’re excited to share this update with you —  and stay tuned because we have more coming soon!

171 responses
Active Community Member
@joeyberta @ChefOfAllSeasons Actually, the way it used to be was that you’d get an automatic refund if the prospect didn’t VIEW your quote 48 hours of your submitted bid. It wasn’t based on whether he/she responded. Hope this helps.

-Roxanne
10/27/19
Community Regular
At least, at that time it was still kind of beneficial. After the change,
up until now we’ve spent a lot more $ and getting not much in return.
If they’ll only listen to the customers and not the pros and they’re only looking at the $ sign, this won’t be much better for us.
Community Regular
That’s right.
Many businesses as ours know the fact that a client should look for +/- 3 estimates, quotes, whatever you want to call it, in order to make a decision.
Based on my experience in many years in business, there are the price shoppers, the cheapos, folks that want the best and fastest for the cheapest price.
These people get 10+ quotes and by the end they get so confused with all the different prices and profiles that they decide,
they don’t want to do anything until the next year and they don’t even know what planet they’re living on.
Community Regular
Yes they will open a line of communication then later mention they are unwilling to travel that far or travel out of state. Sometimes I will get no response or they will eventually notice I'm not from pa and just stop talking to me
Community Manager
Community Manager

@joeyberta a few years back, if the customer didn't view the pros quote within 48 hours it was refunded. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

All great questions @melissac2286. We'll tell you in the quote message if the customer has read your message or not. Just look for “Read” under the messages you sent.

If you go to our Price Assurance Terms and scroll down to shop around savings, you'll see how shop around savings works, and when you'll see the cost for the lead. If after that you still have questions, let me know!

 

Community Manager
Community Manager

@DJStevie that is incorrect. The discount gets larger as more pros are contacted, but all pros will pay the same price for that lead.

Community Regular

Hi I'm from Cleveland Ohio and own a roofing and paving . And I'm sorry to say but it has always been that if a customer doesn't read the message in a 48 hour span we get a refund so Idu how this is "new" I've been on thumbtack around 4years. Please all u have to do is have the customers provide there telephone number don't make it a option make it mandatory that's the only way thumbtack will get better 

Community Regular
The only way thumbtack has to make customer provide there telephone number
Community Manager
Community Manager

@Vinnycle it hasn't always been that way. A few years back we refunded if the customer didn't view the quote within 48 hours, but that hasn't been the case for the last little while. Thanks for your feedback on this! 

Community Expert

@Meckell 

So, from what I read, and it is confusing,  as you can see in this screenshot, you are correct as it does say all pros will receive disount upfront, But it also says all pros from the 2nd one contacted will receive the discount, but it doesn't state that 1st Pro is included in the discount. And you mentioned that ALL pros will receive the discount.  If true, then the Shop Around section needs to be re-worded, reflecting ALL Pros, and take away the sentence beginning with second Pro contacted.

Also, if discount is going to grow and after set time has elapsed, then the pricing gets set? With this "pricing set" statement,  we will be charged automatically initially, but not know what we are charged? So, how are we supposed to monitor our budget if we don't know what we are being charged?

Please forgive me if I expanded my thoughts, but I'm just trying to understand this new policy.

DJ Stevie 10-28-2019

Screenshot_2019-10-28 Price Assurance Terms.png

Community Expert

@DJStevie we certainly don't want anything to be lost in translation. To clarify, the discount will build up over the first 15 minutes while the customer reaches out to multiple pros. No charges will happen until after that amount of time and the amount will be the same for all pros involved in that amount of time. If this is still unclear we encourage you to call into our support teams to discuss and get any other information you might need.

Community Expert

@Kameron 

Thanks, that helps me understand a little better, as the written terms are confusing.  You mentioned the time frame, where I couldn't find it in the Price Assurance Terms, and that helps as well.

Again, thank you

DJ Stevie 10-28-2019

Community Manager
Community Manager

Sorry for any confusion @DJStevie. The time frame is indeed in the Price Assurance Terms in the shop-around savings section. 

Community Expert

@Empathtisha 

Yesterday and today, I tried calling the number that you provided in your post, but there is a recording  that "the number is not in service". You mentioned that Thumbtack is a publicy traded company, as I wanted to discuss that with you.

DJ Stevie 10-28-2019

Community Expert

@DJStevie @Empathtisha @Bryan1 I just want to quickly clarify that Thumbtack is a private company.

Community Expert

@Kameron 

That's what I thought, but I wanted to discuss that with @Empathtisha as she mentioned TT was public.  I should have put that as a question in the Community. Sorry.

Thanks for clarifying

DJ Stevie 10-28-2019

Community Regular

Fully aware seeing that I'm a very active stock trader. My question was to make a point based on someone's pontification.. 

Community Veteran

@EmpathtishaA very insightful and interesting post. Most inspirational. This phone number is not in service.

Community Expert

@Keymasterfitnes this type of situation is actually a common one that we've seen and have taken steps to address. Be sure to read over our post: New travel preferences: set how far customers can travel to you, and let us know if you have further questions about this in that thread. 

Active Community Member

Hi Meckell

What you also need to provide is a phone number,email address and actual address,then we will know the customer is not a tire kicker.

Thumbtack charges exorbitant high prices for just a name and until such time as you provide the above information we simply cannot afford to give you our hard earned money.

There are many other platforms that provide Such information as a fraction of your prices andlimit the  lead to 3 professionals 

I hope you are listening

 

 

 

Community Expert

@magicfingers for Thumbtacks perspective on that subject be sure to check out this post: Resource of the week: customer phone numbers.

Community Expert

@Meckell 

As you stated in your post, lead costs are changing for some services as of October 28. Do you know if my category was one of the services that leads costs have been changed?

Thanks,

DJ Stevie 10-30-2019

Community Veteran

I asked the following question on Friday October 25, 2019 in this thread but I did not receive a response from any Thumbtack representative to my question.

I am asking the question again. As a matter of professional courtesy I would appreciate a response from a Thumbtack represenative who is capable of providing an answer, thank you.

Thumbtack state with respect to 'Price Assurance'...

We're also changing the cost of leads for some services to ensure they match the quality of the lead you get. You’ll see those changes starting Monday, Oct. 28. 

If Thumbtack are changing the cost of leads for some services to ensure they match the quality of the leads we get can we expect to see a cost reduction for 'poor' quality leads?

Regards,
Laurence

Community Expert

@DJStevie as Meckell mentioned, you can get an idea of what leads will cost you by taking a look at your weekly spend limit. If you see a noticeable difference, then your category has likely seen an adjustment.

Community Expert

@Lar we don’t have a comprehensive list or specifics that we can share on that. Some lead costs may increase and some may decrease as they do while our teams continuously evaluate and update pricing. Price Assurance is actually directed at this specifically. Helping pros in regards to leads that they may feel are 'poor quality' or never had a shot at winning, i.e. if the customer didn't read your response on an exact match lead.

Community Newcomer
What is the status of price assurance? Does it cover past charges that the pros never had a shot at?
Community Manager
Community Manager

@Junkbears are you asking if price assurance applies to past leads? If you are, the answer is no. Price assurance was launched on October 24th and applies from that day going forward.

Community Regular
I thought this was implemented months ago.
Community Veteran
@Notinsured - this is a great point that I have issues with too! I don’t want to block off an entire day when I book an event from 7pm-11pm. I have all day free! With the triple cost of leads - regardless of the new price assurance - leads still triple the cost as to before Promote - we Pros would like more options to be specific about our availability. Blocking out an entire day ...? How does that work for an attorney or therapist or dog walker? People who may only offer 1 hour of service? Doesn’t seem right they have to block out entire day. Hope that this is being worked out. I still like the old way where I look at the date, the cost of the lead and the customer budget then I can decide if I want to respond. I’ve lost a lot of money with Promote this last year.
Community Veteran
I’ve suggested to Thumbtack many times to please stop using the blue buttons to click that say “check availability” and “request a quote”. When we chose to use Promote we are paying to be filtered by keeping our calendar current and prices posted. Therefore, Do not have these be questions options for customers! Our price is shown! We are available! It frustrates me so much when I get a lead and it says “Joe wants your availability “! Cha Ching! I pay. Of course I’m available! I I recommend that Thumbtack use better blue clicking buttons that help us win jobs. Like .....

“click here to hire” , “

click here if you’re ready for the next step”.

“This Pro has listed themselves available for your date - click here to start conversation “.

“Read the Pros profile, price range and reviews - click here to start a conversation”

“Click here to review Pros rate range” .....then next step: “Click here to start conversation”


Customers should have full knowledge of our price range and know that we are available. Having customers click on a button that asks these questions drags out the process and defeats the whole calendar and keeping our preferences current. Please change these blue box click buttons. They don’t lead the customer in a direction that can help us win.

Also .... please stop using “courtesy refund”. When we call in to discuss a refund - a determination is made based on circumstances that a refund is given. Saying “courtesy “ is as if TT is doing us a favor. TT is not right all the time. No one is. We all make mistakes and moved forward. Based on a case by case review sometimes a refund is rightfully warranted. I don’t like when customer services puts that on me that somehow they are doing me a big favor by allowing this to be refunded. When the system has too many flaws - it’s the right thing to do giving a refund. Just give the refund and move forward. “Courtesy “ ..... no.
Community Veteran
@drwography I agree! Price Assurance is a good step to recognize that we Pros have been loosing a lot of money and opportunity with Promote. However, the issue is still the triple rate increase that happened when Promote went into effect. Never, never in the four years prior to Promote did I ever see a lead over $12 to $17 at the very highest. Ever. These same leads are now $26-$39. A fact. I can go into my history of leads and see the dramatic increase. Discounting $3 or $4 dollars here and there with Price Assurance does not address that the rates tripled and are too high. Last week my weekly Activity report was $85 with 1 lead and zero bookings. That’s what it says. After 48 hours no response should be automatic refund. Even if they “read” it. When you give customers a blue button to click that says “request a quote” - when our rate is already there in most categories - then they just go open messages and look for the lowest rate. They don’t have to respond. It’s wrong. I’ve repeatedly responded to a customer asking for some sort of response or simply following up with no response. Customers are uncomfortable to have conversations with the other 6 they reached out to when they already picked one. Even thought they read their response. They don’t have time either! They reach out to 6 pros - they quickly go through and read their quote or whatever then move on to the next pro. That’s called shopping. Doesn’t make sense that we don’t get a full refund if they simply “read” it. At least only charge $3 for the click. Not a few dollars off $38. That’s what’s killing us small businesses on this site. Tripled prices and less odds of winning jobs since Promote went into effect. I do not feel excited when I get $4 off a $26 lead that never responded. Please find ways to guide the customer with blue click buttons that help us win the job. Help the customer narrow their selection of Pros so that it helps us win jobs.
Community Veteran

@jcp My thoughts exactly, 100%. When my refunds are within the guidelines of refund policy, then it is a refund. To tell us that TT is doing us a favor when they abide their own policy is inappropriate. The only appropriately courteous remark from the support team would be "we apologize for the inconvenience". I especially agree with your suggested improvements for the one click options. These buttons are the primary reason I spend only $20-$40 per month for leads. If TT fixed the problem my spending would quadruple overnight. Whenever I get a direct lead that says "what is your availability?" I decline without thinking twice. 

Active Community Member
This is my 4th “pricing evolution” with TT. Yes, every company grows and must change. These changes are drastic. I’ve defended them in the past, but it’s just making me tired now. This last week hit me hard. I’m hitting back and raised my prices for TT customers, saying it’s directly connected to their price increases. It’s all I can do.
Community Veteran
@ChefOfAllSeason - hello my East Coast fellow Pro! We are two of many experienced business owners who have contributed many great ideas and remedies that would help us with our spending on TT. Understand this : We like using Thumbtack and have built up our profiles over the last years and have shown loyalty. However, Pros like us have clearly noticed a significant change in our ROI since Promote Was implemented over a year ago and have offered ways to keep us motivated and engaged. But the numbers don’t back up the story of how this change has cost us dearly. We hesitate to stay active. I’m always “hiding my business” due to the weekly racked up charges and no bookings. I’d keep spending for sure with TT if these simple adjustments would be made that would help us with our own spending budget with TT. But us highly experienced Pros can’t understand a lot of simple adjustments not being made. Come on ... why are you offering a blue click button that says “wants your availability”? Then ask us to keep our calendar up to date so we can be properly filtered. Change this - make it clear that those being shown are listed as available - and guide the customer to reach out because they are highly interested in hiring. It’s so simple! I get so frustrated every time I see this message from a new lead. Or - “wants an estimate”. I mean - if you want a photographer for 4 hours and my price shows $125 an hour - why are they asking for an estimate.
Community Veteran

@jcp My considered opinion on the one click issue is that the greater majority of potential JP's do not read our profiles thoroughly. They scan how many 5 star reviews, hires, and our photos. The calendar and hours are overlooked. Most people are doing this on the phone anyway and it is so much quicker and easier to one click it than actually read in depth. This is the feedback my customers tell me.

That being the case, the click buttons need a changin'. When my prices are shown (sometimes they are hidden) and I receive a lead that asks for an estimate, I decline instantly. If there is some notation that explains, or at least alludes as to, why they asked anyway; I might consider accepting it.

As for using TT less and other ways of lead acquisition more: sure, why not? I spoke with the new Community Manager, Drew a while back and he said TT supports that method. 85-90% of my leads used to come from TT; now it's about 5% year round. 

If TT ever does return to its original model, the dissatifaction would no doubt decrease and revenue from us would increase astronomically. Time will tell.

 

 

Active Community Member
What do you do?
Community Veteran
@Empathtisha. Wonderful that TT is working for you. You also have a small, unique service. You probably don’t have a lot of competition on this site. And I would be surprised if you were paying $26-$38 for leads. Most of us that are finding it truly costly on this site are in competitive fields I believe. I’ve been up against 5, 8 and once 28 other Pros. So you are in the right place! Good for you! I’m in Los Angeles with major competition in photography and videography. I’ve been with the site 4 years and the history of the triple costs increase and decrease of bookings is clearly all there in our payment history and past leads inbox. So it’s a fact based on our own history. Appreciate your enthusiasm and encouragement and wish you continued success of course.
Community Regular
Hi guys. My phone numbers are in service. I did have anotjer pro contact me. I am not a Thumbtack PR person. I am just like everyone else.
My numbers are 1-888-223-9360/1-833-467-2948 or my cell is 863+450-8075.
My experience has been amazing. My work is remote so I have access to Nationwide clients. My business has taken off since being a.psrt of Thumbtack.
I am. Life Coach so let ok g at the things that are working for me and adjusting things that don't is what I do.
Thumbtack has been refunding me for clients that I .charged for bit never respond.
Bit I assure you, I am just a regalar perdón that Thumbtack has really worked for. It is the only lead company I use.
Community Regular
You are right. I do have a unique opportunity due to being remote and having Nationwide access. My life coach leads are about what you have listed, bit my intuitive services are less expensove. You are right. I wish you the best as well. 😊
Community Veteran
Awhile back I started informing customers that we are charged a fee. I inform all leads - not up front of course - but at some point and in the most positive way possible. I don’t want them coming back to the site in the future and clicking on 10 people again without this knowledge. All my customers have said if they knew of the fee when clicking on pros they would have approached differently.! Customers don’t want to see us small businesses spend money on a click. They don’t. I wouldn’t want that for another pro. Truly, ask Thumbtack customers. Especially when they cost is so high. Price Assurance is a start - but the hard cold fact is the triple increase in price is killing us. My insight report for last week was $85 - 1 lead - 138 views - 0 booked.
Community Veteran
What I’ve also learned that is helpful for all you pros to know - I follow up always with a reply immediately. If I don’t hear back in a few hours I follow up again. But no more after that. If I keep following up trying to get a response - only to hear back “found someone else” or “ changed my mind” - I get charged for that “read” if they never read before. Or didn’t respond before. So keep that in mind using this new Price Assurance. Have control of your own weekly budget and this is a one of many good tips in doing such! I now get past a certain time period and pray they don’t “read” or respond.
Community Veteran

@jcp "Changed my mind" sounds like the conditions of the lead changed and a refund is valid.

Community Veteran

@ChefOfAllSeason  well I shall let you know when I call today!  It's never been so in the past.  I had a customer last week who's budget was $400 but had to click the $400-$700 option.  My shown estimate was $500.  No refund allowed because it was within the $400-$700 budget they clicked.  I have mentioned to TT that they are too black and white on refunds and do not take a case by case evaluation.  And it is always considered that "courtsey refund".   It's not.  It's a case evaluation and determination that a refund would be "the right thing to do".   Ok - no more responding on TT this week.  I see all these messages and it is upsetting and I want to have a positive week!  Good luck everyone!   Have a fantastic week no matter what! 

Community Veteran

Thumbtack's 'Price Assurance' blurb states...

  • Unread refunds. If the customer doesn’t look at your first message within 48 hours, you never really had a shot at the job. So we automatically credit the cost of the lead back to your Thumbtack balance. Look for “Read” under the messages you sent. These read receipts show you the most recent message the customer saw. 

On the face of it this seems fair. However upon closer examination Thumbtack's Price Assurance has two caveats for eligibility, namely...

  1. Only Pro's with 'targetting' enabled are eligible for Price Assurance refunds.

  2. Only Leads that are an 'exact match' are eligible for Price Assurance refunds. 

So, a Pro with targetting enabled who receives a Lead that is a 'partial match' may not be eligible for a refund.

Consider then the following scenario...

  • A Lead reaches out to a Pro. The Pro has targetting enabled but the parameters of the Lead's request do not match the Pro's targetting preferences. Thumbtack considers this type of Lead to be a partial match.

  • Because the Lead is a partial match the Pro can choose to either Accept or Decline the Lead.

  • The Pro accepts the lead (within 4 hours), they pay Thumbtack a fee for the lead and they send the Lead a message. This message is the Pro's FIRST message to the Lead.

  • The Lead doesn't read the Pro's message within 48 hours.

In this scenario would the Pro be entitled to a Price Assurance refund? If not, then why not?

 

Thumbtack assert that...

'If the customer doesn’t look at your first message within 48 hours, you never really had a shot at the job'

Surely this assertion holds true regardless of whether a lead is an exact match or a partial match. The assertion is also true regardless of whether a Pro has targetting enabled or not.

If that's the case then why are leads that are 'partial matches' excluded from Price Assurance refunds?

Likewise, why are Pros who don't have 'targetting' enabled excluded from Price Assurance refunds? 

Regards,
Laurence.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Thanks for your feedback on this @Lar. You're right, price assurance covers leads that exactly match your targeting preferences, as long as you respond within four business hours. It doesn’t cover leads that only partially match your preferences or any open opportunities you express interest in. That’s because you opt into those jobs after seeing the details. Price Assurance is our way of having your back on the leads you pay for automatically.
 

Community Veteran

Thanks for the reply @Meckell.

@Meckell, you say that the reason Price Assurance doesn't apply to 'partial matches' is because Pros opt into those Jobs after seeing the details.

My question to you is, why is 'opting in' and 'seeing the job details' even a reason for exclusion from Price Assurance?

We can hopefully agree that when a Pro decides to pay for a 'partial match' Lead they do so with the expectation that they have a real shot of winning the Job.

We can also hopefully agree that when a Lead doesn't read the Pro's first message within 48 hours then by Thumbtack's measure the Pro had no real shot of winning the Job.

Refusing to refund a Pro for a Lead when Thumbtack subsequently determine the Pro had no real shot of winning that Job seems quite wrong.

I hope that Thumbtack rethink their Price Assurance policy to make it fairer to all Pros. Thumbtack need to do a far better job of protecting Pros from Leads they have no real shot of winning. 


Regards,
Laurence.

Community Newcomer

Over the past two weeks, I haven't received any leads is there a software issue. If I'm not getting leads than Thumbtack isn't getting my money lol

Community Manager
Community Manager

Let's see what's going on @djcamwilliams. Go ahead and give our customer support team a call at 800-948-2034 and they'd be happy to look into this for you! 

Community Veteran

@Lar You are absolutely right. We are all entitled to an explanation why a partial match lead has no "Price Assurance" protection. My money is just as green for any matched lead I pay.