To be honest, your pricing model as a whole doesn’t work for me or any other pro I know and has caused me to leave your platform for your competitors. The reason for this is that your pricing scheme does not hold customers and pros equally accountable for their behavior on the platform. What usually happens on Thumbtack is a potential customer asks a very basic question of me, I get charged for that contact, and then I never hear from that customer again. I’m sure it’s convenient for the customer to be able to get their questions answered for free, but to charge a pro for that contact is ludacris. You’re not sending me real, serious, contacts here, so why should I be loyal to your platform. This model also shows an ignorance for how freelance contracts are commonly negotiated and paid for. I’m happy to answer customer questions and negotiate to win the job, but no money should be changing hands between customers, pros, or the platform until AFTER all terms are agreed upon on both sides. This is what Upwork does, and it’s much better. The customer is happy because they can ask questions of me before they pay anything, I can answer those questions to their satisfaction for free, and then when I win the job the platform gets paid. Right now Thumbtack has no accountability to send me legit contacts, so you’ve got low quality customers running around your platform costing pros a ton of money to answer a single question, and I’m not ever getting serious customers that want to book serious jobs. If you guys only get paid after a contract is agreed upon between a pro and a customer, now there’s financial incentive on the platform to get your matches right and make everybody happy. Right now I feel like you’re making low quality contacts that aren’t in my best interest just to get paid. Your profile options on Thumbtack do allow me to stand out in some interesting ways, but I can’t afford to come back to your platform until you get your pricing figured out to put pros first. We are the ones bringing direct value to your platform, so you need to work in our best interest first.
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