Let’s start with ways to improve before criticizing. 1) Any accepted job should be charged to hirer and freelance employee. Example: $100 job to paint room. Once accepted both parties are charged a fee similar to how the StubHub website works. Both parties should be charged 10% of the fee allowing Thumbtack to make 20% of the total. I believe Thumbtack should get rid of the pay-up-front style and go to a percentage of the job payout. If the job is accepted then a invoice page should appear for the parties to agree and virtually sign agreeing with the Thumbtack total included. This method would require monitoring to make sure people are not going behind the websites back but if Airbnb can do so can you. 2) Remove the idea that if the customer responds with a no immediately then you don’t pay. A lot of times more questions are needed before either party can accept so a no can or will happen after a few questions but the potential employee will still be charged. *Add a button at the bottom similar to how you ask if you’re hired that says, “Do You Decline This Offer?”. By adding this you can ask all necessary questions without the fear of being charged immediately.
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