I am no longer using or recommending Thumbtack to other professionals. This is because of the refund policy. A client responded to my quote with a simple "Are you available on this date?" I was automatically charged for this and was furious. After contacting Thumbtack, they agreed this wasn't a valid "response" because I stated that by me initially sending them a quote for services, it implied I was available to the client, or else why would I send them a quote. Anyways, I come to find out my 'refund' was in the form of store credit. This completely angered me because this feels like scam business practices. So 10, 50, 100 clients can respond to my quote and I'll automatically get charged $25-75 for each response and I have to pay REAL money right away, while Thumbtack just issues me store credit??? This store credit doesn't cost Thumbtack ANYTHING. The store credit simply just gets deducted when another customer contacts me. Meanwhile, my personal life and bills get affected because I have to pay for these fake/non legitimate contacts from customers. I've always said I'd happily pay Thumbtack 10% of my TOTAL quote if it meant I booked the client. I've noticed with Thumbtack I have to purposefully give client a low quote to book them, then try to upsell them later. So for a "$400 wedding" they got quoted and I spent $20-40 for the contact, later I end up upselling them to $800-900. But originally would have gladly paid Thumbtack $90 if it meant I booked the gig. This automatic charging for responses when Thumbtack doesn't know if they're legitimate or not is a scam to me so I no longer use their services. Maybe clients can book they're deposits through Thumbtack with their chosen professional, and Thumbtack can charge a fee and get paid both ways by customer and professional. I'm sure many professionals would agree and be more active in quoting knowing we only pay when client is booked and paid their nonrefundable deposit. When I did use Thumbtack I was VERY selective on what I quoted. If I saw a client contacted 3+ pros already I would dismiss it because it looked like they were giving 'fake responses' i.e. "Are you available?" and I didn't want to deal with the charges/"Refund." Ideally, Thumbtack would encourage all professionals to contact their customers. Each "contact" costs my business a lot of money because it's my only income right now. Even though I feel like I would be the best for a client, I don't contact some because of Thumbtacks refund policy.
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