Not sure what Thumbtack is trying to accomplish with these changes. I haven't gotten a new client in over 2 months - despite being a top pro and quoting when a prospect meets the conditions I can actually serve. I've been receiving "leads" that are primarily outside of my service area despite the parameters I set. My quotes are typically personalized to the request if it's in my area and I have availability. I believe that personalization along with the speed of my response is what used to get me business here. My average cost of customer acquisition was about $12-$13. With that - I became a Top Pro. You've taken away my ability to see the details I need to see if the "lead" is a match for my business - which it seems is impossible for you to understand. And I have a range of prices that depends on the request the client has. In dog walking, the length of the service can be 30 minutes, an hour, an overnight, discounted for 5 days a week, and so on. Your system won't allow for that - no matter how good your algorithms are. From what I've seen in what you've sent me recently, they are really off base. You have forced me (and apparently many others) into looking for alternative sources for new business. Believe me - they exist. I think you are running down the wrong road. I wish you good luck with not listening to the 1400+ pros who spoke out on this. I just don't understand why you would "fix" what wasn't broken. I could have lived with a price increase in the original "pay to quote" system. And if you don't get quotes for leads, it's likely because there is inadequate information from the lead. In my case, a lead can ask for services without a start date. I have no idea if I'll have availability so I don't quote. You are not asking the leads the right questions for my business - dog walking and pet sitting. Work on that. Your leads will get more quotes. Duh.
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I am not a fan of the current method. I used to be able to know my cost of acquisition for a new client. It's very hard to predict the value of a client in our first conversation. As dog walkers/pet sitters, our engagement could be a single time with a charge of $20 to $95 or it could be for on-going services 5 days a week indefinitely at $85 per week. In most quotes, I'm guessing at what the client is looking for, and I'm willing to risk a short service because I knew over time that my average cost of acquisition would be low. Now I just don't have any clue what I'm paying for what. Not able to predict costs at all. That's tough for a very small business owner. About the same time this pricing change occurred, the geographic area that you send requests for seemed to change dramatically. I'm getting fewer from my close in area, and way more from place far too remote to make it worthwhile to drive for a $20 dog walk. And how you would ever be able to instant match with your poor geographic predictions and lack of knowledge of how we customize our quotes is just beyond me. I know this went beyond the scope of your question, but I was initially so happy with Thumbtack, and am now looking at other alternatives.
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