< Sigh > I'll state this again: Job posters are (1) reaching out to me through my profile [through "promote"] and jobs also appear on my jobs tab (I get both kinds of job alerts). When they appear on my jobs tab, I can ignore them. When they reach out to me via "promote," I am charged. I am charged even though the "weddings" category has never, ever been checked in my profile for desired job types. This isn't a new concern. I have raised this category concern over and over and over again. The platform is broken in a lot of different places, and this is just one example. Lucky for me, I suppose, after spending 45 minutes on a chat session with folks yesterday, I was refunded the $11 for that lead, but I also had to spend 45 minutes getting that to happen. I don't have an extra 45 minutes a day to battle over $11 when that $11 charge should have never happened. As I mentioned in my post (and provided proof), the weddings category is NOT checked and has never been checked in my profile, yet I get requests to shoot weddings. This isn't the only wedding event that has slipped through. I get these ALL THE TIME. I don't have the time to battle each one, but I also can't afford to disable "promote," as when I do, I get NO LEADS AT ALL from anyone. (Thanks, Thumbtack!) As an aside, when I was chatting with a CSR yesterday, she intimated that I must have "turned off" the wedding category right before I opened the chat . . . I did this so I could dispute the charge. Really? And you (Thumbtack) wonder why people are so angry with you.
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I am a photographer, and I'll photograph almost anything . . . except weddings. I won't do weddings. Ever. Unless it's a relative, and even then I probably wouldn't do it. Corporate events, however, I'll do those, and I'd do them every day if I could. Weddings and Corporate Events are VERY DIFFERENT kinds of events. Why not separate these into two different categories? It would save us Pros from the hassle that I'll explain momentarily, and it allows those who DO shoot weddings to focus on those clients needing that work. That sounds like a very simple fix. But back to my point: I don't shoot weddings. Since I have reluctantly reengaged "promote" for the EVENT category of services (as I wasn't getting ANY leads of ANY kind when I wasn't under "promote"), I am now getting a lot of these wedding requests, and I am also getting the opportunity to PAY for those requests that I never wanted. The weddings category under my Events is NOT selected (see graphic embedded below). Yet, I get requests for weddings. This seems suspiciously like a way for TT to make more money from its Pros. So, moderators, you tell me: how do I turn OFF the Weddings category? I don't shoot weddings (hmmm, I think I mentioned that), and I don't want to pay for the lead that would allow me to shoot a wedding that I'll won't ever shoot. The "events" I have selected, and this does NOT include weddings.
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I have been with Thumbtack for three years, and I've been hired about 300 times. I have loved this platform and community. I have loved the work I've attained, and I've been happy to pay for the leads that have provided the work.
However. Until now.
Thumbtack has changed in some dramatic ways of late, and I am frustrated as are many other pros, I'm sure. I am not getting the leads I used to get, and I am paying more for leads that come my way. Those leads, if I choose to pursue them, probably never see my quote to them because I refuse to use the PROMOTE feature. And I don't know if they ever even see my quote. If they do, I can respond to them one way. If they don't, I can respond another way. I'm just blind to the entire process, and so much of the decision making is out of my hands. Thumbtack makes my decisions for me, but Thumbtack doesn't know me, my industry, my clients, or my particular geographic area. Paying into Thumbtack allows me the ability to send a message to someone who may or may not ever see that I've sent something.
If I choose to use the promote feature, I'm going to get seen more by potential clients, but I'm also going to PAY out the nose for the privilege of being seen. All I get for the featured placement is that the potential client can see my message. I get no phone number or any other means to contact this potential client. I am paying to send a message. That's it. I pay, but I don't *really* know how much I'm paying or how much I've *saving*. Yes, there's a 20% discount by using the promote feature, but a discount of what? How much is that discount? Where could I find those numbers? At this stage of the game, Thumbtack does not have the ethos to say they are providing a discount -- or whatever service/benefit-- without tangible PROOF. Thumbtack seems to have moved into some weird social experiment. It's almost as if you all sit around a table and laugh to each other, "How many more changed will the pros take before they abandon the ship?" "How much more can we charge them before they complain?" "Let's try a different model next week and a new one the week after that! Let's keep the pros on their toes!" "Let's keep the pros in the dark about our practices and policies. What are they going to do?"
I am exhausted running through these machinations with a company that cares little about my business.
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LEADS: 1, HIRES: 2, EXPENSE: 1, REVENUE: 1 My prospects on TT are quite grim, too. My leads are WAY down, I'm not hired often at all (I'm not using promote because promote was bankrupting me), the expense is huge, and since I'm not being hired, I'm not making any money. Is this what Thumbtack was after when they switched to promote? I used promote for a little while and my profile was put before potential clients. These "clients" would often provide the canned response "when are you available?" with bizarrely inappropriate leads (hundreds of miles away for work I don't do), I'd get charged (with 20% of god-knows how much) because something in the lead was similar to work that I do perform, and I'd spend precious time each day conversing with support personnel to refund my money. Now, without the ability to see if a client has even viewed my quote, I'm at a loss how to respond to the client. Selling services is all about personalization and targeting a specific client in a particular manner. Thumbtack has even taken that away. It's as if they don't want US to make money. It's all about their bottom line.
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Removing this feature was just another way for TT to control what we do or how we can interact with potential clients. I earned many, many jobs by following up with not-yet-viewed leads. In other words, I was able to tailor responses to individual leads, and this practice usually got me the job. Whatever your “research” says about wanting pros to focus on clients who are focusing on hiring, well, that research is just wrong. Many times, clients get busy and don't respond to emails. a gentle reminder can get them to respond. That is, they would respond to emails when a *manageable* number of pros contacted them. but that's an issue for another post. Bring back the "viewed" component. Above all the changes TT has made, that feature was most helpful.
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