First off, let me start by saying.. Please don't reply with suggestions of what I should / should not do with thumbtack. I am pretty sure I have a clear understanding what they offer as I have been using it for a several years now. The purpose of this message is for feedback directly to thumbtack and also to write out my issues I have with thumbtack that other pros might have in common, to validate what they might have also been experiencing. It is my hope that with this post, thumbtack will get some of these issues resolved asap, so I can feel free to be using thumbtack how I once did, spending more money on leads than I currently do.
Issues I have with thumbtack: 1. It is convoluted, cumbersome and hard to find certain things i'm looking for. First off, I used to be able to easily set my target area or location I wanted to received customers via a map or radius of x # of miles from my location. That should be a simple, basic function of a lead generating company to provide - a quick easy solution for pros to seek out new jobs based on a <x> number of miles radius.... Especially for contractors that always travel to the jobs. Honestly I dont know why I have to even be writing this, its kind of annoying that this involves more discussion than just having common sense. Right now the process for this is currently; in order to have the option to have a "target location" area for your jobs... you MUST setup "target preferences" for "target jobs / services" you do.... The problem is, I DO NOT WANT to setup this option. It is a automatically charging system scheme when target with a "exact match" customer. This might work well for larger companies that have a employee that can constantly be replying to "exact matches" and setting up appointments / scheduling etc... but what about a small contractor / electrician, such as myself... I don't always have time to reply to these "new leads" and When I reply it is CRITICAL for success!! I don't want to be automatically charged for a customer that sent me a message but I didnt have time reply and never got the job. I need to have more control / management over when I message them... That is only possible, if I reply to customers like in the old system, where when messages come in for work they need done, I would reply, if I had the time... and I would be mindful of those messages I sent out to potential customers to check regularly during the next 1-2 days to see if they reply. Sure I don't have to setup these automatic payments, but what happens if I dont? I don't get to choose my map radius location... I am getting messages from potential customers in places 2 states away from my location... Places I will not travel to nor do I have electrical licenses for in those states! Waste of time... I don't want to see that / decline those so I dont have to see them... When time is $ you are just wasting my time. Thumbtack represenatives are always trying to convince me of what "they think" that "I need" to do or what would best help me, if I only do "xyz" and set it up how they suggest. Like I said at the start of this, I don't need suggestions how to run my business, I am NOT here for suggestions. I am here to use a service that fits what I already know what I need. It is thumbtack that should be listening to me. So @thumbtack - start listening... Give me the option to have a map radius regardless if I signup for the <target job> preferences with automatic payment for exact match leads! 2. Map radius options... another issue, with thumbtacks multiple changes, testing out "new features" and options. It went from mile radius to these target job map ranges with having to select the exact city / states or counties, instead of just having a simple / basic map radius of x # of miles.... I get it that some ppl might find the more convoluted option helpful, but at least give us the basic option of x # of radius miles by default too! 3. Pricing for leads.... Pricing for leads through thumbtack went up significantly. Not only that, but we are paying for leads (if we are too busy to reply) that we never actually use. When I first brought this up to thumbtack, they tried to explain away the fact that the leads are "better" because they are targeted.... well thats only the case if I actually pay for the automatic targeted leads where I can be auto charged for a message I might not have time to get to and less in control over.... which I already went over in point 1, why that wont work for me. They have tried to tell me, well you can "adjust the pricing" for that category.... If I'm not sure I have time, I have to remember to adjust that every single day and there is bound to be errors on my part forgetting to turn it on / off or to adjust the slider for how many targeted messages I want to get in x amount of time... Just another convoluted process I dont want to waste my time with, if I am being honest. But getting away from that, since I've made it clear I dont like it or want to use that feature... The prices I used to pay for a lead were anywhere from $3-10 ish dollars in the old system with thumbtack before all the changes.... now... the prices are 3x that... I am generally being charged $30 per lead I send out to a customer and get a reply from. This large jump in price is huge when I could be utilzing another company that offers lead messages for lower. Now another issue I've always had around pricing is how they determine how much it should cost.... This is some kind of randomized figure or idea they get in their head how much its worth, when they are generally not qualified to judge that. Its the contractors themselves who judge that... so why should these non pro thumbtack agents be deciding how much the leads are "worth"? It should just be a FLAT rate or % instead of this scaling system they have that has no consistency of innacurate of the facts.... For example; (even in the old system) a "troubleshooting job" i would have where a customer would have power outage and needed service, a lot of times these price points I would pay thumbtack would be MUCH HIGHER than a remodel of a whole house.... Think about it.. If im going to a customer's house for a potential short, that can be solved within 1-2 hours (thats with the repair), how could THAT be worth more to charge me for that lead than a lead that could be re-wiring a whole house that is about to be remodeled? 3. The spam on these "target lead" options... where is the option to turn that off completely.. I'm so sick of seeing it on every single page.... Sometimes I accidentally click on it without intending to (purposely put there for me to do that by thumbtack i wonder?) If I am not signed up for these targeted leads because I disagree with the setup and choose not to use it, why do I have to always be seeing these options to target leads when I dont want to... literally on every single page... This is not a good experience for me and wish to have the option to see those gone, turned off. 4. The different <target lead> type of <services>: This is also pretty annoying. So I am a electrician. I do bascially any type of electrical wiring, both high and low voltage in residential, commercial settings; businesses, factories, homes etc.... I will take just about any job! So why is it I would be forced to <target> specific services when am qualfied for them all? I feel most contractors would take the work, regardless but I understand the need to have options for those that dont want to do certain aspects of their job description... Thats fine... break it into a million differ services for them if you want, but give us that dont want to have to waste time selecting all those - the option to just have <all services> targeted within our field of expertise. This should just a simple 1 button setup. 5. First Simplify Thumbtack down to basics... Then expand within those simplistic options the convoluted options you want or think other pros might want. This would give us all what we want.... Dont take away the simplistic options for the majority just because the minority might want them... Don't force options we dont want to use on us just because you "think" it would be more helpful.
I liked the old system thumbtack had setup... and there is another company that still has it setup that way with pricing etc... If things continue on the path they are going with thumbtack, I might leave completely (as I have already drastically stopped using thumbtack since all the changes) and just seek out new options and sources for lead generation. This is one of my last attempts at trying to convince thumbtack of the need to have some of these BASIC things implemented. I hope they listen
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