Hi Marco, First let me say that I am a small business owner. Careful consideration is taken when making financial choices to grow my business, every penny matters. I'm not pleased with the new method Thumbtact has implemented in pricing with quotes. My number one concern is that your new charges aren't transparent. There is no visible explanation on exactly what, the true cost, my business is being charged. Within the last few weeks I've received a response from 3 people, who may be bogus, with an interest in my services. There were 3 different fees charged to my business ($25, $11.65, $14.98). I contacted Thumbtact to ask for an explanation and was advised that a supervisor would call me back. A supervisor contacted me and was unable to explain why there was a variation in the charges. They were also unable to give me a breakdown of my charges. The vague explanation I received is that the system determines the cost based upon different factors such as type of job, service, size, frequency and how contacted. I was also sent an email with this vague breakdown in cost" > for Personal Chef, a typical customer contact costs around $9, and a contact will never cost more than $29 > for Private Cooking Lessons, a typical customer contact costs around $11, and a contact will never cost more than $66." Today you can pay for advertisement of your business through social media. You can also choose a specific budget, type of campaign and the length of time that campaign will run. They will give you a breakdown in the potential audience reach based upon a few preselected factors. For $5 I can expose a couple thousand people to a video that will lead them back to my website within 24 hours on social media. I may or may not get a call for business, but it only cost me $5. It's a risk I'm willing to take for my business to get some exposure. My websites provides analytics from impressions, clicks, searches and more. I am able to monitor what a $5 investment does for my business exposure. The $51.63 I invested in Thumbtact has yielded a potential of 3 customers seeing my website. Not one of the contacts provided me with a phone number to follow up as I requested. As a business owner I don't mind the initial contact being via a lead program as a typed message. When Thumbtact has decided it to be a valid contact there should be a way for me to contact the lead by phone, if not then how can it be valid. The type of business I have requires that I have verbal communication with a potential client. Scenario - I need to have my A/C repaired and would like to get a second opinion as well. I've contacted a couple of different repair companies and have been informed that there is a $75 fee for estimates. If I choose to get my repair done with the company the $75 fee will be deducted from the final cost. If I choose not to get the repair done I'm charge $75 by the company for the service of giving an estimate. It's my choice, as a potential customer, whether or not I'm willing to invest to get a fair estimate from the 2 different companies. It will cost me, but only $75 not $150. It's up to me as the customer to choose the investment. Scenario - Thumbtact - Multiple customers can request a quote for services from professional without being charged a fee...There is no accountability for the customer. The accountability and cost is all on the professional whether given the job or not. It's good for Thumbtact, but not the professional. I don't think a professional should be charged a fee, an unexplanable fee, for a client who doesn't hire them. I'm not saying that there shouldn't be any fee for the potential, but one that is reasonable. Maybe a set standard fee that is a predicable cost for the professional. If Thumbtack has a team of professional monitoring the quotes and communications... that team should be able to see which professional a client chooses to hire or not to hire. If not, where is the loyalty from Thumbtack to the professionals? As much as I love getting multiple notifications about potential jobs, I'm discouraged from quoting. I was charged $14.98 today because the client hit an auto response of "Sounds good! What's next?" I have not gotten any additional response from the potential client, althought I requested there contact infomation. It is obvious that there is no accountabilty or risk for the client or Thumbtact. All the risk is being placed on the professional. This has to change or in the longrun professionals will choose better ways of utilizing there advertising budgets and it won't be done on blind, far fetch, unexplanable cost(fees) with no return on investment.
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