Dialectic Review of Thumbtack w/ insane story
So with Thumbtack, I have started my business and have made a decent amount of money.I do think their business model is severely flawed and borderline predatory.
The clients have not been vetted enough to warrant a fee for access to them. At the same time, as an IT professional with a focus on information security, I do realize how difficult it is to verify that there is a person on the other end of a keyboard somewhere. PII data is leaked every day, and the cyber criminals will always be far ahead of any legitimate business (google did run reCAPTCHA until the new image version that is now ran by symantec, both of which have been broken for years). thumbtack really needs to move to a percentage of your sale going towards the cost of lead generation and payment processing.
with thumbtack handling payment processing, there would be more verification of the professionals as well as the prospective clients like some other services offer. My partner has also thinks a double sided review would be helpful to the professionals when they go to bid on a job that denotes "has hired on thumbtack before" to know if the professional had any issues with the client. Many of the issues I've had with Thumbtack have just been issues with clients in general that could occur pretty much anywhere. I will say I've seen some very poor quality leads, and this does lead me to not check my phone as quickly when a notification comes in as I'm bumbarded with out of area leads marked as remote, people stating they are just looking around, and people looking for parts that are consumer replaceable and available at any store such as a USB keyboard or a laptop charger.
So now for the crazy story that nearly kept me from ever bidding on thumbtack again i had a man call my phone starting at a few minutes before 8m and going on until nearly 5 am with the number blocked talking to some girl in the background about luring me into his home being very specific about the work i do and what i looked like then calling 8 more times never speaking to me only at me then refusing to respond to me. he would call right back if i hung up but he wouldn't leave a voice mail if i didn't answer which let me know he was doing it intentionally for sure. i was scared as a 120ish, sometimes down to 112 unfortunately, girl with an autoimmue disorder that would make me fighting off an attacker very difficult. the calls continued through out the night.
all from a blocked number. i had no way of knowing which bid had done this and who was unsafe. i tried calling my phone company who said to call the police as they wouldn't release the blocked number without a court order. the police told me it would take 30-40 recorded blocked calls from the same person to obtain an order for harassment since my call recording app aparently doesn't record the incoming audio when outbound audio is unmuted (this wasn't a fun way to find that out) and i didn't get the part where he was discussing how he was going to lure me to his home on the primise of doing work for him.
i wound up paying a service to route my calls through a 1-800 number that would ring back my line with the number unmasked. I got a positive match for a lead from thumbtack. I had an appointment with a new client the day after this occurred. I let the guy know around 8 pm that I'd had some rather alarming phone calls and needed to go up to the police station and file a report.
I offered to either reschedule or send someone else from my company. exact wording of my final message of the night to the prospective client ME: My partner says he could go in my place if that would work better. He is a very patient and knowledgeable teacher as well. CLIENT: I wish you good luck.
with no further response as to how he'd like to proceed combined with the condescending tone of his prior messages, I took it to mean that he did not want me to come as did my partner. I got to wake up to my first negative review, my second review on the site. The client was angry that I'd not been able to make our appointment despite offering him another technician or another time under such extenuating circumstances. At that point, I'd just woken up after being at the police station for several hours and worried out of my mind after some of the sick things this guy was saying and telling me to do.
I contacted thumbtack to let them know of the situation and offer up the recordings so that they could verify the situation, remove the offending user, and remove the negative review. they initially offered to remove it over the phone then reneged on that in email and chat stating that it was against their policy to alter reviews as they felt it compromised the integrity of their review system. I'd been sexually harassed and someone was literally talking about kidnapping and raping me to someone in the background, and they refused to remove the review of a man who was unwilling to accept another employee of the same company (who actually has over twice the experience as myself) The guy stopped calling me the second I found his number and called him back. I texted him to let him know I'd be reporting him to the police, and he tried to talk his way out of it until I told him I had recordings of every bit of it (still saved in case the police decide to press charges or in the event he does this to another woman) Oh, but they gave me 20 credits for the problems...
yay, 20 credits..... I've continued using the service as I've needed it desperately for income. I definitely don't have the best of things to say about the company as a whole, but I can't say all the leads are fake. I've gotten some very major clients through there that will be leading to some amazing referrals.
It just took a few months of wasting money quoting on people looking for the cheapest price rather than something to be done well. The wording for the quotes has taken tweaking as well. The implementation of templates is pretty much terrible as they don't have blank fields designed into the templates to quickly change variables such as availability dates and other information that is dynamic like I would personally do if I were setting up a template system. I'm pretty sure what I'm annoyed at most (aside from people who look and never hire) is the amount of junk labeled as remote work that can not possibly be done remotely.
I've even suggested to customer service how they could eliminate the problem in my field. It would be a 10-15 minute TOPS addition to the code for the customer input form using an if/then statement. if hardware/computer won't turn on/can't connect to the internet + this can be done over the phone or internet then prompt "are you sure this can be done remotely?" Bottom line, my best advice, do not just quote on everything you see. Make informed choices about the jobs you quote on.
I look at the area the quote is coming from, and if I know the service will likely be far beyond their budget, I don't send a quote.
I also do not quote on requests with little to no information or where the phone number is not available as those have been the most likely to not check the quotes sent to them.I've found quotes sent in a letter form rather than an itemized format have had better success with Thumbtack customers than in a more formal business setting.
Reviewer is in unhappy mood. mirwin is quite happy with support contact options and volume of leads and stated that there is a room for improvement of poor lead turnover rate and high cost of quoting. Please immediately contact the author of this review to discuss bad quality of thumbtack leads. Thumbtack needs to read this review and look into the issue (if any) according to poster's claims.
Other people also mentioned thumbtack leads in their reviews. You may find this information helpful for further shopping at Thumbtack. You can also consider other companies suggested by the author: Craigslist or Google.