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Updated by user May 07, 2015

For the clients looking for service professionals: I have seen complaints from customers who say they wonder if the people they hired really were professionals. Apparently, some of the so-called professionals were incompetent or just *** artists.

That is just a warning that Thumbtack doesn't make any more effort to screen the contractors than they do to screen the clients. I paid extra for a background check. Thumbtack said they verified it, but there was no way to tell. They also said they verified my license number, but again, there was no way to tell.

I have no problem with anyone checking up on me. I really want people to know I'm legit, especially since I spent a lot of time and money to be qualified for this job and have earned the right to charge for it.

It doesn't take much effort to find out if someone has a current license. Please do your homework before you take Thumbtack' s word for it.

Updated by user Feb 19, 2015

Since I posted this review, I have seen many complaints about Thumbtack' s request forms being too vague. In my experience, it is true.

I forgot to mention that in my review. It's not possible to submit a realistic quote when there are no specific details provided. I'm an MT and I charge different rates based on the length of a session. I also charge more for an out call.

The time slots on the request form range as follows: 0-15 minutes (0? Seriously?) 15-30 minutes, 30-60 minutes or 60-90 minutes. I think clients have the common sense to know there is a vast difference in fees between all these times, yet none of them ever specified how long they wanted a session. (They can type it in the comments section.) There is no specific slot on the form to request an office visit or out call either and no potential clients provided that information.

This is yet another discrepancy that makes me seriously question the authenticity of the leads. If you are a potential client, include some details in your request so professionals know you're real.

If you're a professional, always click on the link to request more information before you send a quote. (Last time I checked, you could do this without using credits.) If they don't respond, then you know it could have been fake or someone just "window shopping." Either way, you won't waste your credits.

Updated by user Jul 30, 2014

I forgot to add that clients are not informed that professionals are charged a fee to submit quotes. I don't blame the clients for window shopping.

I only blame Thumbtack for inept business practices.

There are no fields on the request form asking clients what they expect to pay and professionals are discouraged from asking the question, so there is no way to gauge whether the request is serious or not. That is, assuming the request is even real in the first place.

Original review posted by user Jul 30, 2014

I wish I had done my homework before I spent $17.95 for leads that went nowhere! I'm a mobile massage therapist who posted a profile to promote my business because Thumbtack bills itself as a free website. It is free for consumers who request quotes and free for professionals to post their profiles and receive leads. Professionals pay a fee if they choose to respond. Thumbtack is not upfront about this, so check out the fine print before you proceed. I didn't realize there was a catch until I wrote a response and tried to send it. Then I got a pop-up telling me to buy credits (It costs two credits to send a quote), what the rates were, and asking for my credit card. I think it's a bit misleading to advertise the service as free, then wait till someone sets up a profile and gets hooked in with a lead to inform them of the fee structure. You're not obligated to respond, but c'mon, you wouldn't go to the trouble of setting up a profile if you didn't want to respond to anyone. The people at Thumbtack know this, which is how they lure you.

It would have been worth it if I had been able to set up at least one appointment, but none of the so-called potential clients ever materialized. That makes me suspect the complaints about fake leads may be true, although there is no way to prove it. I started getting leads almost immediately, which I thought was a little too good to be true. (Yet another thing which makes me suspect it's a scam) I only responded to the ones I thought would pan out. I know some users request quotes just to shop around; I still find it hard to believe that EVERY person I contacted requested a quote just for the *** of it. What a waste.

If you are a professional, be forewarned: Most of the leads you get will be useless. Thumbtack doesn't bother to screen. I couldn't even respond to most of my leads because they were located too far away. I also got repeat requests for a male therapist, even when it's obvious I'm female and requests for short sessions lasting 30 minutes or less after I specifically stated in my profile I only do an hour or longer. All of this makes me wonder if leads are nothing but automatically generated spam.

Another sneaky tactic Thumbtack uses is to block the phone numbers clients put on their request forms. Professionals can only see the number after they cash in the required number of credits. So you have to pay even to contact a lead by phone! That sucks. If these potential clients are real, they may not get a call and will be thinking that no one wanted to be bothered. It's not a good way to promote business on either side. It's another reason to believe these leads are fake, because clients can see contact numbers for free, and yet none of my leads ever contacted me directly. I received requests for appointments ASAP, and yet none of them could be bothered to pick up a phone? I don't buy that.

I did get a few credits refunded when Thumbtack informed me that some of the leads never viewed my quotes. I don't think it's a coincidence that they did that right after I used up all my credits. I did notice after I had not logged on to the site for few weeks that Thumbtack had completely stopped sending me leads even when my account was still open. That might have been due to the fact that I stopped purchasing credits. There is no way to know for sure. I considered asking for a refund but couldn't find a number for customer service on the website. The only time I saw the number displayed was in a pop-up right before I was about to delete my account. How convenient.

There may be a few real requests on Thumbtack, but it is not worth the money to take that chance. If you want to post a profile, you can do that for free and potential clients will have free access to whatever contact info you list in there as soon as Thumbtack responds to their request. So wait for a client to contact you and you won't be fooled.

Reason of review: Bad quality.

Monetary Loss: $25.

Location: Haines City, Florida

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thank you for posting your feedback regarding thumbtack. I had my email explode with emails, and I did not even have my profile completed.

I was concerned so I told them I wanted to close the account due to spam.

She told me they were all legitimate real people. Being a MT that travels can be risky so why increase the risk.


Thanks for sharing your experience. I recently got my MT licence and soon after started seeing ads from Thumbtack.

It sounded like it could be useful, but when I started getting these "leads", and found out I had to pay just to respond to them, it sounded very odd. I don't think I will be using them.


As someone who has used thumbtack to hire contractors, I am NOT at all impressed.

Thumbtack comes up in a search for various services, very close to the top, with headings like "The 10 best ________ in your area" (fill in the blank with the service I was searching for).

So far, I have gotten:

33.3% no response from anyone

66.6% ONE quote only, and from someone who was less than a top professional (certainly not one of the 10 best in my area).

In the two cases I got the one quote, I hired the person. So far, not impressed at all.

Well in one case I actually think the work quality is good, but the person rarely shows up when he says he will.

To indicate that their site is going to show me the 10 best in my area is completely false, and they should not have their google links indicate this.


I feel like I have to "chime" in. I have had great success with Thumbtack.

Because of all the bad reviews I entered into in VERY CAUTIOUSLY! However, I have had 6 hires/jobs since I signed up 6/14. I don't think the "low ball" tactic for submitting quotes is a good idea. If you put yourself in the place of the consumer - that would raise some suspicion.

I mean I would be suspicious if someone wanted to do the work for so "little" honestly. In actuality I have had more success with submitting a quote on the high end of the requested budget. I have averaged 1-2 jobs per purchase of credits. I believe the quotes are real well I have no real reason to doubt it.

I even participated in a web type meeting with the company and they offered suggestions on how to get the job with a great profile.

I made changes according to the recommentdations offered and all I can say is... It's working for me - photographer.

scarletletters M
reply icon Replying to comment of Guest-853568

I'm sure some people have had success with Thumbtack. Otherwise, they would be out of business by now and they wouldn't be able to get away with shady practices.

You didn't mention how much money you spent on credits or how much time you wasted responding to dead end leads before you landed the six jobs. So, how am I supposed to know whether you actually made a profit or not?

I have to take your comment with a grain of salt. As I'm sure everyone else will.

reply icon Replying to comment of scarletletters M

A grain of salt for sure. Again just because someone has landed a few leads does not prove anything.

It does not make up for the thousands of complaints all over the internet. I would love to sit down with the fans of Thumbtack and share the pile of evidence I have.

Evidence of duplicate leads, leads sent to me by 11 year olds, leads that in no way shape or form can be legit. Thumbtack reeks of dishonesty, greed and sleazy business practices.


Ok then, I really have to make a comment. I am not sure if the scam is in the cosmetic services area, but I offer IT services and I am getting good results.

On average, I get 7 to 8 leads per day and manage to close with 3 to 4 jobs. Many canceled or just ignored my response for reasons unbeknownst to me and at the inception it was frustrating and I was very suspicious. Sad to say, I hastily posted a few not too nice reviews. At about the 3rd week, I did my first 2 jobs and though I considered it a wash/freebie, because I drove way too far to secure the deal, I learnt a lot from the experience.

For one, people's decisions rudeness, ignoring, being cheap whatever mannerisms that robbed me the wrong way isn't really a reflection of thumbtack. When I was loosing those $2.00, sure I too was screaming bloody scam. People shop around for products and services and ultimately they will decide who they accept the provision of the products or services from. Most days, I spend $10 to $12 with no real connection but when I do make a connection and agree on a job, I make sure It's worth my time and allows me to recoup my losses.

People are after the best deal. If they arrange with you for $200.00 and 5 minutes after someone charges them $175.00, what you think they are going to do? Like us there are hundreds of other "hustlers" so I have to think, when I do get a job it is at the expense of someone else loosing it.

It's just the nature of the game. If it isn't working for you, you don't need to bash it, just find whatever works for you and move on.

scarletletters M
reply icon Replying to comment of Guest-850559

So you're saying I shouldn't blame Thumbtack because no one took my bids? Ok, maybe I could write that off to chance until I read and heard complaints from other users who said they intentionally underbid or even offered a service for free and still didn't get the job.

That can't always be a coincidence. Especially when it happens to people who offer services (such as IT work) that are in much higher demand than my massage therapy practice and, unlike my services, are not considered luxuries. Even people who claim they got business from advertising on Thumbtack still admit the system is flawed and the return on investment isn't that great.

Maybe 10 percent of people who use it can get something out of it. That doesn't mean you should dismiss the other 90 percent who end up throwing their money away.

reply icon Replying to comment of scarletletters M

I love all the passive aggressive types that chime in on here. First of all Thumbtack is not a reputable company.

Just because so and so above spent x amount of dollars and did this or that does not mean jack. The opinions of people and facts speak for themselves.

I don't give a *** if someone says "It works for me, you should try doing this or try doing that" Sorry, nope I have had way too many suspicious experiences with these internet crooks. There are endless negative stories on dozens of websites throughout the internet, and should not be taken lightly because "it works for you"

reply icon Replying to comment of scarletletters M

I signed up just yesterday and already I just have a bad feeling. I was part of another co.

before, doing the same thing. I would purchase lead after lead after lead with NOT ONE contact! I'm a photographer and I'm not conceited but my photos are very nice and I've been doing this for 10 years. If you do not get the bid, I believe they should give you maybe 50% back at least.

You should only pay full price if you get the bid. It's not fair. I don't think I will be with them through the week.

I'm sure it has worked for some and if I'm the one who's wrong, so be it, I just don't have money to throw away blindly. I have toyed with the idea of starting a nice site, a legit site for vendors and clients.


I have been wondering myself if the leads are computer generated or human generated and are total fakes. I have had one contact with a real person after submitting a quote and she wound up supposedly hiring someone else on the day of our appointment. I would really like to delve into this further and sue thumbtack if this is not legit.

I will give it a couple of more wasted dollars on credits to see how it pans out, but fyi to other contractors and professionals, I have found more business going on craigslist and looking in "gigs" where people advertise for free work that they want don't or a service they need and there contact info is readily available, at least through cl relay email at minimum.

scarletletters M
reply icon Replying to comment of Guest-848908

Oh, thank you. I can't wait until Thumbtack gets slammed with a class action suit.

I have seen so many complaints about them; I'm surprised they haven't been sued already. I, too, have picked up more clients advertising on Craig's List for free.

reply icon Replying to comment of scarletletters M

Check out Thumbtack complaints on Facebook. Search for Thumbtack complaints in the FB search engine.

You can read all the horror stories and join the movement to put this miserable company out of business.

reply icon Replying to comment of scarletletters M

I think its time for a class action lawsuit and a subsequent law that prohibits this kind of loophole that allows what amounts to a man-in the-middle scam. Hackers conduct man in the middle attacks which intercept the communication between the start points and end points of a communication between two people/ parties, and it interferes with commerce.

Thumbtack is essentially doing the same thing, but making money doing it. I think the traditional man-in- the-middle attacks are conducted more as a war of attrition, rather than some kind of phishing scam, and I believe they are conducted by countries who are seeking to undermine the economy of the united states, and the ones conducted within the us are by groups who want to undermine people who are conservative or advocates of the first and 2nd amendment or who are against globalist agendas. I think they are largely done by AI, and its high time that there was some awareness brought to this subject, because of how it is almost undetectable but its cumulative effect is being felt everywhere. The more people that know about this, the more impact can be made with large numbers of people demanding that action is taken.

This is also an area that I believe has not been effectively developed and deployed by the non governmental electronic intel security industry. I highly encourage all who read this to research and educate themselves on what a man-in-the-middle attack is and the similarities to what thumbtack is doing, and getting away with doing.

Time is money. If we crunched the numbers on all of the time and money wasted by businesses across the USA who have tried using Thumbtack, the results would probably shock everyone, and if you convert the time factor into money that would probably have the same affect.

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