Update 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.
Update 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.
Update 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.
Product or Service Mentioned: Thumbtack Leads.
Reason of review: Bad quality.
Monetary Loss: $25.
Location: Haines City, Florida
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