Search My Blog

Monday, August 8, 2011

What fees does Thumbtack charge when I respond to a job? : Thumbtack Support

I received this e-mail today with a "Job" offer. Of course 99.9% of these e-mails are just Scams or worse,  Phishing e-mails trying to steal your identity. But, this one actually sounded real. So, I did some checking... What I found out, leads me to believe that Thumbtack.com is a "Real Company" that uses the illusion of "Real" Contracting Job leads to Scam you out of your money! By paying them high "Fees" for "Potential Clients" you are separated from your money in a very tricky way! Nothing comes free, right? But, I, don't pay for Noting, either!

Here's the e-mail I received from Thumbtack.com...


Hey Don,

I'm reaching out to you because Thumbtack is getting a lot of job leads for resume writers, and I'm looking for another resume writer who is interested in taking on more clients.

After checking out your website I think you are a great fit for Thumbtack and I'd love to start sending you job leads. Please fill out a few details about your skills and rates, and I'll start forwarding you potential new clients.

If you have any questions about what Thumbtack can provide, please don't hesitate to ask.

Thanks,
Heather
--

Unsubscribe Link: One-click unsubscribe.
1001 Page St, Suite #45, San Francisco, CA
This message is an advertisement.

The best information I found, to show me Thumbtack.com's true colors, was on their own Web Site! On their own, Thumbtack Forums/FAQs for service professionals/Leads, messaging and fees Page. And No, I didn't Subscript to your E-Mails! Here's a few Quotes from the Page....


Jeff Stewart


I wouldn't mind paying the 4 bucks or 8% if I knew the lead was for real but sorry, I will trust you - when you trust me. Internet is full of the scammers like merchant circle and others like them - so, sorry if I just don't trust you. Its not really so much the 4 bucks, its the credit card - I wouldn't give that to you for a lead. I would pay with paypal though - maybe you should offer that option. I run a solid business and provide great customer service, I have been around since 1992 and have only solid reviews.
Mar-28 2011 19:11.


The Dish


Groupon and living social have never claimed to be free.  They are professionals and have their terms and conditions clearly stated.  They have earned their rank already.  Who is thumbtack?  Two people, claiming to be big shots, that you have to write to 4 to 5 times before you get them to agree to speak by phone.  This is company is proving to be a scam more and more by every second of the day.  NOT one lead, free or otherwise has been anything but wild goose chase of people shopping for the lowest bid.  Thumbtack sends the same lead to EVERYONE within a general category.   IMHO, they should be paying us for all the time wasted by us from price shoppers.
Apr-01 2011 09:19.

Joel Weber
Disappointed...
I too was contacted "out of the blue" to join this service, and assured of a free service.  I had little illusions that this service might even serve a purpose.  I did get a lead, but it came with a price.  I would not have signed on with this service had I known. I already budget for my advertising.  I already use Google Adwords, and even these are much less money. You cannot charge $4 for a potential lead when some of the best pay-per-click Google Adwords are under $2 and reach millions of people. I would consider 50 cents per potential lead (response) or $1-2% of total job (unless recurring monthly, where only 1st month is paid).  But sending out money blindly to a poorly represented internet company (scam?) is not my idea of smart business.
Joel@ColoradoPianoCare.com
May-17 2011 19:03.

Bluu Wave
Please be direct and include the amount of charges and commission fees.




Mar-07 2011 01:06.


BusyBee Builders

8% is ridiculously high for a finders fee. I would not use your service at even 1/2 that price. It should be either 1 - 2% at the most in my professional opinion.
God Bless, J><>
Mar-10 2011 09:54.

Amanda Schlicher
Yes, 8% is incredibly high. A person would have to be offering a service for $50 or less to even consider this option over the $4 contact fee.
Mar-10 2011 12:23.

Carlos Estrada


These fees are too high, if you don't even know that you are hired. There was never a notice or emails sent to us about new fees on this website.
Mar-10 2011 17:29.


Amanda Schlicher
I'm a wedding photographer. I'm unlikely to book an event that grosses less than $1800.00, and I only take 20-25 jobs a year, so a percentage makes no sense for me. If we are charged a fee for contacting leads who are looking for a public bid, we should be allowed to have email addresses and website links in our descriptions so the client has a choice to contact us directly via the internet.
Mar-10 2011 19:09.

Cristie Hetrick-Bennett

I'm a tutor.  So, will I pay 8% on each tutoring session - or just once - on the first session?  I really liked this service - until - the surprise expenses with no forewarning.
Mar-11 2011 09:14.

Deirdre Mahon
Yeah does seem kind of sneaky to have us all using this site for free and THEN just springing it on us that you are now charging. You should have been upfront about it when peoplesign up...a free trial period and then we start charging. I personally don't think it is worth it. This is just one option I have for finding clients. Craigslist is FREE...why should I pay you when they can find me on Craigslist and other websites that I already pay for.

Mar-11 2011 09:36.
BusyBee Builders
To Heather... If you would like to talk to me directly I'm sure you can find my phone # and email address...lol... Okay... I find it unusual that the only post you responded to was the one where someone agreed to pay the 8% of their first session... Did you(or someone in your office) create a profile just to do that post... I wonder?!? Believe me though i am not the type to accuse anyone of anything but it sure looks funny to me that again that's the only one of the post that you responded to... everyone with me here?!? Okay now with that being said... 8% of one session lets say is a $100 per... that's $8 then 10-25-50 or more sessions... I'll bet... heck i would too... That's a very small percentage at those #'s...:))  Amanda: That's why i proposed a cap with that suggestion... sorry i don't type things out clearly enough... I'm working on that..:))  Christie: Sorry to use you as an example and if you are for real... Thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing what you do... Much respects!!

God Bless, J><>
Mar-11 2011 09:58.

Adrian Conger
I just started a lawn care and design co and I'm trying to get my name out there, No Borders Lawn Maint and Design. This seems to have potential just need tweaked a bit. It seem like a little more than i would like to pay and more bookkeeping on my end, but if this service charged a monthly fee or they could guarantee business opportunities maybe. But as it stands would love to help another but not on my dime. thanks
Mar-11 2011 19:30.

Sabrina Miller
Seriously, where did these fees come from? How did you come up with $4 and 8%? The no warning and lack of communication on all-of-a-sudden charging fees is ridiculous. 
Mar-12 2011 21:00.


Jessica Schanberg
8% sounds criminally high. That's my two cents.




Mar-13 2011 10:05.

Banu Qureshi
Yes I wrote a polite comment back to the individual that the dates requested didn't work for me but I would love to be considered for the future. When I tried to formalize the response, I was asked for my billing info. It seems kind of ridiculous to pay for that type of response. Plus, I don't know if commission would be applied to a future job if the person contacted me later.
Mar-13 2011 13:13.

John Mann

I agree with the consensus that 8% is absurdly high. I can get flesh and blood salesmen for 3-5%. The $4 would depend on the strength of the lead and how many bidders are involved. I also agree that no warning sucks.
Mar-13 2011 19:24.

Christopher Adams
Either way it is to high. 8% would cost me over $75 for a lead? You're Crazy. Also $4 for no guarantee on the lead where it came from, no phone number. This isn't a lead. How do I know it is legit. So as far as I am concerned, I will no longer be doing business with thumbtack. You can take me off your site. Don't care. Waste of money.
Mar-13 2011 22:37.

Rusty Britton
the fee is  kind of weird set up but what is really scary is the posting of our credit card number open ended at your disposal and we don't know you and how real is the lead. you just come from the dark and want us to give you our card, REALLY?
Mar-14 2011 06:48.

GoddessLily Seymour
Hi Heather, Rarely does my leads here turn into actual clients.  I've only made one Lace Wig from someone that found me here, most people find me on my Youtube channel or from Craigslist where I have the option to include my email address which I always do.  I think what would be fair for me and for most people would be to pay a monthly fee to use the services here rather than a 8% comission.  I think you should give us this option as well.
Mar-15 2011 16:49.


ShadowMarty PetCareServices
Would like the option to be able to decline "bidding" on a client especially when someone asks for a service we do not offer.
Mar-16 2011 19:52.

Nelson Bonilla
So far all I've heard is a bunch of people going back and forth about fees that no one seems to agree with. While Amanda, if she even exists, sits back and arbitrarily chimes in. I've been in sales my whole life and these numbers are ridiculous.  Not to mention that the BBB guy is correct. We have been forced to use every media both social and business as an alternate way of getting our businesses to the those who need it. The economy has forced me down this avenue. But I will not pay for a site that was advertised to be "FREE"!
Mar-18 2011 03:05.

Nancy Lorenzen

If I had realized that the only way I could respond to potential clients was to pay you, I would not have joined the service considering how many bad leads this kind of thing is going to generate. I am forbidden by my professional ethics board from sharing fees with non-lawyers, so I can't go with the percentage arrangement at all.
This leaves me with no choice but to completely decline to answer leads that appear to be from people who are confused about how much it costs to hire a lawyer or who I am not sure would be a good fit with me professionally. I'm not going to pay for obvious bad leads, and I'm reluctant to pay for dubious leads.
I'll be declining the one bad lead I've received so far and deleting my profile. Good luck with your business, especially the part where you don't tell people about your fees. If I did business that way, my professional board would shut me down.
Mar-20 2011 09:45.

Leavitt Woodland
I am ranked number 1 in my profession for the area i work in....well guess what i am going to leave Thumbtack, because %8 is too much. Maybe when i sell bubble gum for $1 ill give you 8 cents, but not when i charge up to $1000 per job, when i KNOW that thumbtack wont be the only place that my customers look to for my service. Craigslist and local online classifieds do it for free, and EVERYBODY has heard of Craigslist, everybody has heard of KSL (the local classifieds), and they are free! VERY FEW know of Thumbtack (now dubbed dumbtack). I get over 200% more business from them, and i can then justify giving them a %7 discount knowing i don't have to pay Thumbtack. Thanks but no thanks!
Mar-22 2011 15:03

$4.00 or 8% humm? either one is high especially when the customer has stated that they are looking for the lowest cost service. if I add 8% to my bid for commission neither of us will make any money and I would not even pay $1.00 for a non gauranteed leed. I don't need any more tire kickers. I am providing a top quality service and have a list of references as long as my arm from customers that paid me to do the work, THEY PAID ME FOR THE JOB AND THEN REFERRED ME. They get the satisfaction of knowing that they referred someone that they trust would treat their friends with fairness and quality. I'm sure that if Thumbtack.com had a reputation of referring quality service providers that selling advertising on their page would more than pay for their referral costs.
Mar-23 2011 14:48.

Julie Jabiro
I had no idea what this service was to be honest! Just got an email that someone is looking for a Makeup Artist for their wedding....I am absolutely NOT paying $4 to talk to someone that may find me on their own anyway! like most do when they search the internet! also....a commission on an artist job is crazy, I would make way less! Anyway...Just had my first taste of whatever "Thumbtack is"! and I'm not going to be using it....People need to make and save as much $$ as they can, I can't afford to give you $4 to talk to someone that that is expecting to pay $30 for makeup and then she never gets back to me....good luck to the rest of you!
Mar-26 2011 06:22.

And that's just some of the Posts on this page!:O I'm tired of reading them now and I think you can see what I'm saying about Thumbtack.com being a Job Scam! I don't usually wast my time with these types of Scam e-mails. But this one just really made me Mad!

Don

This was the link to the comments above. But now, as of 12-03-11, it just takes you to a Login Page. Wonder if they are trying to hide what their Customers have to say???...
http://support.thumbtack.com/entries/385337-what-fees-does-thumbtack-charge-when-i-respond-to-a-job

Update and Reply 12-03-11. Updating the original Post and allowed the Comment to be posted (see below)...

Looks, like we now have the attention of Thumbtack.com... I received a Comment to this Post from Jeremy at Thumbtack.com, who says he is "one of the founders of Thumbtack.com". What a Spin Doctor this guy is! It's almost funny... If were weren't talking to People who are trying to Scam us out of our Money!!! I'm putting my Replies to his Comments, next to each statement, for clarity (my replies are in italics).

Don

On 11/24/2011 03:18 PM, JT wrote:
JT has left a new comment on your post "What fees does Thumbtack charge when I respond to ...":

Hi Don,

My name is Jeremy, and I am one of the founders of Thumbtack.

I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience with us, and I would love to convince you to give us a second look.
You Contacted me with a Deceitful Spam e-mail which sounded like a Job Offer! No Second Chances for Spammers with me!!!

There are indeed several posts in our customer service forum about our pricing, but I would like to clarify a few things:

First, we have over 250,000 members, so the customer service forum comments only reflect a very small number of our members.
No Customers should be considered Small or Insignificant to any Company. Dissatisfied Customers are the Achilles Heal of any Company that truly wants to Serve it's Customers and Succeed at making money for the Long Term. Where there's Smoke, there is Fire!


Second, thumbtack is still completely free to have a profile, take advantage of our search engine optimization, and be contacted directly by people who find your profile. Every service that we charge for is completely optional, so you have absolutely nothing to lose by signing up.
Completely Free!... Except for the Fees you Charge for the services that could be actually useful in obtaining work!!! Optional! That's not what these People who Trusted you and Signed up with you are Saying! They are telling about being Charged fees that they were not aware would that they would be Charged!


Unfortunately, the reality of this economy is that we have to make money somehow, and we thought the best way to go about it is to charge only when we bring you potential business (in the case of the lead fee) or when we actually provide you a new customer (in the case of a commission fee).
"Have to make Money Somehow"... Try Advertising, the time tested and proven way of making money! This has been working, from the beginning of Radio, to TV to the Internet! Ever heard of ABC, NBC, CBS, Turner Broadcasting, Google, Yahoo, Bing, Face Book, LinkedIn??? And many more Online Companies... Making Millions through Advertising! And at no Cost to their Users! And with any Paid Services some of them do offer. They State their Fees, Up Front! And let their Customers know, when and how much they will be Charged for any Paid Services. And those who didn't in the past have paid the Price. With loss of Business and some with Prosecution by the Government! Again, your own Customers are saying that your "leads" are not worth the Fees that you Charge for them. That most these "job leads" don't pan out. And the the Commissions are too High as well. And most importantly, many of your Customers were not aware of when and for what "Services" they would be charged!


It's not all pure profit for us. Not only do we spend a lot of time and effort making sure your service ranks highly in search results, but we spend money on search engine marketing to benefit you and also have a staff of several hundred people who work to match leads with businesses.
It's not "All Profit" for any Business and never has been! Haven't you ever heard? It takes money to make money??? Oh, and don't forget all of that money you spent, sending out all of those Spam e-mails! Like the one you sent me!!! What a large Overhead you must have! In "Today's Economy"... if you are making a 10% Profit. Then your doing about par with the rest. If you come by it honestly, then you may just stay in business and gain more and more return Customers. Thus, making more money, for a longer period of time...


We don't make money unless we provide you with good leads, so we try very hard to make sure that the leads are of high quality.
Well, your still in business. And after all of the Complaints I have read against you and the Very Poor "job leads" which don't pan out. Which are mostly just "Window Shoppers". You must be making money Some How!


Please rest assured that we will never charge you a dime without you explicitly authorizing it.
Again, Again, Again! That's is not what your own Customers are Saying!!!


I hope you'll give us a second look,

Jeremy

Don't hold your Breath!!! On second thought... Ya, I'll get back to you on that...

Don


Here are a couple more Links that might be of help to the readers of this Blog...


File a Complaint with the Better Business BBB...
https://www.bbb.org/consumer-complaints/file-a-complaint/get-started

File a Complaint with the FTC - The Federal Trade Commission...

https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/


Thumbtack.com Research...
thumbtack.com - Google Search
Thumbtack.com - Find and book trustworthy local services
About Thumbtack
Thumbtack | CrunchBase Profile
Joe Reviews Thumbtack.com (Video) | Joe Hackman
Thumbtack.com – Local Business Directory
Review: Thumbtack.com | Contractor Marketing
Thumbtack.com aims to eat Yelp's lunch | VentureBeat
Rip-off Report | Global Moving solutions | Complaint Review: 621712
What fees does Thumbtack charge when I respond to a job? : Thumbtack Support
thumbtack.com | Report thumbtack.com at ScamChecker.com - Recent Reports for thumbtack.com - Online Scam, Ripoff, Cheater, and Fraud Report
Thumbtack.com Careers and Employment | Indeed.com
thumbtack.com job scam - Google Search
Has anyone ever heard of Thumbtack - Virtual Assistant Forums | Virtual Assistant Resources
Thumbtack scam

23 comments:

Nerdyjen said...

I did get one editing job through thumbtack, but the charge to bid on leads that might not even pan out put a sour taste in my mouth.
I left my profile up, though, because if someone specifically contacts you through thumbtack it is free. I can always use a little free advertising.

Don's Deals Blog said...

Hey, thanks for the info Jen. Ya, sounds like a good idea. At least you have the potential of getting some contacts there. I would be very leery though. Given that they have proven to be Un-Trust Worthy... If I had given any company my Credit Card Number or ever agreed to pay them anything at all, for their "Services". With your Profile still up there. They could still try and charge you for something that you don't want to buy. They could claim that you "Bid" on something for instance... That would worry me a bit.

Don

JT said...

Hi Don,

My name is Jeremy, and I am one of the founders of Thumbtack.

I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience with us, and I would love to convince you to give us a second look.

There are indeed several posts in our customer service forum about our pricing, but I would like to clarify a few things:

First, we have over 250,000 members, so the customer service forum comments only reflect a very small number of our members.

Second, thumbtack is still completely free to have a profile, take advantage of our search engine optimization, and be contacted directly by people who find your profile. Every service that we charge for is completely optional, so you have absolutely nothing to lose by signing up.

Unfortunately, the reality of this economy is that we have to make money somehow, and we thought the best way to go about it is to charge only when we bring you potential business (in the case of the lead fee) or when we actually provide you a new customer (in the case of a commission fee).

It's not all pure profit for us. Not only do we spend a lot of time and effort making sure your service ranks highly in search results, but we spend money on search engine marketing to benefit you and also have a staff of several hundred people who work to match leads with businesses.

We don't make money unless we provide you with good leads, so we try very hard to make sure that the leads are of high quality.

Please rest assured that we will never charge you a dime without you explicitly authorizing it.

I hope you'll give us a second look,

Jeremy

The Shared Cook said...

Looks like Thumbtack is actually part of CraigsList. When I replied to a referral (I have not signed up with Thumbtack)I got a confirmation email and on that page link it says "List your business on craigslist" and also "If you have any trouble posting on craigslist, please email us at support@thumbtack.com. Thanks!"

Don's Deals Blog said...

Thanks for the info Shared Cook, Interesting... Not sure what to make of that. Hey, I tried to look at your Profile on Blogger and I get this message...
"Profile Not Available

The Blogger Profile you requested cannot be displayed. Many Blogger users have not yet elected to publicly share their Profile.

If you're a Blogger user, we encourage you to enable access to your Profile."

Can you Enable Viewing of your Profile, so that we can read your Posts???

Thanks,

Don

DDD said...

I also did not realized that I would have to pay for leads by the way everything is written at the sign up. Once I started getting lead I thought I would go ahead and try some to see how good the customers were and have not heard back from a single one. Basically I have been throwing my money away and this annoys me very much. I am a wedding planner and believe these "leads" I am getting are not real!

Don's Deals Blog said...

hanks for the info, DDD... I'm not surprised to hear of your bad experience with them:(

Don

*Hair Album* said...

Thank you all for your comments. Looks like you might have saved me. I received a lead a day later and it sounds too good to be true.
I called their number and received a voice mail two days in a row!!!

Don's Deals Blog said...

Glad I could help prevent more grief from these people!:) Let us know, if you have any more developments, k...

Don

mckalarose said...

Glad you took the time to provide this information :) I signed up for Thumbtack a week or two ago and have been receiving all of these great-looking leads in my inbox. I was frustrated when I realized I was required to PAY for the leads, but even so the sheer number I was receiving made me consider forking over my CC. My boyfriend convinced me to do a quick background check on them first and I came across your blog. You saved me the money and hassle from the sound of it.

Don's Deals Blog said...

Hi mckalarose, Glad I could help. So, glad you didn't loose any money!:)

Don

Robert Battle said...

I was contacted by them as well out of the blue, I think the 8% is super high plus I use a similar service called YERBID.com. They charge a flat rate for unlimited leads and I paid for that fee with my first winning job. I average about 5 leads a month that I would normally never have. The idea is good if executed well...I don't think I'd want to pay a percentage since that can be quite high depending on what you do and could even be your entire profit.

Don's Deals Blog said...

Thanks for the info Robert. Yerbid.com. Looks interesting. There were only a few Contractors available in my area though. If it is a good service. Then hopefully it will catch on...

Don

Tu Tran said...

Thanks for bringing up this topic. I use some information and quotes to write an article summarizing their shady business practices. It turns out this company has 5.7 million dollars in total funding and has Jason Calacanis as an angel investors. They must be pissed. Shame on you Thumbtack

http://tuatran.blogspot.com/2012/08/thumbtackcom-struggles-to-keep-their.html

Don's Deals Blog said...

Tu Tran, Thanks for the comment. Interesting Article. Keep on writing!:)

Don

Artist Aleph said...

I received two requests from them- they may be an outdropo from craigslist. The first offered several free referals but never heard anything bcab.
Today i get a referral with a fee if I want to respond. I don't have tiem or money to check out if these sites are real.
If a site is legit I wish they could figure out a way to provide a person and number you can talk with before asking for money. i would be happy to send them a finders fee of up to 7 percent if a client took my service.

Don's Deals Blog said...

Thanks for the info, Aleph. Looks like not much has changed there since 2011...

Don

mold pro said...

I am very suspicious of Thumbtack right now. I have actually landed 1 job through them butthats when they were free. I have paid for 2 leads recently & the customer that contacted me did not want us to visit the home for an inspection just view pics & give an estimate. The 2nd lead I swear sounded like the same woman with a russian accent sam as the 1st lead & is acting very starange as well about visiting a vacant property for an insection just wants us to review it by photos. I believe this is a scam & they are just paid actors & actresses now.

Don's Deals Blog said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. Good to know...

Don

MsFitness3 said...

I hope people are reading these. I own a personal training/nutrition business. If someone contacts me through my own website, chances are VERY high they will hire me. Minimally have a dialog with me. In two YEARS...not ONCE, not ONE TIME did person hire me through thumbtack, even though I fit their stated needs perfectly. Dozens and dozens. My batting average for direct web contacts on a bad day is 50percent hire rate. Over two years, getting several PER DAY, not ONE. Scam city. How they get so many leads to us. I do not know, but I'd like to inquire with other trainers. Two have told me the same thing, but there are many Austin trainers out there I'd like to inquire with!

Don's Deals Blog said...

Thanks for the info. I hope people will find this Post and read the comments too. Maybe, it will help some poeple...

Don

19thm56 said...

I have a profile on Thumbtack.
I am a landscaper.The fee is
$1.33 for each quote I write.at present, I am at aprox 9% return on each quote I write.
Thumbtack has proven to be a better return than any other promotional method.

Don's Deals Blog said...

To 19thm56: Maybe you could try putting some info about your Business on your G+ Profile Page. It is Currently Completely Empty. This is Free Advertising, with the Potential Audience of the Entire Internet... Your comment and lack of activity on your Google Plus Profile, leaves me wondering. If Thumbtack is Paying People to write Positive Reviews for them...

Don