Overview: Is Thumbtack Legit? A Scam? | What You Need to Know about Thumbtack.com Complaints


Multiple Thumbtack.com complaints are appearing online each week. As a result, both customers and service providers have a lot of questions they would like answered:

  • Is Thumbtack safe to use?
  • Is Thumbtack legit?
  • Is Thumbtack a scam?
  • Does Thumbtack really work?

There are so many Thumbtack reviews from both customers and service providers that it can be difficult to extract the relevant information. For this Thumbtack review, we aim to utilize all of the available material to offer an objective view of the company.

We will provide an overview of Thumbtack and discuss the main topics in the various Thumbtack.com complaints.

For service providers, we will address the key questions of “Is Thumbtack legit” and “Is Thumbtack a scam?” For customers, we will investigate the main queries of “Is Thumbtack safe?” and “Does Thumbtack really work?”

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Thumbtack Review: Company Overview 

Thumbtack was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in San Francisco. Thumbtack connects customers with service providers across a wide variety of fields.

Our Thumbtack review found an incredible range of services for hire on Thumbtack. A brief selection of these includes:

  • Accounting
  • HR & Payroll Services
  • Blacksmithing
  • Songwriting
  • Graphic Design
  • Legal Representation
  • Therapy
  • Psychic Readings
  • Dog Training
  • Photography

Our Thumbtack review found a crucial difference in how pros and customers use the hiring platform.

Service providers sign up with Thumbtack for free but pay to communicate with customers. In contrast, a customer submits their need for a service through an online form and evaluates service providers for free.

is_thumbtack_legit-min

Image source: Thumbtack

Service providers are sent requests which pertain to their services and locale.  They can review each request and have the option to submit a quote.

Service providers are charged in credits for each quote submission. The cost per credit is fixed at $1.67, but the number of credits per quote varies. Thumbtack explains that credits per quote will vary based on two factors:

  • Value of service requested by the customer
  • Number of availale pros who have quoted on similar requests

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Reviews of Thumbtack: Thumbtack.com Complaints

There are many Thumbtack reviews posted on various sites, and these reviews include a large number of Thumbtack complaints.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) has dealt with 272 complaints against Thumbtack, all of which have been resolved. Thumbtack reviews on SiteJabber.com show a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars based on 510 reviews of Thumbtack.

Pissedconsumer.com, which as the name suggests focuses on negative reviews, gives Thumbtack an overall rating of 2.1 out of 5 based on 1,638 reviews.

Customer Reviews: Does Thumbtack Really Work?

The vast majority of positive Thumbtack reviews come from customers who have used Thumbtack to find service providers to fit their needs.

Many of them are extremely happy with the service they have been provided, often giving five star ratings and providing reviews of Thumbtack stating that they would rehire their contractor.

Negative Thumbtack Reviews

However, there are some Thumbtack.com complaints that come from customers. Of the negative customer reviews, there appear to be several common themes:

  • No response to job requests (no quotes received)
  • Negative reviews not showing up on Thumbtack.com
  • Service provider not showing up to perform job
  • Service provider performing poor or incomplete work


Some of these complaints pertain to matters that are under Thumbtack’s control, while others are not. Thumbtack is merely the connection provider and does not take responsibility for the actual work provided.

Overall, in answer to the question, “Does Thumbtack really work?” from a customer standpoint, yes it does. Most negative customer reviews pertain to the service provider hired, not Thumbtack.


Is Thumbtack Safe for Customers?

There is still the question of “Is Thumbtack safe?” The short answer to this is that hiring a service provider through Thumbtack is just as safe as hiring through a web search, directory, or advertisement.

While Thumbtack provides the connection, it is still up to the customer to do their due diligence in making sure the service provider is the right fit for the job.

Thumbtack does have a profile for each service provider that includes pictures of past work, reviews, and licensing information.

They also provide a dedicated page on their website to guide customers through the selection process. Our Thumbtack review found that there were plenty of valuable tips for customers, falling underneath the following categories:

  • Do your research
  • Check out the Pro's Thumbtack profile
  • Write down the details (and keep copies)
  • Use your best judgement

Arguably, one of the most important tips is to do your own research. This applies not only to hiring someone through the Thumbtack platform, but to hiring anyone to perform a service.

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Is Thumbtack Legit, or Is Thumbtack a Scam?

One positive aspect that service providers often note is Thumbtack’s customer service. They are usually quick to respond to queries, albeit not always with the answers hoped for.

Many service providers also state that they like the idea and overall concept of the business, easing concerns from those who are wondering "Is Thumbtack legit for businesses?"

However, some Thumbtack.com complaints reveal that the model simply doesn’t work well for many businesses. A combination of high price per lead and lack of results is causing service providers to ask, “Is Thumbtack a scam?”

Negative Reviews (Source of the Thumbtack Scam Comments)

In their Thumbtack complaints, service providers give the following reasons for the Thumbtack scam accusations:

  • Strange sounding names on requests
  • Wrong numbers provided
  • Leads coming in at odd times
  • Unusual service requirements
  • No response to quotes once submitted
  • Requests for credit card information

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Most of these reasons appear to be subjective. Some service providers claim to have proof of a Thumbtack scam (i.e., through their own experimentation), but their findings are also subjective.

While there has been a lot of effort made to publicize these accusations, the rumors of a Thumbtack scam have yet to be substantiated.

One major reason to doubt the theory is the fact that Thumbtack.com has raised more than $270 million in investment capital. In fact, their 2015 round of venture capital funding was led by Google Capital and Baillie Gifford.

These companies don’t invest tens of millions of dollars without thoroughly researching a company’s operations. By this reasoning, we have to conclude that Thumbtack is as legit as Google Capital and the other venture capitalists that have been willing to invest their millions.

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Does Thumbtack Really Work for Businesses?

Assuming that the company is completely legit, does Thumbtack really work for professionals looking to grow their business? This really depends on which service provider you ask.

Common complaints are the cost per lead and lack of conversions. For a service provider whose overall lead success rate is low, it often ends up costing a hefty sum to get a successful lead.

Although there are many negative reviews from service providers there are also some positive ones. It appears that the Thumbtack model is working for some people. Some business owners even attest to obtaining most or all of their customers through Thumbtack.

Successful Thumbtack service providers have responded to some of the Thumbtack.com complaints.

They oppose the theory of a Thumbtack scam and offer alternative reasons as to why many service providers are unsuccessful:

  • Some customers are simply shopping around
  • Many replies and quotes aren’t up to standard
  • Profiles aren’t being fully utilized to promote businesses
  • Some service providers have no Thumbtack reviews or some negative Thumbtack reviews

These appear to be valid reasons as to why some businesses enjoy success with Thumbtack and others don’t.

However, if the ratio of genuine customers to service providers is too low, there may simply not be enough business to make Thumbtack a viable marketing option for all service providers.


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What Is Thumbtack Doing to Alleviate Issues?

Thumbtack has responded to all of the Thumbtack complaints brought forth to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Additionally, the BBB has given Thumbtack an A+ rating.

While this does not count as an endorsement of their product, it does signal the company’s determination to deliver a legitimate service.

Image source: BBB

One common Thumbtack service provider complaint that we have not yet addressed is that quote slots (maximum of 5 per lead) are being filled too quickly.

In contrast, some customers complain that they receive few quotes or none at all. Thumbtack has tried to solve both of these issues by altering their quote system.

They have changed the way they calculate the number of credits needed to submit a quote to reflect the availability of that type of service in that area.

This helps to slow down the pace of responses by service providers. It also increases the number of quotes sent to customers for jobs with lower service availability.

However, this does cause an imbalance in percentage cost per lead. Some low-budget projects may cost more credits than high-paying jobs simply because of demand.


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Is There a Better Way to Avoid Thumbtack Complaints?

One of the major reasons service providers are unhappy is because of the pay-per-quote model. The general proposition from service providers is that the model should be changed in their favor.

Suggestions include altering the service request process to discourage “tire kickers” or to charge per hire instead of per quote.

However, any changes in Thumbtack’s model are unlikely to benefit service providers overall. Ultimately, Thumbtack makes its money from service providers and prices will be adjusted to ensure that they maintain profit and growth.



Conclusion: Is Thumbtack Legit or Is Thumbtack a Scam?

While many of the Thumbtack.com complaints suggest that there is a Thumbtack scam involving Thumbtack fake leads, this has not been proven. Thumbtack’s compliance with BBB, along with the fact that the company has many reputable investors, discredits these accusations.

Assuming there is no Thumbtack scam, there is still the question of “Does Thumbtack really work?” Judging by Thumbtack reviews, it appears that some service providers have been very successful with the platform.

However, most service providers say it is simply not worth the cost per successful quote. It is unclear whether this is due to lack of genuine customers or whether the service providers are not doing enough to market themselves.

In general, reviews from Thumbtack customers are very positive. As to the question of “Is Thumbtack safe?” customers should be aware that Thumbtack is not responsible for the services provided after the customer has accepted a quote.

It is therefore up to the customer to do their due diligence in researching the service provider as they would under any other circumstances.

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