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Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2019
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Just a head up.. This is lengthy. I have been going back and forth with them for weeks with this. They obviously don't care as long as they are making their money. I don't know who to report this too....

Chat with Thumbtack Support
I just received a direct lead from a Michael Arthur, He is requesting aerial drone photography in Montclair, NJ tomorrow. This job is impossible to do because the President of the United States will be flying in the area tomorrow and the Federal Aviation Administration and Secret Service have declared a Temporary Flight Restriction for the surrounding area starting at 8pm tonight and continuing through the requested time client needs flight to take place. So I am being charged for a job that I can not legally do as a matter of fact no certified drone pilot can do this job without violating federal law.

Hi there, thank you for reaching out to us.

I have brought occurrences similar to this to the attention of Thumbtack in the past. you are allowing jobs to be posted that are against Federal Law which means only uncertified providers are able to do and they charge ALOT less which brings down the value of our work.

This is Charisse with Thumbtack Support.

I'm sorry to hear you've received a lead that doesn't quite fit your preferences.

Can I have your complete name and email address, please?
so the certified FAA pilots either have to violate Federal Law or lose business because uncertified pilots take the jobs.

Anthony Beatrice

[email protected]

Thank so much for sharing those details with me.

Let me pull up your account and dig more information about this.
I am being charged for direct leads that no certified pilot can do. You have to be a certified pilot to be paid for aerial photography and videography by federal law. it is called Part 107 of the FAA law.

I understand.

Can you please give me 3 to 5 minutes so I can look into this matter for you, Anthony?
I have forwarded my FAA certification to Thumbtack on multiple occasions and I was told recently that Thumbtack does not verify this type of license / certification. this makes no sense to me because then you are allowing uncertified people to take business from certified pilots ( which as I stated earlier is a requirement by federal law to be paid to do)

I'm sorry to hear that you've had trouble with posting your professional certification in your profile. Let me look into that as well.

Currently, I am consulting with the concerned team about your concerns.
I will not post it in my profile because anyone can copy the certification number and make a fake certification and if something happens like they fly in a TFR or NFZ and they give my certification number I am liable.

I would and have been more than happy to supply it to Thumbtack to verify so you can verify the information and and certify that I am indeed a Certified Part 107 Pilot with FAA and can legally do work for pay.

I understand your concern about posting your certification on your profile. Since you've already indicated on your introduction that you're certified for this profession, this would suffice and it's your prerogative whether you'd like to post an image of it on your profile or not.

As you may recall, per our Terms of Use, Thumbtack doesn't send nor give pros just any lead. Instead, we help you market your business based highly on the Targeting Preferences you set. Those settings dictate how your target customers see you from the Search Results.
I realize that but do you understand that you are allowing uncertified people to do a job that requires a federal certification?

Are you pertaining to other professionals on Thumbtack that offer the same type of service you do?
So as an example... i am paying for leads that state I charge $130 per hour for this type of job. you will list this same job under "Opportunities" and an Uncertified pilot will contact this client and say... I will do it for $75 per hour, Then I lose the job to a uncertified pilot who has nothing to lose if they fly illegally.


Just for context, if the lead is from your Opportunities, this means that the customer has already contacted another pro but that pro is not available to do the job so we offer it to other pros.

Do you have a name of the pro that you believe is uncertified?
no i do not as i am unable to look at other pros because your system does not allow it and the last client I asked blew me off stating that they were instructed to not reveal the name or the photographer would not do the job for quoted price.

You can look at other pros who offer the same service as you by going to your Service tab
I also know that there is a bare minimum a certified pilot would be able to do the job for with insurance, flight plan, equipment, etc.

There, you can click on look yourself up and you'll be able to see there your rank in search results as well as the other pros who offer the same service as you in your area.
I understand I can go there and see that. but anyone can say they are certified!

there is no check and balance for it on Thumbtack.

Ok so... refund my money and delete me from your service! I will not be a part of a company that willingly commits illegal behavior on the federal level.

Currently, you are being advertised as Aerial Photography on Thumbtack so there's a possibility that the job requests you receive won't necessarily require a certified pilot to do the job. That goes the same for other pros.

Leads are 100% controlled by customers.
I will post this all over social media and the forums for drone pilots and make everyone aware of this!

And we have a dedicated team that flag suspicious activities or questionable job requests , especially those who don't abide by the law.

You are welcome to file a report with the licensing board. This is not a license you can upload, so it won’t be shown in the license section on your profile.

Also, looking at the lead you received from Michael A., it looks like this is a valid charge. Keep in mind that pros pay whenever a customer messages them, requests a call or estimate, or asks for your availability. The charge is valid because a connection was made after the customer saw your profile. Because the lead matched your targeting preferences at the time, it’s not something we would refund for.
As i stated earlier... It is against the law to sell pictures or any content taken with a drone (UAS) without being Part 107 Certified.

so your above statement makes no sense

ok. so delete from your scam of a business that commits federal fraud!

I will be reporting this to the FAA and putting it on Social Media, as well as print media and forums for drone pilots!

I already copy and pasted the conversation so far so Thumbtack can not deny they were aware of violating the federal law by aallowing / advertising jobs that violate federal law.

I appreciate the details you've provided and the time you've taken in bringing this matter to our attention. I know every dollar counts when running a business, Anthony, and it's important to us you feel Thumbtack is a good investment.

I'm sorry if this has not been the case and you feel that Thumbtack is not the right fit for your business.
Its a bad investment!

We're your partner and scamming people does not benefit us and it is something we would never do. We only succeed when your business succeeds.

The provider only gets paid if client hires them.

Please be informed that Thumbtack is not a scam. We won't be successful if it was. You can check out your Pro Resources where you can see other pros who've found success in us.

Thumbtack Help
Thumbtack Help

So, just to get it straight.. you were made aware of you assisting in the violation of Federal Law and still maintain you will continue to do so.

Cat got your tongue???

As far as I know, Thumbtack doesn't have any processes or policies that violate the Federal Law. We would have been called out by law enforcement if we were doing this kind of practice.

If Thumbtack is not the right fit for you at the moment, you have the option to hide your business, pause your targeting for your service, or deactivate your account.
They will be made aware of it now

it was an oversight that was brought to your attention and you are failing to fix it.

Thumbtack very much does not want pros to do jobs that are not legal for them to do. We do require our pros to have the correct licensing, insurance, and to follow the laws in their area when settings their preferences and working with customers.
Ok , so how do you make sure they are licenced / certified ?

Since you are a referral service.

You are basically referring "Pros" to clients through your platform correct, you just admitted to that above.

So, you are willingly breaking federal law by referring uncertified pilots ( Unvetted by your company) to clients

We have a dedicated team who verifies this information to make sure that all pros who are required to have a license, certification, or insurance in their location abide by this and make sure they are compliant to what their state requires.

For your type of service which is Aerial photography, it's not a type of license that we are currently verifying, but could be added onto our processes in the future.
So i can open an account with you and state I am a doctor and will preform surgery for a really cheap price and you will refer me to a client?

I have requested you add it 5 times already, no response!

so thing like this wont happen.

please answer the question above.

or you cant without admitting your wrong?

No we don't. We filter all pros and go through an intricate process to verify that all information that pros put on Thumbtack is true and accurate.
So you vet all your pros?

Answer carefully


Its one or the other.. You either vet all your pros or you only vet some of them depending on services offered.

Above you stated my type of work you dont verify if they are legal.

We have a Trust and Safety team who processes all information to make sure that pros on Thumbtack do not provide fake services.

It is the pro’s responsibility to ensure they are in compliance with the laws in their area to perform the services they offer. We will happily take this to our product team as something to discuss for the future. Right now we have a limited number of services and areas we can enforce licensing.

At this time, we only verify the following professional licenses: Accounting or tax professions Architecture Attorney Carpentry Concrete and foundation work Drywall Electrical work Engineers Financial professions Flooring and carpet General contracting Home improvement and home building HVAC work Insulation Landscaping Law Masonry Massage therapy Metalworking Moving Painting Paving Plumbing Pool and spa Roofing Tiling

License rules and regulations vary from state to state. If your license type isn’t listed when you try to add it to your profile, we’re unable to verify it for pros in your state. Currently, all licenses must be government-issued or listed in a publicly accessible database (which is what allows us to verify your information).

has a listing of all certified pilots!!

Federal Database

We currently have a different process in verifying licenses. But I'll make sure to take note of your feedback and share it with our Product Analyst team to see if we can consider this in our future updates.
so when someone is advertising they do Aerial Photography or Aerial Videography or Drone work ... you go to FAA.gov with there name and where they live and enter it and it tells you if they are certified!

so this is not a State by State basis as you claim, IT IS FERDERAL!

We look for ways to improve the Thumbtack experience for both customers and pros. While we can't promise an exact timeline on when new policies/processes can be implemented, trust that we're all ears when it comes to feedback such as yours.

ok this conversation is over, I tried..

As i said before I will be posting this everywhere.

I'm sorry to hear if the current policies and processes of Thumbtack doesn't sit right with you. I'll make sure that the thoughts you've shared will reach all concerning teams.


Well-Known Member
Jan 26, 2021
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I could have saved you all of that typing and headache with a simple statement "Thumbtack is a complete ripoff". I was with them when they first launched and at first they were pretty good; leads were cheap I got a lot of business through them and it was worth it back then. But they went under new management, leads started getting more expensive, they kept coming out with ever more expensive and predatory plans until they got to the point to where if you did not pay something monthly you would never get any leads. The leads also turned to complete trash and at least 90% of them were clearly fake (using the same details and the same names over and over).

Funny thing is, some of my best and repeat customers that I still work with to this day came from those early Thumbtack days when it was still new and novel and the only alternative to Angie's List. But I wouldn't touch them with someone else's credit card these days.

I quit them years ago and haven't looked back; second best decision I made in a long time, the first being quitting Premier Pro and switching to Davinci Resolve for video editing. Thumbtack and Premier Pro together were really eating into my bottom line for awhile there.


Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2021
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I understand your frustration and found your exchange to be in many ways thoughtful and amusing. Arguing with almost any customer support agent over chat is like ramming your head into a brick wall.... you end up with a nice bump on your head and the wall doesn't move at all.

I am amazed that Thumbtack's support had someone that could keep up with your arguments in the least, usually its all canned responses from these type of chats. The only thing I didn't see from you was a request to be contacted by someone in the company that could actually do something about it..... the rep would have ducked the question anyway but it would have been fun to see the response.

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