As I was trying to wind down and relax last night, I was contact by a staff member who was suddenly kicked out of Booker with an error message that said something about no employee schedules were available. This meant that nobody could process payments or book additional appointments. I waited until this morning to see if there was still an issue and to contact Booker customer support if there was.
I also tried logging in to the Booker app to further assess what was going on. Here is the error message I received on Booker mobile. Suddenly, as the owner of the company and admin of our Booker account, someone made my login inactive? Wow! What is going on here!
Next, I went to the Booker status page at https://status.booker.com/. SInce I found all green lights on the status page, meaning everything was reported as normal, I contacted Booker support. When a recording told me that wait times for help were over an hour, I knew there must be a great number of customers calling in with the same problem. I left my phone number for a callback.
Just over an hour later, I received a call from Booker support. The support agent was immediately difficult to understand and I had to ask him to repeat himself several times. This is certainly not a character flaw of this person trying to help me, but it does surprise me when companies that need to offer customer service choose to do so with employees who are so difficult to understand. Or maybe this is an overseas call center? Either way, it seems to reflect MindBody/Booker’s ongoing priority on increasing dollars/revenue at the expense of service/customers.
But I digress. I let the agent know that staff were getting messages that schedules were not available and my customers were not able to book appointments at all. This is NOT good for business! In fact, this is costing me money for every hour that it continues. The agent asked how many employees I had using Booker. This seemed like an irrelevant question, but I answered anyway. I said, ”We have 17 using Booker.”
The customer support agent went on to explain the new Booker pricing structure which just went into effect and said the plan that I have been on for years is now limited to just 15 employees, so now EVERYONE was locked out or limited somehow until I removed 2 employees or upgraded to a much more expensive plan. Who does that, right?
The few times in my life when I have experienced a company randomly and without an announcement taking away features that I pay for has been few, thankfully, but it never makes sense to me. And it never will. My guess is that it doesn’t make sense to you either.
Allow me to bring you up to date with a little history. We started out on a plan called Booker Basic for $75/month.
At some point the Booker Basic Plan increased to $129/month. Additionally, Booker changed the name of the Basic Plan to “Essential” three years ago (first quarter 2019) as seen in their previous price chart below. We have been on the Essential plan ever since they changed the name from Basic to Essential. You will also notice below that there are no restrictions on the number of employees for the Essential plan (the snafu that started this downward spiral today).
This is our most recent bill. You can see that Booker changed us to a different plan, or changed the name of the plan, without me knowing it or getting my permission. Again, someone at Mindbody/Booker changed me to a different plan without my permission. Booker may claim that the software made this mistake – and who pays employees to write that software? I’m no lawyer, but this sounds like a situation that is ripe for a class action lawsuit from Booker customers.
If you are thinking that Booker plays unconventional games with their plan names and pricing, I would agree. In the past, when Booker changed from Basic to Essential (the white, pink, and orange screenshot above), I told them that I prefer to stay on the same plan as before, the Basic plan. I was told that the Basic plan was being discontinued and I would have to pick a new plan. By the way, this is the same tactic that many wireless and internet providers use when they want to force you onto a higher-priced plan. Don’t get me wrong, I realize that prices need to change from time to time, but they should do it honestly and transparently because we all know what they are really up to, don’t we?
Want to see Booker’s new, unannounced pricing?
If this is correct, and what Booker intends to shove down my throat, I will have to pay $140 more (that’s more than double what I currently pay) just to keep those 2 extra employees on staff, the difference between 15 and 17.
As of right now, our staff and customers are less than 24 hours into this mess. And it’s still costing me money. I have received an email with an apology, but no fix so far.
UPDATE: Booker is back!
I had to upgrade to the new plan to get things woking again which is so sketch on Booker’s part, but I least we were able to stop the bleeding. Also, in an odd plot twist, I have to change the status of 5 employees from INACTIVE back to ACTIVE and I was one of them. Who changed them to INACTIVE in the first place? I have no idea.
Here is the email from Booker apologizing for the huge mistake, which is great, then letting me know that I will have to pay double to fix it, which is not great.
Even though I received some great help from an account manager who called me today, there is a good chance that this is the final straw for me. It’s time for my company to use a better, more stable, more transparent, and more predictable software provider, but I have some work to do before I know where we will go.
To Booker staff/employees: I pride myself on being a fair and honest person. Therefore, if you find anything in this post that is untrue, please let me know and I will immediately delete it.
I have received a fair number of comments of support in the 24 since this post went live. Many of you were thanking me for having the courage to call out a company that has treated others in this way. One of you stated it perfectly by saying, “With all of the customers, employees, and more tied into our Booker account, they know how hard it is to migrate away from a platform like theirs so they treat customers poorly.” Thank you for you kind and supportive words.
Let’s hope Booker cares enough to listen this time.
Even though our Booker account manager told me that one of the higher ups at Booker/MindBody would be following up with me, I have not heard a word.