My Journey With Booker Online Scheduling Software

I came to the Booker software platform in December of 2012 after they reached out to me to convince me to use their platform. This detail is important because there are so many ways that Booker does not fit the needs of our market (professional therapists), despite the fact that I was assured that Booker was looking to move into markets other than hair salons and spas and would be making many changes. I believed them.

The other big piece that convinced me to try Booker was the ability for appointments and payments to be tied together, not requiring us to use separate systems for each. This is a huge asset to a company like ours since so many times these separate software services don’t play well together.

When we initially started experiencing problems, I knew this was a part of the deal with bringing Booker into this new market. What I was not prepared for, was the nearly complete unwillingness of Booker to make changes. As was part of our verbal agreement early on, I spent countless hours making spreadsheets that listed rough edges in the software, documenting software bugs, taking screenshots, and communicating with the liaison that was assigned to me. We were supposed to be making Booker better together – an ambitious and worthwhile goal as far as I was concerned.

It took me nearly a year working on the “project” with Booker staff before they officially shut this project down. I was left with lots of spreadsheets, hundreds of emails, no worthwhile changes to Booker, and lots of wasted time.

At this point, you might be wondering why I stayed with Booker and that would be a great question. After building up a database of two thousand customers in Booker, setting up and training fifteen staff, and setting up credit card processing to accommodate Booker, I realized it would take months to move to a new platform. With a growing business to run, I simply did not have the time to research another online scheduling platform. I reasoned that it would be easier to fix what we were using (Booker) than to start over.

Let me be clear with my intent here. I want to make Booker better, but since I cannot do that alone, Booker must do their part too. This way, we all win. I’m still waiting for us all to win here.

I do not have an ax to grind, although I have been plenty frustrated with Booker at times. This blog of “Booker problems” and “Booker reviews” is helping me to figure out what I need to do next and how soon I need to do it.

Also, I had forgotten just how many Booker issues and workarounds we have been dealing with on a weekly basis. Our staff has gotten so used to them that we hardly give them a second thought anymore—until I decided to keep track of them.

I will do my best to provide explanations of problems, give actual ticket numbers for reported problems, and dates as applicable. Out of respect for our customers, I won’t be posting very many screenshots unless I am able to blur all customer data.

This works well for me because. at least this way, all of the time I put into screenshots and documentation does not feel lost in some email thread with Booker alone. It is my hope that this blog helps Booker to know where fixes and improvements need to be made, and I also hope it helps users make informed decisions before committing to any scheduling software. The way I see it, everyone wins!

Also, I know that Booker employees have read through parts of this website because they have told me so. They have used my documentation and screenshots to chase down bugs. Unfortunately, these bugs don’t always get fixed. In fact, they rarely do. Instead, I am often told that the software works “as intended.” Let me ask you, dear reader, if a screwdriver handle fell off every time you used it and the engineers that designed the screwdriver told you they intended the screwdriver to work this way, would you believe them? Neither do I.

Thanks for reading and thanks for your continued feedback. I respond to every single one of you that reaches out to me.

By the way, Booker, if any of these issues are ever resolved, feel free to contact me so I can either remove or update these posts. Thanks!

  • Booker’s Core Problem

    Since day one, Booker’s core problem in my opinion has not changed — they do not seem to care about you, their customers. Ouch, I know that seems harsh and hurtful, but if it’s true (and this blog certainly makes the case for that), then I am doing you the biggest favor by sharing these…

  • I Have Long Suspected That Booker Does Not Care About Its Customers, Here’s The Event That Sealed The Deal

    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…

  • “Ghost Appointments” are Supposed to Time-out After 10 Minutes

    A ghost appointment (see screenshot below) on our staff schedule is supposed to let staff know when a customer is trying to book an appointment. This can help to give the staff some control if a customer is trying to book at the same time as a staff member. Per Booker’s instructions on ghost appointments,…