2 clients for 1 service without picking a provider.

Hello. We have a need for signing up 2 people for one service during the same time. Initialy we had one provider assigned to service but that does not work by design (1-to-1). FAQ states that this is possible by usig dummy providers (or a hack code that may not work). We'd like to stay away from hacks that may not work and the FAQ (and documentation) leaves very little details on how to setup and use dummy providers properly.
Here is what we did. In addition to the main provider for the service in question I created a dummy provider (WP user tagged as dummy under service providers in A+ settings) also assigned to the same service. The working hours are the same for the main provider, dumy and also the "no specific provider". I am not sure if working hours for "no specific provider" need to be filled out and when/how they are being used. Now when I try to schedule an appointment for the service in question and leave the "select provider" as "no preference" the calendar shows the service as "busy". I must select a provider either a main one or a dummy for the calendar to show "available" dates/times. I was under assumption that "no preference" would automatically pick first available provider, either main one or dummy. By forcing a selection of either main provider or a dummy how is it different from having two "real" providers for the same service? Other than email forwarding I don't see a difference and that could be done using distribution lists (or by updating provider's email addresses directly in SQL if one feels adventurous). Basically, we do not want to force our clients to select a provider for service (or even see the list). Is that possible? In our case provider is a place and not a person and the place is already implied by the service. For example if service is "cleaning up street" the client knows the provider would be "the street", and we dont want them to select "street" or "dummystreet", etc)
We don't mind having extra providers as long as clients don't see them and don't have to pick one up. If there a way for the "no preference" to work (it is first on the dropdown, default)? Any other ideas on how we can implement this?

  • Artur Wawrzonkiewicz

    Hello, thank you for a quick reply. We have 3 services total. Two of them are single appointment per time slot so they work as expected. For the third service we want to allow for up to two appointments per time slot. We are ok with multiple/dummy providersif this can't be done with a single provider as long users don't have to select a provider (no preference). I just noticed this link here which is a similar question:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/one-service-two-providers-is-there-a-way-to-avoid-the-client-having-to-choose-a-service-provider

    I already tried enabling work hours for "no specific provider", hiding the service provider shortcode, however, when the provider is set to default "no preference" all the timeslots show as busy. It's only when I explicitly select a provider by name the timeslots show as available.

  • Artur Wawrzonkiewicz

    I'm still pulling my hair here but I think I'm a little closer.

    Previously I had set the "allow overwork" to "Yes" to specifically avoid the issue am about to describe, simple case #1:

    Two providers A and B, both assigned to service S. Service length: 120 minutes. Time base: 15 minutes, Work hours for A and B are: 8:45am to 10:45am. Unassigned work hours: 8:45am to 10:45am.

    The calendar shows:
    Service S, "No preference": 8:45 available, 10:45 busy
    Service S, Provider A: 8:45 available, 10:45 unavailable
    Service S, Provider B: 8:45 available, 10:45 unavailable

    Why do I see the busy and unavailable at 10:45? The work hours end at 10:45 and I not want to see this time at all.
    As I said before, I kind of avoided this by setting "allow overwork" to yes and changing work hours to 8:45 - 9:45 BUT, and that is a big problem in my case, the "no preference" always showed whole day as busy when I did that. It worked if specific provider was selected but in my scenario I don't want people to even see providers.

    So, the "simple case #1 will almost work for me without even using dummy providers. Also I can hide the "select provider" dropdown and always default to "no preference"

    But how do I get rid of the busy/unavailable times at 10:45? Of course I still want to show busy time at 8:45 if that slot is taken.

  • Jack Kitterhing

    Hi there @Artur Wawrzonkiewicz,

    Hope you're well today and thanks for your patience on this.

    The last time cell with the last time slot does always show currently, that's how Appointments+ has been designed, we normally recommending hiding that using css, or directly commenting out in the code (though doing that would mean the change is lost on a update).

    Something definitely isn't right though when the no preference showed all day as busy, have you set the no preference working hours?

    Can you grant me support access so I can check your settings please? You can do this via your wp-admin > WPMU DEV > support > support access and click "Grant Access".

    Thanks!

    Kind Regards
    Jack.

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