Problem with calculus of booking times for services

I am evaluating the free version (Appointments Lite running on WordPress 4.6.1) to see if it is worth paying the high cost for the full version. There seems to be either a bug or a major deficiency in the way available time is calculated.

With a time base of 15minutes

and working hours of 8PM - 10PM,

and setting two services:

Service A is 45 minutes long.
Service B is 30 minutes long.

If Service B is booked at 8:30PM, then Appointments says that there are no available times for Service A. However it should say that a time is available at 9PM or 9:15PM.

Appointments only allows users to book the 45minute-Service A at either 8PM or 8:45PM (why not other 15 minute increments if available)? Hence if 8:30-9PM is booked it says that there is no available time. Is this a known problem with the plugin, or is there a workaround so I can maximize my bookings? Otherwise my calendar is not being booked efficiently.

Thanks in advance,
Eric

  • Nithin

    Hi EM,

    Hope you are doing good today. :slight_smile:

    If Service B is booked at 8:30PM, then Appointments says that there are no available times for Service A. However it should say that a time is available at 9PM or 9:15PM.

    Appointments + is more like one to one booking system, ie more of a single person reservation.

    I suppose you are not using a service provider? So, by default the appointments booked, will not be available for a different service for the same time slot. So if a service A is booked for time slot 8-9pm, that time slot will not be available for service B, because there is only one time frame.

    What you'll have to do is either create a service providers under Appointments > Settings > Service Provider, so that the time slot is booked based on service providers.

    Or if you think service providers doesn't fit to you needs, you could make use of Dummy Providers. Dummy Provider helps you pretend that you are multiple people providing the service, so that when you enable dummy provider you can still book the same time slot.

    Please check this thread on how to create a dummy provider:
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/change-username-and-google-cal-default-90-mins#post-1136780

    Appointments only allows users to book the 45minute-Service A at either 8PM or 8:45PM (why not other 15 minute increments if available)? Hence if 8:30-9PM is booked it says that there is no available time.

    There isn't any out of the box setting in the lite version, by default the plugin will create time slots according to the duration set in Services tab.

    In Appointments + version you could make use of the Paddings addons, under Appointments > Settings > Add-ons > Paddings. Once enabled you could add padding under Services tab. For eg: if the duration is 40 mins, a 20 mins padding will make the time slots available in the format: 8am, 9am, 10am, instead of 8am, 8:40am, 9:20am etc

    I hope this helps. Please advise if I had missed out anything. Have a nice weekend. :slight_smile:

    Kind Regards,
    Nithin

  • EM

    Thanks Nithin.

    Yes I understand the way the plugin uses service providers and dummy service provider. I see how that is useful in some circumstances - but not mine because I am the only service provider.

    Is there any way I can evaluate the padding feature to see if it solves the problem? (Is there a risk that the padding feature results in one provider being double-booked over the padding interval?)

    RE: "by default the plugin will create time slots according to the duration set in Services tab"

    Yes that makes sense for the duration - but it doesn't make sense that the start of the slot should only be a multiple of the "duration". It should be a multiple of the "time base". With a time base of, say 30 minutes, then in a period of 2 hours there should be 3 possible start times to schedule to a 60-minute meeting (e.g. 8:00, 8:30, 9:00). But the plugin only allows 2 possible start times (e.g. 8:00 and 9:00) because its calculus seems to be:

    [start of working hours] + [duration * n]

    where n = 0, 1, etc until [end of working hours] is reached by the calculation

    but should be

    [start of working hours] + [time base * n]

    Is there a way for me to adjust the code to enable this?

    Thanks,
    - Eric

  • Kasia Swiderska

    Hello Eric,

    Yes that makes sense for the duration - but it doesn't make sense that the start of the slot should only be a multiple of the "duration". It should be a multiple of the "time base".

    There is add-on in Appointments+ Pro version that will allow for that. In add-on activate "Durations"

    Then in Settings -> General -> Time in "Time slot calculus method" choose " Minimum time based appointment duration calculus (legacy)" - so your base 15 minutes will be slot.

    So then calendar will look like on the last screen.

    Lite version does not have add-ons and slots will be calculated basing on the service duration not on time base.

    Let me know if you have more questions.

    kind regards,
    Kasia

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