In this document:
We want to go over how Simply Schedule Appointments prevents double-bookings in our form integrations. Specifically answering:
When two people are trying to book the same time slot in Gravity or Formidable Forms, who gets the slot?
The answer: Whoever picks the time slot first, for the most part…
How We Prevent Double-Bookings in Formidable and Gravity Forms
In our regular booking form for SSA, an appointment gets booked the instant someone submits the form.
But, when SSA is used within one of the form builder integrations, we mark a time slot as “pending” right after someone selects the time. When a time slot is marked as “pending” it becomes immediately unavailable for other users to select and book.
If someone tries to select the same time slot they’ll receive the message, “Sorry, that time was just booked and is no longer available. Please choose another time.” and they’re taken back to the time selection screen.
The “pending” status is active for 30 minutes, and if the user’s 30-minute timer runs out, then we release the time slot and remove the pending status. After this, any user is able to book that specific time slot.
We designed it this way because SSA doesn’t have a way to interrupt a Formidable or Gravity Form from being submitted.
Double-Booking Prevention Example
Let’s say Mary chooses to book an appointment on July 16 at 9 AM. She selects that time slots in the Formidable/Gravity Form. SSA marks the time slot as “pending” and starts the 30 minute timer.
But, Mary remembers that she has to go pick up her kids from school, so she doesn’t have time to submit the form. During those 30 minutes, the time slot is not listed as available. 30 minutes later, Mary does not submit her form because she’s still away from her computer.
Now, John is looking at your form, he wants to book an appointment on July 16 at 9 AM. Since Mary has left her time slot unattended for over 30 minutes, it appears as available for John.
John chooses the same time slot and books within a minute. He successfully books July 16 at 9 AM.
Mary comes back to finish booking, but it’s too late, her appointment is marked as abandoned even if she submits her form.
Changing the Pending Timer Duration
If you’d like to extend or shorten the 30-minute pending duration, you can install a mini plugin we’ve created for this from our Github repo here.
Here’s an instant download link if you’re not familiar with using Github.
To edit the pending duration, install and activate the mini-plugin we sent you > go to the WordPress Plugin Editor on your site > go to the SSA Customization plugin using the dropdown in the top-right corner > and edit the plugin where it says “10”.
Enter your desired duration in minutes and save.
File a support ticket with our five-star support team to get more help.