Manage/Prevent Duplicate Bookings (ie: Camping)

The problem I have is one or more persons booking 5 or more appointments just for their convenience. When questioned the reply was that they can decide how they “feel” that day and decide if they want to come. Therefor, they just No Show until they “feel” like it. This blocks appointments for those that REALLY want to come.
I have looked at a LOT of posts in the community and the FAQ’s and find very little to be helpful to prevent this in the booking process or identify it during or after the booking…
My Question: Is it possible via API to determine if the booker has other open appointments in YCB and challenge it? OR Is it possible to retrieve some live data from the calendar that will list multiple open appointments for a booker?
FYI: Tentative bookings is out of the question as it would add too much work load. Suggestions welcomed. I am using the google calendar. Thanks.

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@sylvia4healthysoluti welcome to the Forum!

Yes this is a tricky one. We are scoping out one time booking links meaning that folks can only book once, so that will prevent a ton of this that you are seeing. Timing with that is within the next 3-6 months though, if all things go according to plan (which in tech is rare!).

Tentative is the best solution, but it does add a manual piece to your workflow. There isn’t a way through the API to search for an email address to get multiple bookings. But that would be a nice improvement to our bookings endpoint.

There could be a way to setup a multi step Zap with Zapier that gets information from the booking, then checks a spreadsheet and then cancels the booking if there is an existing booking already on the sheet. This process isn’t straight forward though and would be a bit to setup.

Thanks. Here is one way in the present environment. I am a techy so I have considered exporting the calendar from Google itself. With that I am searching for a way to extract only the the lines for start dates and the email and the phone number, etc for each booking. Not my preferred method & I don’t know how serious I am about pursuing that. I was hoping to find a simpler method so I could turn it over to a non-tech person. I could then make that into some sort of script to run against the calendar download. It would only be a list but if I structure it correctly, could sort it & make it easy to visually identify the culprits.

Another thing that might be helpful in your addressing this: Is that we have families that have 2 to 7 people as clients and one person in that family handles all the bookings, so they use the same email address on the bookings. I know that is not ideal but we don’t want to make clients login to make a booking. These might be considered duplicate bookings based solely on email address. I would use email address as a possible flag for a duplicate but not the only criteria. And if you identify possible duplicate bookings and still don’t know for sure, then you might query the booker to confirm or deny. Yes, I know they can falsify information to get around it. Maybe an email sent to the administrator to investigate and confirm or deny, and I would show “Possible Duplicate” in the subject line.

@sylvia4healthysoluti that is a great suggestion. I like the idea of a potential confirmation email to the owner if there is duplicate bookings. But as you mentioned it would get tricky if we base this off of email address or IP address, as some folks might be making legitimate bookings. I would expect that these would not be the norm though and only a handful you would need to actually cancel.