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View Poll Results: How Do You Prefer To Schedule Appointments/Reservations?
Phone tag to restaurant, doctors office, etc. 9 15.52%
Online appointment/reservation system 48 82.76%
In person at the restaurant/doctors offices (or OTHER) 1 1.72%
Voters: 58. You may not vote on this poll

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Poll: How Do You Prefer To Make Appointments/Reservations?
Old 05-12-2017, 09:20 AM   #1
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Poll: How Do You Prefer To Make Appointments/Reservations?

I'm tired of playing phone tag just to schedule an appointment or reservation. If there will be someone there to schedule appointments over the phone no problem, but too many never answer so you have to leave a message and play tag just to schedule an appointment? These days online ought to be an option for most if not all in my view, online scheduling is a mature app, but some dinosaurs people seem to insist on phone tag...

And there is no way I'd do business with a doctor, restaurant, etc. who didn't accept phone or online appointments - e.g. you have to appear in person to schedule an appointment/reservation. YMMV
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:28 AM   #2
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I like to leave my doctor's office with an appointment card in hand for my next appointment (even if it is six months away). Then I can copy it onto my calendar right away the minute I get home, and I have the physical card in my wallet if I need to check the date and time for some reason while away from home and internet.

As for restaurant reservations, we just don't do that. If a restaurant is busy or has a line, we go to a different restaurant. But then, it's not like we are eating our lunches at Antoine's or Galatoire's every day so that seldom happens. A couple of weeks ago the parking lot at our favorite restaurant was full, and we went to our second favorite one instead. No big deal.
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:37 AM   #3
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I can't think of any place where I've had to make reservations in person. Is that a real thing?


My strong preference is online, where I can see all the options in case my first choice isn't available.
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:40 AM   #4
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Online wherever possible. Most places have perfectly fine reservation systems for that - except doctors and dentists. Even with the ones that do have an online system, it tends to be buggy and unreliable. I don't know why that is - my primary has been trying to get their website up and running for the better part of a decade and it is STILL just barely useable. Just one notch above Federal Government sites such as Treasury direct or IRS....
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Old 05-12-2017, 10:43 AM   #5
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I found this was an advantage of having a very young dentist; when he assumed the practice he immediately brought their systems up to date. The forms are even on iPads and you sign with your finger. Now if it would send confirming emails with outlook calendar invitations. Maybe I'll ask about that next time.

Oh, turns out he's a pretty good dentist too, despite being a whipper snapper.
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Old 05-12-2017, 11:05 AM   #6
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I can't think of any place where I've had to make reservations in person. Is that a real thing?


My strong preference is online, where I can see all the options in case my first choice isn't available.
+1
I've never encountered the in-person requirement. If not online, the phone has always done the job.
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:00 PM   #7
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I prefer online, but a couple of my doctors now have automated phone reservations where you can either select the next available open time, or input a requested date/time for the reservation (if not available it offers a couple of alternative choices). That can work well.
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:32 PM   #8
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Can't vote because I prefer doing phone but never had to play tag.
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:49 PM   #9
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The introvert in me selected #2, reservation system.

But if I really, really have to, then I'll have to bring out the big gun and make an actual phone call .
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:54 PM   #10
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I can't relate to the OP's experience, so I didn't answer the poll. I can never remember playing phone tag to get a doctor's appointment or restaurant reservation. Most of my doctor/dentist appointments are set before I leave the office. Otherwise phone or online scheduling works fine. I've never once been required to "appear in person" to schedule an appointment.

We make restaurant reservations occasionally using OpenTable. Otherwise we call and have never had a problem. Our favorite place is an insanely popular sushi bar that only sits 10 people at the bar, two sittings per night, five days a week. You typically have to book 2 to 3 months ahead. So we usually book our next reservation before we leave.
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:12 PM   #11
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we use foretees for golf and dinner reservations

dr appts are made by phone
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:26 PM   #12
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If I can make an appointment without talking to someone, I will (many restaurants for example now take online reservations). But often, a phone call is still the best (and sometimes only) way to set up an appointment.
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:43 PM   #13
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Prefer on line reservations in almost all cases when available. I'll sometimes make my next doctors appointment 6 mos in advance while in the Dr's office but I'll usually end up changing or canceling that so that doesn't work very well.
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:48 PM   #14
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Can't vote because I prefer doing phone but never had to play tag.
+1 If they don't answer or return my call in a few minutes I'm gone.
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:48 PM   #15
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I can't think of any place where I've had to make reservations in person. Is that a real thing?
Recurring appointments. I have to get my teeth cleaned every four months so it is easier to make the next appointment before I leave my dentist's office. Same for dermatologist skin cancer exams every six months or when I had physical therapy once a week for several months. If you forget to make an appointment when you are at their office and wait too long to phone, you may not be able to get an appointment for weeks or even a couple of months.
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:10 PM   #16
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Normally I have the next Dr. appointments made at the time I'm in the office, if not I call on the phone. I don't think any of them have the capability of making appointments online.

As for restaurants, it's rare that we go to one where reservations are required. As for waiting in line at a restaurant, that simply does not happen. They're running a business and if they're too busy to take my money I'll spend it somewhere else. Since we like it quiet we normally go at off-peak times anyway, like two or three in the afternoon so it usually isn't an issue.

I stopped shopping at a regional hardware chain (Hechinger, if anyone around the DC area remembers them) because the service went downhill with long lines at the checkout registers. They went out of business a year or two later.
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:28 PM   #17
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Even when I'm traveling, I find the OpenTable app to be very good for restaurant reservations.
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:56 PM   #18
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My strong preference is online, where I can see all the options in case my first choice isn't available.
This is my preference, especially for golf. If just myself and one other friend are going, we try to find a tee time with as many open spots in front of us as possible so that we're not stuck behind slow groups.
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:04 PM   #19
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I love OpenTable for restaurants. I often browse there, and pick from what is available when I didn't already have a set place in mind.

Drs, Dentists, would be nice if more had online, but even when they do I find a high rate of mess ups. Spa/hair also I'd really prefer online....But even most of those are more of a request/submit tool, and not an actual booking.

I don't experience a common phone tag scenario, but it's the old:

"When do you want to come in?
...How's tuesday afternoon then....
"Um no that's booked, how about Thursday at 10?
...errrr...friday afternoon instead?
"Hmm, so, let's check next week then!"

That exchange - I can do without, and that is solved with an online booking tool.
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:26 PM   #20
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For professional services, appointment software is often linked/integrated to their entire bookkeeping system - so it can be very difficult (and an exposure to more hacking) if they make it available on-line. That is likely a large part of why many healthcare (and other) professionals require you to communicate verbally to set up an appointment time.
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