MyTime app allows users to book appointments efficiently

October 1, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
As you know calling to make an appointment with a doctor, a hair stylist, or a plumber often leads to haggling over what time you're both available.

Well, a Bay Area company is promising you'll never have to do that anymore thanks to a free iPhone app you can download starting Thursday.

ABC7 News interviewed Sarena Bahad during a massage because it's the only time she sits still. She works for a startup and keeps really busy, so who knows when she'll have time to book a haircut appointment.

"I don't have time to sit there and call five different salons and be like hey do you have an appointment at 2 p.m.? You know, cuz especially day of, I don't know my schedule tomorrow," Bahad said.

Like every appointment, Bahad booked the massage at the last minute.

But she didn't book it over the phone. Bahad's one of the first users of a service called MyTime, whose creator is making a bold claim.

"I don't think anybody will be calling to make appointments five years from now," MyTime Founder and CEO Ethan Anderson said.

Anderson showed ABC7 News the free Mytime iPhone app that lines up your calendar, with the electronic calendars of massage therapists, dog groomers, car mechanics and instantly shows you who's available at the time you're free.

"Click booked purchased done. It's as easy as using Lyft or Uber to get transportation, or using OpenTable to get a restaurant reservation," Anderson said.

And just like those services, MyTime shows you ratings and reviews.

Some are from Yelp, which isn't perfect.

"There has been a lot coming out in the last couple of weeks about 20 plus percent of reviews being fake," Anderson said.

But the ones at the top are MyTime's own brand of reviews.

"And one of the things I really like about the MyTime reviews is you can only leave the review after you've had the appointment and so you can't fake it. There's no gaming," Anderson said.

MyTime is free for customers. It makes money by charging businesses a commission the very first time a new customer walks in the door. And for business owners that's often just fine because those are spots on the calendar that would've been empty.

"It's like Santa Claus. You wake up in the morning and look there's little presents on your schedule. And we didn't have anything to do with it. It's a complete surprise," massage therapist Lauri Karstetter said.

For therapeutic massage, it's almost like having a night receptionist.

In fact, in a few months of testing MyTime found nearly half its appointments are booked at night when businesses are closed, which is about the only time Bahad has to herself.

"I love it, it's so convenient," Bahad said.

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