Advertiser Disclosure

Square Appointments Review

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.
Date Established
2007
Location
San Francisco, CA

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Excellent mobile app
  • Modern user interface

Cons

  • Expensive monthly cost
  • Excessively numerous features

Overview

Formerly an independent enterprise named BookFresh, the (relatively) small program was acquired by merchant services provider Square in 2014 and has since been rolled into that company’s infrastructure. BookFresh.com now serves primarily as a landing page for Square Appointments, an application that functions within the larger framework of Square’s SaaS offerings.

Although Square Appointments is part of a larger integrated platform meant to address a broad swath of business needs, it’s still possible to sign up specifically for the booking features without purchasing the entire platform. This is mostly a welcome feature, but it does have some drawbacks in the sense that it will often feel like some features are just out of reach of your plan. On the other hand, if you already use some of Square’s other products, or if you intend to use some of Square’s other products, this product may well be the best choice for you, since it works seamlessly with the rest of Square’s services.

Get Started With Square Appointments

Pricing

There is no way to disguise that Square Appointments is more expensive than many of its competitors. If you already use other Square products, the price may be worth it for the seamless integration. Luckily, you can sign-up for a 30-day free trial to get a sense of whether Square Appointments is worth the steep price of admission.

There are three plans, each of which offers the complete suite of scheduling features (but not total functionality, see below). The lower tiered plans cap the maximum number of staff who can access the account.

  • Just Me: $0/month, 2.75% per transaction
  • 2-5 Staff: $50/month, 2.5% +10 cents per transaction
  • 6-10: $90/month 2.5% + 10 cents per transaction

Ease Of Use

square

Like most of Square’s products, the UI in Square Appointments is clean, modern, and gives you the sense you can understand what’s going on in the app. The modern fonts, clear graphics and simple color scheme ease any sense of computer or Internet anxiety, which is nice for many professionals new to SaaS (software as a service). When you sign up, you’ll have a refreshingly small number of parameters to fill out: the name of your business, the services you offer, the length of time required for the service, and the fee for your service, if applicable. You’ll then be dropped into an Overview, which features a number of clickable pop-ups recommending some actions to get you started. These are very welcome considering the left-hand sidebar, which is full of words to click on.

Here’s where things start to get a little dicey. Many of those pesky sidebar features are lurking behind a paywall, so if you’re just trying to learn the appointment functions, things will look a bit cluttered at the outside. Do yourself a favor and just stick to the appointment tab at first. Here’s what you’ll find under it:

  • Calendar: Graphic, interactive, and simple, it operates very much like Google Calendar (with which you have the option to sync), featuring day, week, 5-day, and monthly views. Blocks of time can be booked as appointments or personal events simply by clicking on the calendar. You can decide whether or not clients need your approval to confirm your appointments, and whether to give them the option to reschedule on their own. One of the funnier and more unique features offered here is the Fake-It Filter, which randomly removes a percentage of your available time slots to give the appearance that you’re busier than you actually are. The interface is simple, responsive, and offers enough option fields to accommodate both minimalists and the detail-obsessed.
  • Business Hours: If you aren’t happy with the hours you set at the time of sign-up, you can modify them and other information about your company under the business tab. You can set specific services to only be available at specific times.
  • Customization: Square Appointments doesn’t offer too many customization options beyond the ability to modify some colors and fonts of your booking options. The default look is very professional and clean, but those who prefer the ability to curate their customer experiences a bit more tightly will probably be disappointed.
  • Services: Creating a new service is as simple as naming it, setting a price and time of availability, and assigning staff to it if applicable. Painless.
  • Staff: If your business consists of more than just you (and your plan allows it), you can add staff and define their roles and permissions under the Staff tab.

Get Started With Square Appointments

Customer Service & Support

Square offers a couple options for customer service, including:

  • Phone Support: Available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., you can call to speak to a human. You’ll need to enter your product code to get through, however.
  • Support Center: Like most online support centers for software, there is a lot to sort through here, especially since one knowledge base services all of Square’s numerous products. Fortunately, performing a simple search for “appointments” brings up plenty of material to help you suss out any issues you might be experiencing.

Negative Reviews & Complaints

As Square Appointments lives inside the larger Square framework, it’s a bit harder to isolate reviews of its functionality. Former BookFresh users have voiced some concerns on forums.

  • Cost: There’s no way around it. Square Appointments is considerably more expensive than BookFresh. Most criticisms of the software are focused on this aspect.
  • Too Many Options: This is only a problem if you have modest booking needs, but some users felt like they didn’t need everything Square has to offer.
  • Mobile App Limitations: Mobile users complained about having to re-enter customer information in the app.

Positive Reviews & Testimonials

Square is a well-liked program, garnering an impressive 4.4/5 stars on G2 Crowd. The latest version of the Square Appointments app has also been well-received at 4/5 stars on iOS. Users liked:

  • Integrated Functionality: Users who also took advantage of the payment processing systems and other features Square has to offer consider Appointments to be a good value.
  • Ease Of Use: Considering just how much Square can do, it’s remarkably easy to use.
  • Portability: Square was originally designed for mobile devices, so just about everything it offers is available on the go as an app or a peripheral.

Features

Square Appointments is only one of the vast array of merchant services integrated into Square’s broader SaaS platform. You can access this additional functionality through the massive sidebar at the left side of the screen. A number of these other merchant services come at additional cost, however.

  • Point of Sale/Inventory Management: Square Appointments functions perfectly alongside the Square POS management system, which is a huge plus.
  • Employee Management: If you employ a sales team and would like to keep track of their performance within Square, you can do so at a cost of $5/person per month.
  • Customer Management: While largely related to Square’s POS functionality, you can take advantage of the SaaS’s intricate customer management tools to track loyalty, satisfaction, and feedback.
  • Email Marketing: Yes, Square can also function as a lean ESP if you’re so inclined. It’s no MailChimp, but it does allow you to leverage the same customer base you’ve built up through your booking and sales functionality. You can send customers coupons, welcomes, and announcements to clientele based on criteria like the frequency of their visits. Your template selection is extremely limited–classic and a seasonal option. You can edit the elements of the template, but it’s limited to adding and subtracting elements, swapping out images, and changing text. Pricing comes in two flavors: you can pay 10 cents per email, or pay $15/month per 500 contacts to send unlimited emails.
  • Customer Booking: Booking from the client’s perspective is extremely easy. From your booking website (or integrated widget), they simply select a type of appointment or specific service, choose an available time slot, and enter their contact information. The system was responsive during my tests, with an SMS text confirmation coming within seconds of booking the appointment.
  • Mobile App: Square Appointments is available as a standalone app for iOS.

Get Started With Square Appointments

Payments

If you’re planning to take payments through your booking software, you’ll be able to leverage Square’s considerable expertise in that area. There’s no additional monthly fee for using the sale services, but Square takes a 2.75 percent cut of swiped and online/invoice transactions and 3.5 percent plus 15 cents on every keyed-in transaction. For a more comprehensive look at the functionality, check out our Square POS review.

Security

Square’s security policy is what you might expect for a company that holds sensitive information and transfers payments. It adheres to PCI security standards and features encryption, segregated networks, and payment encryption.

Integrations and Add-Ons

As feature-rich as Square is, it’s quite expandable. Among the integrations available for it are:

  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Xero
  • Zoho Books
  • TaxJar
  • One Up
  • Commerce Synch
  • Shopventory
  • Intrakr Inventory
  • Stitch Labs
  • Whisk
  • Shopseen
  • Weebly
  • Bigcommerce
  • Ecwid
  • ShipStation
  • IFTTT
  • Fresh KDS
  • InvoiceASAP
  • TSheets
  • When I Work

Final Verdict

As part of a larger, integrated merchant services platform, Square Appointments can provide established small businesses with just about everything they need to run their digital infrastructure with the added bonus of working perfectly with all the other numerous Square products. On a less substantive note, Square brings a high degree of polish to their products. If you like clean, visually pleasing UIs, you’ll be pleased with what Square has to offer here.

All of this, of course, assumes that you need and will use everything Square has to offer. If you only need to book appointments, this service a bit too rigid in the customization department to justify its hefty price tag. Those lighter users can find what they need in cheaper (even free) competitors.

Get Started With Square Appointments

Chris Motola

Chris Motola

Finance Writer at Merchant Maverick
Chris Motola is a writer, programmer, game designer, and product of NY. These days he's mostly writing about financial products, but in a past life he wrote about health care and business. He's a graduate of the University of Central Florida.
Leave a comment

17 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Lewis

    I would give it zero stars if I could. Their software does not put appointments scheduled by customers onto our Square Appointment calendar and it does not notify us of any new customer requests. This is the absolute antithesis of what it means to be a scheduling software, but as bad as that is, their customer service is even worse. Atrocious, does not even begin to describe it.Do yourself a favor and find another provider before they put you out of business.

    1

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

      Jane

      I agree Lewis, horrible experience for me as well.

        Stephen

        How unfortunate an experience we’ve had with Bookfresh. I consider them to falsely advertise their ability. For example, their group scheduling ‘algorithm’ isn’t an ‘algorithm’ at all. It simply selects an employee calendar at random. If that one person isn’t available, it says the whole group is unavailable.

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

          Cyndi Stewart

          Book fresh is the worst company Ive ever dealt with and their customer service is useless. If you need an answer to a question, they respond promptly but never with an answer to your question and of course they wont talk to you, so you have to do all of this timely follow up to hopefully pin down a correct answer. They use to have a 15 min “secret” set up call (they wont tell you about the call) but doesn’t matter, and they took that away. Do you self a favor and use eventbrite or schedulicity

          1

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

            Ardath Berliant

            I have been using Bookfresh for years. When it first came out I liked it better than anything else on the market. Lately, not so much. Here are the reasons: When a client schedules, a call is made to my phone, bookfresh tells me who the client is and time requested and asks me to push “1” to accept, this feature has not worked for months and bookfresh is not letting us know when it will be working again. A very frustrating experience, especially because I paid for a year in advance. When I contacted the company, their response was to give me one month credit – which doesn’t help me much. Shame on Bookfresh for getting worse instead of better. I will soon take my business elsewhere.

            2

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

              Megan Zetter

              BookFresh has been a giant headache from day one. However, being a small business owner and more or less running the show, finding another online scheduling system did not take precedence. BookFresh does work, but it has so many glitches that I would constantly be cursing it and thinking that I have to find something else. Then I found Acuity! What a life saver and business changer. They have been nothing but phenomenal. Customer service is top notch. I NEVER got a response from BookFresh when I made an inquire. Ever. I can’t say enough good things about Acuity. They are the best!

              1

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                Tibor Fekete

                This program is very rigid and is not flexible for multiple bookings. Whatever business you have, this is only good for booking one event at a time, if you are a barber with multiple chairs and need to book multiple times, good luck, and the fact that you cannot speak to them in person is very unprofessional. I would not recommend this service unless it was for a single booking type business.

                1

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                  Rebecca Wilson

                  I had been using BookFresh for a few months up until recently when we started noticing that certain times were not available that should have been. I tried reaching out to their customer support, and got no response. I kept following up and eventually got a message back linking to some help article that didn’t answer my questions at all.After searching for alternatives, I came across FlexBooker (www.flexbooker.com) and after using them for the last few weeks will never look back. It’s been like night and day honestly, the system is more flexible for me and the customer support is just awesome, I can’t say enough good things about them. Just wanted to add my experience to the mix here.

                  1

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                    Ernesto

                    Horrible tech support :I signed for the trial and canceled 2 weeks later because I found something better, The company has charged my credit card for two months now, I can’t get anybody to respond to my multiples emails , there is not voice mail or tech support person.I can’t believe that, the company doesn’t have a live person to respond to questions or cancellations, please call the number just out of curiosity and you will see.I am going to keep trying to get my money back.Please be aware of the poor customer service.

                    1

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                      Ryan

                      Hey Bianca,
                      Nice history of the company. You should mention that Bookfresh was purchased recently by Square. I did a video review of Bookfresh that might be useful for your readers. Feel free to include it in your post if you’d like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-K02HYLvl4

                      I used Bookfresh on a client site and didn’t like the overall function of it, similar to some of the CONS you mentioned above. It’s not as flexible as some of the other options out there. I used Bookeo recently and it’s much better.

                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                        Bianca van der Meulen

                        Hi Ryan,

                        Thanks for the heads up on the acquisition! We have Bookeo on the upcoming review roster; I’m excited to find out more about it.

                        And thanks for the link to your review. Anyone reading this post should see the link and be encouraged to hear a new perspective (though we seem to agree on many things!).

                        Best,
                        Bianca

                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                          Victoria

                          I also signed up for the 30 day trial of the Business package. My credit card was charged on March 27th (before the end of the 30-day trial) for $19.95 and it said the billing cycle ended on April 27th. I immediately downgraded my membership to “freebie” and lost ALL my “business” benefits (also IMMEDIATELY). I contacted customer service and the representative confirmed that I was no longer eligible to use the business package. I replied back and stated that this seems to be an antiquated way of doing things, and that I should have access to the business package until the end of my billing cycle. Now after reading this post and the comments, I’m thinking they charged my card on the incorrect date also. I will be looking for another online appointment booking system. So long BookFresh.

                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                            Donna Ayres

                            I set up a BookFresh demo using my credit card to secure the free 30 day trail membership. This membership was cancelled within the first 2 weeks of the trial, though 2 weeks later my credit card was charged $19.95. Upon calling BookFresh, the phone number is inactive. I have disputed this charge and caution anyone who is considering trying BookFresh too look elsewhere.

                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                              Michelline

                              I have never signed up for Bookfresh and had a 24.90 charge to my card. I tried finding a number to call, no luck, so i emailed them and the woman said she couldn’t find an account for me. I told her I didn’t have one but they carged me for it, she then went on to say that I must have set up an appointment with a company and they charged my card and I need to contact them….I did no such thing, and the charge CLEARLY says: BKF*BOOKFRESH, 888-7869589 -$24.90
                              I sent pictures of my card statement to the support email people and they stopped responding……REALLY??

                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                Wendie

                                I’ve just discovered the exact same situation. We’ve been charged $24.95 since Sept 2014 and I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t discover it until today. I thought it was my husband buying books which is normal for us. We’ve never even heard of this account. I plan to contact the company tomorrow but based on your comment I’m concerned I’ll get no where. I also plan to contact our credit card. Any advice on how to approach this? Did you end up getting your money back and new charges stopped?

                                1

                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                  Gabe

                                  Did you find any other software you would recommend instead? Any that are private label that could be used in consultation with clients? Thanks for the great article.

                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                    Bianca van der Meulen

                                    Hi Gabe,

                                    Thanks for reading!

                                    My recommendation has to depend on what you’re looking for. If it’s private label, check out ScheduleOnce. Our review describes its pros and cons, while this site explains its private label option.

                                    Hope this helps. Best of luck!
                                    Bianca

                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                    Leave a Reply

                                    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

                                    Your Review

                                    Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.
                                    Please read the "User Review and Comment Policy" before posting.

                                    Share