Spa

By Kelly Hushin

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If you’re anything like the rest of us all-too-busy city dwellers, you’re getting frightened by how quickly the pages of your daily planner for ’08 are filling up. When on earth will you fit in that much-needed massage, facial, haircut, or personal training session? It’s becoming a fantasy to think that such time will ever exist, and even if you do manage to finagle an extended lunch break one day, what are the chances your fave spas and salons have an appointment available?

While we can’t fix the issues that arise out of having an overzealous social life, we can offer a small bit of time alleviation to bring the stress level down a notch; and what’s best is that it won’t require you moving away from your desk at work or computer screen at home.

Lifebooker.com, launched in the beginning of October, was created to relieve some of the time commitment that comes with trying to find open appointments around the city. Since its launch, about 1,200 appointments have been booked through the site. Andrew Unger and Dana Reichman had been developing the site for around two years prior to its launch and followed a business model similar to that of popular search sites like Orbitz.com.

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“We realized that on the Internet, there was nothing that allowed quality service providers to advertise their appointment availabilities,” said Unger. “You could go on craigslist and see some, but we wanted to give high-quality service providers a chance to showcase their down time.”

The concept is simple – spa and beauty providers post their schedules online on a daily basis, giving consumers the opportunity to search for a specific service at any time of day. But how does the Lifebooker team get their clients to post listings? Who’s watching their in-house press and/or marketing people to make sure they’re keeping the schedule updated through online programming?
The truth is – no one has to. “Spas and salons only pay us after people honor an appointment,” Unger explained. “Unlike citysearch.com, which is pay per click, we only charge when someone books and honors an appointment. Generally, the model of advertising sites right now charge their client every time someone clicks on that service provider. We wanted to have a different kind of model.”

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We can rest assured that the appointment schedules are correct because the spa or salon wants business, and undoubtedly will keep schedules updated and open appointment times listed. Lifebooker gives the opportunity to search for open appointments for services like waxing, tanning, facials, manicures, permanent hair removal and more. The health and fitness component will be added soon.
“We plan on doing all types of services eventually,” said Reichman. “We also have rewards that the customer gets. Every time they rate their experiences booked through the site, they get dollars to use for another service booked through the site.”

As Reichman explained, the site gives the consumer tools to compare local services which allow him/her to search for a specific service, neighborhood, date and time, view that location’s service menu and read reviews from patrons who have actually had services performed there as a result of a booking through the site. Unlike other sites which allow any consumers to rate services at given locations, Lifebooker only allows reviews from people who booked and honored an appointment through their site.

The site has also launched a discount engine to allow people to discount certain items based on their schedules. According to Unger, there has been a huge response from clients to offer discounts through Lifebooker. But guess what? Beauty News NYC readers can get a discount right now! Simply follow the steps listed below to receive $50 off your spa appointment!

The best news for the sites users (besides the fabulous discount for us BN readers of course)? Booking appointments is no longer public information, so whether at work or at home, there’s no need to pick up a phone. No more worrying about your boss overhearing you on the phone saying, “Hi. Yes, I was wondering if you have any open appointments on Friday for a Brazilian bikini wax?”

Priceless.

To receive your Beauty News NYC Lifebooker discount:

1) Go to www.Lifebooker.com
2) When you book enter the code BeautyNewsNYC in the gift certificate box
3) Receive $50 off of your appointment
4) Pass the Gift code to your friends and family so they can use it as well!

One use per customer. This offer is subject to change by sole discretion of LifeBooker, LLC.

Originally published January 2008

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2 Responses to “Lifebooker
the Online Answer to Scheduling your Next Spa Appointment

Natalie Says:

I just wanted to share this with you – to prevent your readers from having similar experiences! I had a horrible experience with Lifebooker, and will any of the zillions of other deal sites out there before I ever use Lifebooker again. This was the result of an awful experience with KimLoveMuse, as described below:

I purchased 5 vouchers for 30 minute psychic readings with KimLoveMuse I purchased one for myself, and the rest as Christmas gifts for my friends, and a few of us made appointments this week/end to try it out. I was the first to go, with an appointment set for Friday afternoon. Unfortunately, what transpired was one of the most surprising and horrible experiences I could have ever imagined.

Initially, there was some confusion – as Kim had me written in her diary for 3:30pm, and I had confirmed a 3pm appointment – and so was at her office by 2:50pm. However, regardless of who had the correct time – I waited for Kim to arrive until 3:50 pm! TWENTY minutes after my alleged 3:30 start time, and a full hour since I arrived. At this point, I calmly explained to Kim that I could not fulfill a full 30 minute appointment without being late to my next engagement uptown at 4:30, and so would need to reschedule. She had already been extremely rude at every junction of our interaction up to this point, and here she turned downright nasty. First she began yelling at me about how everyone always changes their schedules around, calling me and everyone else “entitled” then continued yelling at me again about some girls that she had just had an argument with down in the lobby (who are these girls and why am I in trouble for whatever they did? No idea). At this point, I asked if I could actually just cancel the appointment altogether. Wishing to remain polite and not start a fight, I said that I was looking for a reading early in the season and since she was “booked for weeks” I would rather just cancel. Here she asked me if I was kidding, called me “entitled” again at least twice – at which point I said “to be honest, I’m just not really feeling the vibe between us and I don’t think it’s going to work out.” Her response was to shout “neither am I! I don’t WANT to read you! Go get a refund for your 30 dollars from Lifebooker, freakin’ pathetic” and stormed off. I left the lobby in a state of shock.

I am NOT the sort of person who gets into arguments or altercations easily, and in this scenario was even more understanding because I really did want to have a fun psychic reading for my friends and I to start the new year! Needless to say, I did not want to use my voucher with Kim, nor did I want my friends to be subjected to such a nasty experience, so I explained the situation to Lifebooker and asked for a refund. After ignoring my email, I got someone on the phone who said that they would request a refund from Kim and get back to me. After not hearing from them for another few days, I called again. The same interaction went on FOUR more times – during each interaction, I was extremely polite and explained the situation again and again, to which their reply was “we want to help you resolve this issue, and will call you by the end of the day.” Well, that never happened. I wish that it were just $30 on the line like Kim said – but it’s actually $200 for all 5 vouchers at $40 each. I am now talking to my lawyer about suing them and/or KimLoveMuse for this incredibly unethical conduct. Since this happened, I’ve heard dozens of awful stories about Lifebooker similar to mine. Lifebooker obviously does NOT care about their clients, so why should we support them? There are a million other competing sites like LivingSocial or Groupon who do the same thing, and with a better reputation.


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Maria P Says:

I always use services such as groupons, living social, giltcity, bloomspot and a whole bunch of other site to find good deals. When I came across Lifebooker, I was hesitant when they ask from my CC info but then I felt comfortable after the site states that my CC will only be charge once I receive services…guess what, one month after my cancelled appointment, the company used my card without my knowledge and debit my account for a cancelled appointment. Even though I cancelled the appointment with the salon, the entire amount – 100% was debited from my account because I did not cancel with this site. When I emailed them for a refund they told me that the salon debited my account, I called the salon and the salon said that Lifebooker debited my account. I called back lifebooker when the rep come on the phone and said since my account was already debited, they could not refund me. I hope the $24.75 was worth a potential long term customer. GOOD RIDDANCE…WILL NEVER, EVER USE THIS SITE…I wanted to file a small claims, but why give them free publicity…


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