Online Services Policies

This page specifies the general and feature-specific policies for including online services in your Maps Booking API feed. To ensure a consistent experience for consumers, merchants, and partners using Reserve with Google, inventory for online services must adhere to the appropriate guidelines. Failure to adhere to these policies will lead to suspension of your integration.

Service Eligibility

  • Online services must be fully facilitated online
    • An in-person service should be specified as a separate service in the Services feed
    • Hybrid services that combine both online and in-person participants (e.g. yoga service that has both physical and virtual attendees) are not supported
  • Services must be bookable at least one hour in advance of the start time
  • Free or $0 priced services must meet the minimum guidelines outlined in our Pricing Policies
  • Pricing Options are not supported for online services
  • Services must be conducted in real time

Feed Requirements for Online Services

Platform

  • Partners must indicate the platform that they will be providing the service in the VirtualPlatformInfo field of the Services feed. The merchant is required to facilitate the service via this platform. Failure to administer the service on this platform shall entitle the user to a full refund.
  • Partners may share additional information about the service (meeting ID, unique video link, password) via the VirtualSessionInfo field in the CreateBooking method of the booking server.

Session Instructions (‘How to Get Started’ in Checkout Flow)

Please use this section to describe the logistics of how the service setup works:

  • Details and instructions on how the service will be facilitated
  • Merchant-specific restrictions
    • Cost per session vs. cost per person
    • New customer vs. returning customer
    • Indicate if recording of the service is permitted
  • Information around when/how to expect the online service link/video instructions
    • A link to the service must be provided at least 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the service session
    • If payment has not been received prior to 30 minutes from the start of the service, the partner should send us a cancellation RTU indicating that the booking has been cancelled

Session Requirements (‘What You’ll Need’ in Checkout Flow)

Please use this section to highlight required equipment to participate in the service:

  • Service-specific equipment (e.g. yoga mat, cooking utensils, gym ball, software)
  • Recommended space limitations (e.g. requires access to 1 meter of open floor space, kitchen access)
  • Ingredients (e.g. flour, sugar)

Payment Info

If you have payments enabled through your Maps Booking API integration, you must collect payment through this method and adhere to all Payment Policies.

If you do not have payments enabled as part of your integration, you must indicate the payment methods that the merchants can accept via the DirectMerchantPayment field in the Services feed. Merchants may not request any other payment methods other than those listed.

Confirmation Email from the Partner or Merchant to the User

The partner or merchant is responsible for sending a confirmation email to the user with the following information:

  • Details about the service
    • Session Instructions (‘How to Get Started’ in Checkout Flow)
    • Session Requirements (‘What You’ll Need’ in Checkout Flow)
  • Instructions on how to make payment
  • Cancellation Policy
  • Emails should adhere to our marketing and email policy and partners should minimize the email exchange to the following emails:
    • Email requesting payment
    • Email confirming payment received to the user
      • Partners must also validate payment received via the VirtualSessionInfo field in the CreateBooking method of the booking server
    • [Optional] Reminder email to the user and instructions on how to join the online services.

Feed Requirements for both Online and In-Person Services

Service Name

  • Service name should clearly indicate the type of service the user is booking with no additional information.
    • Online services will be designated with an icon for online services, so this should not be included in the service name
  • The following fields are not approved as part of the service name:
    • Price
    • Platform Name
    • Level of experience required
    • Online vs. in-person designation

Service Description

  • The service description should include the following information:

    • If the service is aimed at a specific level of aptitude (beginner, intermediate) that should be specified
    • Maximum number of participants
    • General description of the service
    • If a suggested donation is being solicited by the merchant following receipt of the service
  • The service description should not include the following information:

    • Payment information
    • Instructor name - this should be specified in the Resources field in the Availability feed
    • Duration of the service - this should be set by the duration_sec in the Availability feed
    • Session Instructions (‘How to Get Started’ in Booking Flow)
    • Session Requirements (‘What You’ll Need’ in Booking Flow)

Rules and Restrictions

This section will be used to display the following:

  • Provided through feed:
    • Cancellation policy - Details provided in the feed. If payment is taking place outside of the Reserve with Google flow, the merchant must adhere to the stated cancellation policy.

Developer Documentation

Specific information about integrating the new fields and additional technical specifications can be found in the virtual services tutorial.