I was trying to book a time slot at the Washington Park tennis courts using the online reservation system I found on the burlingame.org/parksandrec website.
The system prompted me to select a time slot and submit my request. On Sunday at 11:40am I received an email that my request was "Pending" and on Monday at 1pm I received an email that the request was denied.
That email didn't explain why my request was denied so, confused, I replied to that email the same day but didn't get a response back. The next day (Tuesday) I called the number provided in the email. I had to leave a vm since nobody answered the phone.
So around 1pm on Tuesday I received a call back from a gentleman (I believe he said his name was Kevin) who explained that he receives all the requests and has to manually approve each one of them. He also said that not all the times that are displayed on the website are ACTUALLY available. Since it's a first-come-first-serve basis, he only approves requests that came first. He said that it is done this way so that "people won't book multiple time slots at a time" and would let others play, too.
While I support the idea of tennis court availability for all, I don't understand why this process is so "manual" while there is actually a website (that the city paid to build and pays for hosting).
I tried sending two or three more requests and they all got denied as well. This feels like a waste of my time to be honest. Going back and forth with emails / requests and waiting for a human to approve it sounds like an outdated way to do things, especially since we are in the center of Silicon Valley. If the system needs to be THAT manual the parks and rec department could also just ditch the website and accept requests by phone.
Why can't people in Burlingame have real-time information on the website and make it convenient for everybody. Preventing the same users from booking multiple time slots is possible from the technical point of view. I am confident because I myself am a software engineer.