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How do you do....it? Thread, Is Parentpay any good? in Technical; ParentPay support services includes telephone, email and online resources. At busy times we have sometimes struggled to respond to answer ...
  1. #76

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    ParentPay support services includes telephone, email and online resources. At busy times we have sometimes struggled to respond to answer all inbound calls and email/online enquiries are helpful for us in allocating cases. The current round of upgrades includes a new phone management system which allows us to have many more concurrent inbound calls, to match the increased staff levels. We never promise to be able to take every call, but in the future we'll be able to respond to many more than we could in the past.

  2. #77

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    Nice to see the CEO on here, more companies need to do this - however, they also need to do this *before* people are ranting and stomping feet.

    Communication is the key to success, especially in the education market!

    Doing updates? Fine, tell us beforehand! Better still, don't schedule them during term time. We who work in schools would be shot if we did upgrades during terms as our customers need 100% uptime during that time. As you're supplying schools, you have the very unique situation where demand for the service drops significantly during holiday times. Easter/Summer/Christmas should be your upgrade windows! Or better still, have the system designed so that you can do iterative updates, whereby the existing system is unaffected by the changes until you have them in place, checked as working and then enable them for customer use. This is how most big websites work.

    On top of all that, you really need to look at the telephone support issue. I've just spoken to the person who deals with ParentPay here and she agrees completely - phone support is really being missed here, especially when we have a parent who asks us something/complains about something then we have to wait an age for an email response and all our response to the increasingly annoyed parent can be is 'we've contacted ParentPay and are awaiting a response'.

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    I managed to get through to someone on phone support it only took most of the morning!
    Dont trouble yourself after 7 or 8 emails involving 3 different support reps and a phone call all appears to be sorted now. I did attempt to get through to someone to compain this morning but alas the line i tried was busy as well, also tried to call a few minutes ago and the office is now shut at 4:15pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallwood_6 View Post
    I'm going to look at some of the other options dicussed in this thread and possibly have a dicussion with our finance dept and NRS about switching unless i get some acceptable responses from someone at parentpay.
    @Tallwood_6 - We were one of the first schools in the UK to use the new ParentMail payment service (+Pay) and we've been using it for 6 months now. We picked it mainly because it was built into ParentMail which we already used, but we also picked it because they are always available on the phone between 0830 and 1730 weekdays.

    Over the years we've had reason to call them from time to time as you would expect and in EVERY case a human being has answered the phone within a few seconds. For us the reassurance of being able to do this is worth a great deal because "You never really know how good a company is until something goes wrong!"

    The +Pay service does integrate with NRS and has been a pleasure to use with very few if any issues. I'd recommend them for the service alone.

    Hope that helps.

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    Thanks I will pass the recommendation on, trouble is we only rolled out the cashless and all the user creditals a couple of months ago so it doesn't reflect very well on the school changing so soon.

  6. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallwood_6 View Post
    Thanks I will pass the recommendation on, trouble is we only rolled out the cashless and all the user creditals a couple of months ago so it doesn't reflect very well on the school changing so soon.
    A carefully thought through letter should suffice
    Dear Parents

    As I'm sure you are aware the service, we have received with our new cashless system has been poor, causing inconvenience to the both you and the school. The fault has been... and is out of the school's control.

    In the interests of having an efficient system we have made the decision to change the provider of this service and, following careful research, are now using...

    While it is inconvenient to have to register with another system, we hope you will understand our reasons for doing so. We believe the level of service and support we will receive will be an improvement and are sorry that our initial choice of provider was not what we hoped.

  7. #82
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    Do any of these alternatives to ParentPay work seamlessly with EasyTrace?
    (If you have in-depth answers / advice I would welcome DM's as well as public replies, as I have a very urgent decision make... i.e. pretty much last week!! Still far from convinced that ParentPay is the 'right' option to make, though timescales may force my hand)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mb2k01 View Post
    Do any of these alternatives to ParentPay work seamlessly with EasyTrace?
    (If you have in-depth answers / advice I would welcome DM's as well as public replies, as I have a very urgent decision make... i.e. pretty much last week!! Still far from convinced that ParentPay is the 'right' option to make, though timescales may force my hand)
    I’m far from convinced too. Parentpayceo’s response all seems a bit too convenient – strange that none of this ‘upgrade work’ seems to have been mentioned before to users on this forum by PP’s support people as the cause of system failure.
    He also claims that ‘Parentpay’s support service includes telephone support’ but not many people here seem to be aware of this…!
    More schools were having problem yesterday ParentPay | Torquay Girls' Grammar School When will this all be sorted out for schools?

    I’ll ask Parentmail about Easytrace on Monday and report back again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Writer View Post
    I’m far from convinced too. Parentpayceo’s response all seems a bit too convenient – strange that none of this ‘upgrade work’ seems to have been mentioned before to users on this forum by PP’s support people as the cause of system failure.
    He also claims that ‘Parentpay’s support service includes telephone support’ but not many people here seem to be aware of this…!
    More schools were having problem yesterday ParentPay | Torquay Girls' Grammar School When will this all be sorted out for schools?

    I’ll ask Parentmail about Easytrace on Monday and report back again.
    There is phone support!? I never seen a mention of this on the website, we have a mobile for someone but think we're annoying them now

  10. #85

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    This is a major concern for us going forth with our Cashless Catering Project, the inability and lack of communication from ParentPay. To say they want the world to only e-mail them and not go near a telephone, you'd think they could operate e-mail and the internet to email all customers to tell us in advance of maintaince, upgrades and downtime. The fact that they don't start until 9am it seems means that some places have been suffering for over an hours as most finance teams start at 8am I find if not earlier so by the time you get an email at 10am or later saying oh yes its tempremental the stress has been going on for 2 hours or more.

    Overall the responces on here have done nothing to reduce my concerns over its long-term future in my establihsment and certainly I am starting to look into the costs of alternatives and seeing what they can offer us and its a key question for the cashless vendors that are coming in to demonstrate to me that they need to work with ParentPay and who else do they work with, ideally ParenMail +Pay for me as we have an existing relationship with them and they do have prompt and good telephone and email support.

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    To answer my own question in a previous post (if it helps anyone), EasyTrace also works with Wise Pay at the moment.
    Apparently there are a couple of others on the horizon too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    .... I am starting to look into the costs of alternatives and seeing what they can offer us and its a key question for the cashless vendors that are coming in to demonstrate to me that they need to work with ParentPay and who else do they work with, ideally ParentMail +Pay for me as we have an existing relationship with them and they do have prompt and good telephone and email support.
    John - ParentMail are currently live and integrated with NRS in several schools already, Gladstone have completed testing ready for their September release and Cunninghams/CRB are in final stage testing also for September. Others that are either in testing or due to start testing over the holidays are MH systems & Sharp Retail. I'm aware of a few other smaller cashless catering companies also in dialogue with us, but hopefully we'll have all the major players integrated shortly. If there are others that members would like us to talk to please let me know.

    Thanks,

    Paul

  13. Thanks to PaulHughes from:

    john (20th July 2011)

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    I said I’d report back on my visit from Parentmail earlier. Answers to specific questions below:

    1) As mentioned above they integrate with several cashless systems
    2) Integration with Easytrace will be there from September

    I’m not usually easily taken in by sales patter but a couple of things he said made particular sense:

    1) If parents have kids at 2 schools that use Parentmail (primary, secondary), parents get a single account where they can pay for things from both. Other systems (apparently) give parents different, separate accounts - which I can see could confuse.
    2) The importance of having a payment system with built in email/texting. If parents don’t know about things that need paying for they won’t use the system! (makes sense).

    It pays into multiple bank accts (with one transaction charge rather than one charge for each separate acct which other systems apparently do), does refunds, produces decent reports and has a good dinner money solution for schools without a cashless system.

    Told me they’re launching Parentmail 2 in Sept - cloud hosted for scalability and resilience. Saw a demo which looked pretty slick and intuitive. There’s also an ‘app’ so parents can pay for things and receive messages etc on their mobile – again looks pretty impressive.

    I gave him a good grilling about support! The bottom line was he phoned the support number on their website – low and behold, straight through to a cheery support person. Can’t test any more of course but they seem to be pretty geared up in that area (can anyone vouch for their support?).

    I’m trying to think of some negatives to balance this a bit but I can’t at the moment! I was pretty impressed – just got to convince the head now:-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Writer View Post
    I said I’d report back on my visit from Parentmail earlier. Answers to specific questions below:
    To balance this post against ParentPay (which at this stage, I'm certainly not endorsing!), the product sounds to offer like-for-like features so is no different in that respect.
    Points 1 and 2 are covered by ParentPay. It also uses different bank accounts too.

    It's interesting to note that they say EasyTrace integration will be in there for Sep. When I asked the question to EasyTrace themselves they gave me a non-comitted answer (similar to 'planned to in the future if enough people want/need it')

    I'm planning on looking at WisePay in more detail as an alternative, as I've seen ParentPay and now also know that WisePay are already set up to work with EasyTrace.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mb2k01 View Post
    To balance this post against ParentPay (which at this stage, I'm certainly not endorsing!), the product sounds to offer like-for-like features so is no different in that respect.
    Points 1 and 2 are covered by ParentPay. It also uses different bank accounts too.

    It's interesting to note that they say EasyTrace integration will be in there for Sep. When I asked the question to EasyTrace themselves they gave me a non-comitted answer (similar to 'planned to in the future if enough people want/need it')

    I'm planning on looking at WisePay in more detail as an alternative, as I've seen ParentPay and now also know that WisePay are already set up to work with EasyTrace.
    Features may well be similar (I would hope they would be) - but what I'm interested in is finding a service which is properly supported and doesn't keep falling over!

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