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  1. #121

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    A colleage here (who uses Parentpay and still can't get into their website!) just sent me this link http://www.brucelawson.co.uk/2011/us...ies-parentpay/

    This bit made me laugh, but hit's home a bit!

    Comment by Paul September 7th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    BTW…..

    A quick bit of GCSE Maths….

    They claim that they are supported by 2000 Schools.

    OK…..

    Here we go…..

    No of Schools = 2000
    Average Number of Pupils per School = 500
    Average Amount Held on Account per Pupil per School = £10.00

    Therefore: 2000 x 500 x £10.00 = £10,000,000.00

    Parent Pay have, in principal, £10 Million in the Bank at any one stage and they can’t have a Website that works!

    Blimey…..

    I wish I could run such an inefficient company.

    I would be a MILLIONAIRE !

    Cheers

    Paul
    Last edited by Mr_Writer; 8th September 2011 at 10:43 AM.

  2. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Writer View Post
    A colleage here (who uses Parentpay and still can't get into their website!) just sent me this link Bruce Lawson’s personal site* : Usability atrocities – ParentPay

    This bit made me laugh, but hit's home a bit!

    Comment by Paul September 7th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    BTW…..

    A quick bit of GCSE Maths….

    They claim that they are supported by 2000 Schools.

    OK…..

    Here we go…..

    No of Schools = 2000
    Average Number of Pupils per School = 500
    Average Amount Held on Account per Pupil per School = £10.00

    Therefore: 2000 x 500 x £10.00 = £10,000,000.00

    Parent Pay have, in principal, £10 Million in the Bank at any one stage and they can’t have a Website that works!

    Blimey…..

    I wish I could run such an inefficient company.

    I would be a MILLIONAIRE !

    Cheers

    Paul
    Do you use ParentPay? If so you would know that money is in the schools banks not ParentPay's, as much as I hate it at present, 4 days and counting of unusableness now (I don't consider it starting to work at like 2/2:30pm to be acceptable when we finish at 3:30pm!) but they won't have that cash in the bank at them, they have holding accounts until its transferred to the schools but it depends on how your setup some are direct with them and have regular delivery of cash and others have it via the LA central bank who then transfer it to schools etc....

    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    an update on this - pp blame Cunningham's which is all working...
    Oh yes interesting the Cashless Systems I've been talking to for us have all said that a large volume of support calls are PP related not the cashless systems failure which tbh I am very inclined to believe after our experience this week.

    I certainly think that they need a serious re-think, this is the 2nd year this has gone so wrong. After talking to some others today, they had been told that it was all the schools fault for not doing the roll over in August..... Not the fact that thousands of parents are trying to put money on for little Shaun to have dinner today or big Ric to be able to pay for his new tie he lost or Chris who is trying to help a parent who has lost there logon details and failing with the ParentPay system to get them.....
    Last edited by john; 8th September 2011 at 09:38 PM.

  3. #123

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    Nope i've been sitting here tonight and our problem appears to be half and half! some of the payments have hit our cashless software but then not be refiled into the accounts - whereas some havn't arrived at all!

    on the second note of not doing it in august - half our stuff cannot be done till sept 1st anyway!

  4. #124


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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post

    on the second note of not doing it in august - half our stuff cannot be done till sept 1st anyway!
    on a third note, our data manager said the instructions they sent in August were missing out a line, so wouldn't have helped anyway

  5. #125

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    I'm so glad I've stumbled on this forum. I've had loads of problems with parentpay, as a parent, and their service is dreadful. For everything that is wrong they blame the parents or the schools, even the fact that their website broke due to unexpected demand (at the start of term. Who would have thought it?). They won't talk to parents at all and are incredibly rude and unhelpful. They just keep telling me to send an email but they never reply to them!

    I really hope the school ditches them and goes back to money. I think it's much better for children to see the real coins in their hot little hand and appreciate that when it's gone it's gone, rather than having a seemingly endless supply of money to buy whatever unghealthy delights the school offers them.

    Just heard from school that it's their cashless till thingy that won't talk to Parent pay, but it seems to me it takes two to tango and both companies should be working to sort out the problem as they seem to have no idea what's wrong and are assuming it's something in the cashless system. I really don't care. I just wish they'd fix it!
    Last edited by Banjogirl; 13th September 2011 at 02:54 PM.

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjogirl View Post
    They won't talk to parents at all and are incredibly rude and unhelpful.

    I really hope the school ditches them and goes back to money. I think it's much better for children to see the real coins in their hot little hand and appreciate that when it's gone it's gone, rather than having a seemingly endless supply of money to buy whatever unghealthy delights the school offers them.

    Just heard from school that it's their cashless till thingy that won't talk to Parent pay, I really don't care. I just wish they'd fix it!
    1) The customer is the school, if you have issues, speak to your school ParentPay contact, they will help you out. I deal with parents for the school I work at, it works well, if they have a problem, I look into it and fix it. If PP dealt with all parents, they would be inundated with requests.
    2) The reason for cashless is so parents dont have to supply cash to students, the students cant be bullied for their money, and also parents can see what the child has bought. All students at school are able to reduce the daily spend. our school it is set at £4.00. The reason for this is so students can buy a breakfast snack and then lunch. Or lunch and a sandwich for after sports events in the afternoon.
    3) if thats the case, I am sure the ICT team are dealing with it as best as they can.

    Sorry, sitting on the fence for your school and ParentPay, it is difficult as a parent to see the whole picture, but believe me, I am sure they are doing their best to sort the issues out.

  7. #127

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    I'm sure what you say is right but I've had children at the school for eleven years and none of them have ever been bullied for their money or lost it or had it stolen. From my point of view there used to be a system that worked and now there is a system that doesn't work. I can't se what my child has bought because the system is broken, which meant he went on a spending spree in the first week, spent all his money and I had no idea. I didn't know there was pizza to buy at break, or chocolate milkshakes, because the school doesn't advertise that on their shiny, 'healthy schools' website. I've reduced the amount my son can spend each day now but that means he can't save up to have something special one day. He's getting no practice at budgeting.

    I am a customer of Parentpay. Just because they don't charge me doesn't mean I don't have a relationship with them. I don't want to keep bothering the school every time something goes wrong, which from my two weeks' experience is all the time. It's not the school's fault that Parentpay is useless and I don't want them to think I'm making a fuss all the time. I have a nice relationship with them and I don't want to spoil it by complaining about something they're powerless to fix.

    Parentpay wouldn't be inundated with parents' problems if their system worked!

  8. #128

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    I'm sorry, but you aren't a ParentPay customer. Just like you aren't an EDS customer when you deal with Inland Revenue who use EDS software, or WorldPay when you use a website that uses them as their payment gateway.

    The school is the customer, and as such they are the people to talk to.

    Also, please don't take this the wrong way, but your children are just a tiny percentage of those in the school system. New rules were brought in where schools are supposed to keep an audit trail of all income and outgoings, including dinner monies. They also have a requirement to ensure that children on free school meals are not treated any differently, and to protect against the possibility of children losing their money, having it stolen, or them deciding to spend it all on sweets on the way in in the morning etc... Cashless systems are supposed to do this. Also, it is supposed to reduce the admin burden on a school.

    So, whilst the implementation you've seen has been flawed so far, the ideas should not be ignored simply because the old way of doing things worked for your individual children.

  9. #129

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    Back to the topic though parentpay still seem to be having issues a number of us have raised tickets recently using the website only to enquire as to the status via email a couple days later to find the ticket was never recieved by support.

  10. #130


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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjogirl View Post
    I am a customer of Parentpay. Just because they don't charge me doesn't mean I don't have a relationship with them. I don't want to keep bothering the school every time something goes wrong, which from my two weeks' experience is all the time. It's not the school's fault that Parentpay is useless and I don't want them to think I'm making a fuss all the time. I have a nice relationship with them and I don't want to spoil it by complaining about something they're powerless to fix.
    I'd like to say thanks for posting - it is interesting to get the parents perspective and we don't often get it in here (although many people are I'm sure parents too). I'd agree that you are a 'customer' of parentpay - perhaps not in a contractual sense (but then again, I'm not entirely sure about that as they do act as a broker so may be liable in some respects). Meanwhile, while it is not the schools fault, they SHOULD have some fall back in place. With the best will in the world technology will go wrong, whether it's a service like parentpay or the cashless tills or database server or mice living in the core-switch and chewing up the backplane, sometime something will stop it all running smoothly. They should be able to tell you what procedures are in place while these problems are ironed out.

  11. #131

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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjogirl View Post
    I'm so glad I've stumbled on this forum. I've had loads of problems with parentpay, as a parent, and their service is dreadful. For everything that is wrong they blame the parents or the schools, even the fact that their website broke due to unexpected demand (at the start of term. Who would have thought it?). They won't talk to parents at all and are incredibly rude and unhelpful. They just keep telling me to send an email but they never reply to them!

    I really hope the school ditches them and goes back to money. I think it's much better for children to see the real coins in their hot little hand and appreciate that when it's gone it's gone, rather than having a seemingly endless supply of money to buy whatever unghealthy delights the school offers them.

    Just heard from school that it's their cashless till thingy that won't talk to Parent pay, but it seems to me it takes two to tango and both companies should be working to sort out the problem as they seem to have no idea what's wrong and are assuming it's something in the cashless system. I really don't care. I just wish they'd fix it!
    Hi Banjogirl, I see your in North Yorkshire, I work for a North Yorkshire School so I can put a school angle on this for you, I know we have all been on at the county's Finance team and the IT Team (who are our first port of call with our contracts for ParentPay as per how its agreed with us and them). They have thus been on at ParentPay and have demanded an urgent meeting to discuss this as its the second year this has occurred and thus its not acceptable, they know how many accounts they have per school, how many schools and thus can do some simple maths to say that every parent will want to put money on dinner accounts etc... I have been told that the council were not getting answers any quicker than anyone else and were having complaints from schools and parents of students at schools who have gone cashless and cannot cope without it. I agree its not acceptable and should not happen and its an embarassment for all involved, especially schools when it does happen.

    I can assure you that I am certainly forcing this issue with the Local Authority and certainly I will not be letting it rest as its useless when its down, we don't use cashless in my school yet, however we will by next September, thus I need a system that can work and be reliable and this just isn't it looking like it will be.

    When it is working it makes a big improvement for us in terms of efficiency and cash handling to meet recommendations on cash transference and security of staff going to the bank with large sums of money from the cash based catering and when we took cash for uniform and trips etc it could easily at a busy time of year be several thousand pounds a trip which does put staff under risk of attack, by using this it removes that risk of mugging as well as improves efficiency and it is now proving popular with Parents due to not having to send children in with money for "dinner" and them saying its gone on "dinner" but they snook off site to the local chippy or bought sweets on the way to school etc...

  12. #132

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    @banjogirl i have to completly echo John's comment above - although this system is not great at present the benifits it brings are very benifical to the school/parent/students as although you have said that you would like the see the money come in in the students hand. Our canteen has seen sales triple (they still don't make money it just covers cost) simply becuase little jimmy doesn't spend all his school dinner money in the sweet shop on the way to school (like I used to!).

    I two am waiting to here information out of both ParentPay and also our supplier of our cashless systems.

    Just heard from school that it's their cashless till thingy that won't talk to Parent pay, but it seems to me it takes two to tango and both companies should be working to sort out the problem as they seem to have no idea what's wrong and are assuming it's something in the cashless system.
    This sounds like a very not thought out comment. yes it does take two to tango but actually parentpay cannot fix the external application held by the school (although by the reports they changed things at there end.)

    the way we have it is simply

    Parent pays online - parentpay store file on there webserver with information regarding payment - our cashless system downloads this file - matches against cashless system

    the first two sections parentpay have control over the third and fourth they have no control over - its not there fault these systems are not functioning enless they have changed things in step 2 which means the collection of the data in part 3 cannot be caried out.

  13. #133

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    Quote Originally Posted by ParentPay View Post
    PP have around 80% of the online payment market in almost 3000 schools and a proven system.Other systems can't give you as many local schools with proven successes in using online payments to contact and talk to about the system,
    just looked back through the thread and this comment made me laugh


    Any comments like to be added by @ParentPay or @ParentPayCEO on there services currently
    Last edited by glennda; 13th September 2011 at 11:16 PM.

  14. #134


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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    This sounds like a very not thought out comment. yes it does take two to tango but actually parentpay cannot fix the external application held by the school (although by the reports they changed things at there end.)
    No they can't. But when Parentpay sell into a school they claim to work in 'partnership' with the cashless suppliers. We've had a couple of problems bouncing back and forth between Parentpay and Nationwide, both of them seem to default to a position of "it's their fault". It certainly never seems to be much of a partnership - or if it is it's pretty dysfunnctional.

  15. #135

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    I have an account with HMRC, not their IT suppliers (who are terrible too!) so naturally if I have a problem I go to HMRC. But I do have an account with Parentpay so i do have a relationship with them, and when their system isn't working for me it's natural to ask them what's happening. For them to say we don't know and we don't care isn't very helpful.
    I was in our local primary school this morning. They have just started with parentpay and it's not working. The secretary is not the cheeriest person ever but i did feel very sorry for her as she's obviously fielding a lot of flak about parentpay and she was being very nice to people who were understandably frustrated.
    When schools start with Parentpay do they have a couple of months where they test it out before parents can use it? A lot of the problems seem to be teething troubles which should have been sorted out before it went live.
    I know cashless systems are good for schools but they're not neccesariy good for parents and schools shouldn't assume that they are just because that's how it looks to them. I really like the idea of being able to pay for large things like trips online but at the moment I'm constantly worried that the money I've paid has disappeared as I can't see what's happening. It might seem like just a few teething troubles to the school but it's already cost me quite a lot of money (my son buying stuff I didn't even know was for sale, and my not knowing because that part of the system is broken) and it feels very wibbly-wobbly. At least with real money you know when you've got it and when you haven't!

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