How do you do....it? Thread, Is Parentpay any good? in Technical; My local authority is trying to get us to use Parentpay but Iím resisting a bit. Iíve had a few ...
2nd June 2011, 10:53 AM #1
Is Parentpay any good?
My local authority is trying to get us to use Parentpay but Iím resisting a bit. Iíve had a few google alerts recently and seen several schools reporting problems with parentpayís servers crashing and payments being put in the wrong parent accounts.
Also, yesterday decided to call parentpay to ask about this and I couldnít find a phone number anywhere on their website. This started alarm bells ringing as well!
Does anyone have any experience using Parentpay, is it any good and whatís their support like if things go wrong? Is anyone using any other payment services?
2nd June 2011, 10:56 AM #2
I can't report from the school's point of view, but have used this for several years as a parent and think it's wonderful. My payments haven't gone astray and the only payment problem I had were on that day a few months back when Mastercard came under attack and it couldn't take any Mastercard payments, but then neither could anybody else.
2nd June 2011, 10:59 AM #3
We've used ParentPay for several years and I can't remember their servers having gone down, or payments being misrouted!
The service just works, and we're now looking at using their texting service too.
However, getting someone to talk to on the phone is very difficult - they do things mostly by email instead.
I believe 08700 420 550 is one of their numbers.
2nd June 2011, 11:11 AM #4
There servers were down last week, we had lots of complaints
2nd June 2011, 11:15 AM #5
I've got transactions logged for every day since the 23rd, excluding the bank holiday weekend.
How long were they down?
2nd June 2011, 11:15 AM #6
ParentPay are VERY e-mail based, and they were down for 2 days last week, on the last 2 days of term Thur / Fri, which was VERY annoying. It was tempremental and annoy and created a major issue in our school. We were told it was for UPGRADES on the Thursday?! Surely if that was the case it would be best to leave them till Half Term! We've raised this as a concern to our LA (who are providing it for us) as we cannot deal with that thus we will consider our future if this continues as its not acceptable.
Support is good once you have hold of someone and they are helpful however they need to improve the speed of resolutions at times as they can be a bit slow when they are busy.
2nd June 2011, 11:18 AM #7
Originally Posted by localzuk
parents couldn't log in for at least a day last week. nor could our admin team.
We've also had issues with the EPOs not reducing the money out of students accounts.
2nd June 2011, 11:20 AM #8
The EPOS is nothing to do with ParentPay though is it?
Originally Posted by CyberNerd
2nd June 2011, 11:22 AM #9
no. but if parentpay go down - which they did, then they don't update. when parentpay finally get their servers up it just causes mass confusion
Originally Posted by localzuk
2nd June 2011, 11:39 AM #10
We currently use Parentpay for everything as we no longer accept payments in cash/cheque it is occasionally down and there mis sync can be a pain - if you want ill pm you the md's telephone number if you want a number.
2nd June 2011, 11:41 AM #11
‘Mass confusion’, I don’t like the sound of that. People, quite rightly, get very vocal when it comes to their money – the last thing I want is parents calling us because their money has been given to the wrong child!
Does anyone have any experience with other systems?
2nd June 2011, 11:43 AM #12
That is down to the design of the EPOS system then from what I can see, not ParentPay. No system should go into panic if a peripheral server is down. The EPOS system we use here has no real link to ParentPay other than importing transactions. Balances are maintained here, not there.
Originally Posted by CyberNerd
However, if it did, I can't see why a downtime of PP's servers would cause issues in EPOS as the EPOS systems should be able to queue things up ready to pass on when the server reappears.
All services go down. Google email has been down, Microsoft services go down, a day of downtime is not a lot.
6th June 2011, 12:14 PM #13
Looks like ParentPay are having more server problems, nice of them to tweet to let us know that "@placefarm One server is responding slowly causing some users to have difficulties, whilst others are ok. Apologies we hope to resolve soon"
Saw more similar reports from schools over the weekend - I think I've made up my mind and we won't be following our local authority advice.
Yes, all services do go down from time to time but when it involves people's money and results in confusion reconciling figures afterwards I think that's unacceptable.
6th June 2011, 01:44 PM #14
Must admit we are incredibly cross here that is 3 days of disrupted systems now, you would have thought they would have got things sorted over half term but yet they seem to have been unable to do that! We will be doing a complaint to them via our LA as its unacceptable now we have spent the 2 days before half term turning people away with payments and then today when they all brought them back, it makes a mockery of the system, and clearly shows they don't know how to have a resilient system at ParentPay if one server is enough to bring an entire system down this clearly shows they are not suitable to be running this size operation as they are, well appear not to be, a small group and thus should have multiple server for everything so at least it can cope. They need to plan better, maybe we can send them some Edugeeks to help out
Originally Posted by Mr_Writer
6th June 2011, 02:40 PM #15
Originally Posted by john
Yep Very annoyed here too - i think there problem is they got too big before they where ready and keep taking on business without the infrastructure behind it to keep there system online!
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