Sketchy Late Fees
WOODBRIDGE, NEW JERSEY -- Our very first interaction with Smart Tuition was to be mysteriously slapped with two late/bank fees (totaling $70), even though as near as I could tell, our bank account information was all correctly entered and we received advance confirmation that our payment would be automatically debited on time. Even if our account information were incorrectly entered -- and as far as I can tell, it WAS correctly entered -- it is extremely sketchy and unprofessional start off by charging fees, without any advance warning. Of course, ethics aside, this company has every incentive to charge as many late fees as possible.
These fees will theoretically be refunded, after having complained to our school, but I worry -- especially given the raft of unfavorable reviews on this page and at the BBB -- that this company's business model / modus operandi is to charge bogus late fees at the drop of a hat, without any advance warning, and without any rational explanation of why they are being charged. It's worth mentioning that our school's previous tuition processing vendor does not have anywhere near this level of complaint and suspicion on the web. Thus, I don't think this is simply a matter of a line of business that naturally attracts complaint -- rather, it looks (to me, at least) like this is an operation with genuinely questionable practices.
Unfortunately, I'm not really their customer (the school is), so all I can do is complain to my school and to impress upon them that having a scummy parasite insinuated into their value chain reflects poorly on them.
I would also encourage other schools doing due diligence on Smart Tuition to tread carefully. My kid's school didn't bother to do a simple Google or BBB search (which, again, reflects poorly on them), but if you are a school and reading this, you are already miles ahead for taking the 5 minutes to look for signs of trouble with the company on the web.