Smart Tuition - Not Really 24 Hour Customer Service
Private School Tuition - Complaint
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY -- My child's private school decided in 2010-2011 to use this company for handling tuition payments. They charge a one-time fee for the initial set up as a new parent (you have no choice but to pay this) and then want to charge an additional fee for DD. Since I have the option of bill pay through my bank, I have used this service and saved the fee.
Smart tuition supposedly mails the invoices in "enough time to send payments" but I have yet received one with more than 2 day turn around time. I have auto pay set up for this since I pay the same amount each month, but Smart Tuition is notorious for having excuses to post your payments late then charge an exorbant fee of almost $70 for late processing.
This last one was because the 15-digit family ID changed by one digit and Smart Tuition did not notify the parents that this was the case. There was a delay on THEIR END in processing the payment because one digit was off (which again let me emphasize, they did not notify us that it had changed from one year to the next) and they charged their $70 late fee. I tried calling their "24 hour customer service" 4 different times in a 2 day period, but was put on hold for more than 30 minutes each time. I tried the live chat on-line, but was told "there was no one to assist with live chat at this time" all 4 times. I was finally able to reach them by email but their response did not come in a timely fashion. By their own accord, they had received the check before the due date, but delayed processing it. When I asked that the late fee be waived because it was in my opinion their delay, they told me no, the school would have to do that.
Of course once the issue was explained to the school, they gave permission to waive the late fee and agreed that smart tuition had failed to post the payment in a timely manner and keep the parents informed of the change in ID numbers. The late fee was waived and I then had a negative balance. That same day, I received an automated call from Smart Tuition while I was preparing dinner stating I had an overdue balance (I didn't) and I could hold the line for a customer service representative to discuss. After waiting 10 minutes, I hung up and tried the live chat once again. After a 5 minute wait on the live chat, the customer service representative told me I did not have an overdue balance but because the calls were scheduled in the morning and not cancelled after the school waived the fee, I was interrupted.
If your school is looking to have a company handle tuition payments, I would NOT recommend the unorganized, rude SMART TUITION.