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Smart Tuition

United States

Consumer complaints and reviews about Smart Tuition

Concerned Parent Send email
 
Jun 12, 2017

Double Penalized

I recently had a very unfortunate experience that I wish to share about my SMART account.
Apparently the first auto payment from my bank account failed. I should add this is the same bank account I have used for several years for SMART payments without fail and it filed because of wrong account number.
I was not notified of the failed payment until AFTER I was penalized with a late fee AND failed payment fee.
As I appeal these fees, I ask that in the future my account be debited sooner than the due date in case there is a failed payment I would have time to correct your error and not be penalized both a late and failed fee. I was told that is not possible. The payment is always debited on the due date and if it fails there is always a double penalty – late and failed payment. Seriously? That process completely lacks integrity and is super deceptive leaving customers no choice.
I have asked my school to allow me to opt out of the service and the only reason I have account is because they require it.
This is poor management or lack of technological savvy as every other online payment service I use allows me to select the payment date. Additionally other services do not allow the data to be entered incorrectly by the user as it wont accept the number if it isn’t correct. It immediately says “incorrect”. Your service however doesn’t figure that out until over $100 of fees are added. I find that to be extraordinarily poor for your customers who I imagine are like me with no choice but to use your service.
This has not been my only issue where I feel policies are deceptive. I hope schools who are considering punishing their families with this service will look elsewhere. It absolutely causes me to question whether my school is being good stewards of their funds by choosing this company.
Kabir333 Send email
 
Apr 21, 2017

Late fee

Smarty Tuition aid is a horrible company to deal with....you have to pay a convinence fee to make a payment and it is 1 hour late they charge you a 40 fee.....you then call them and all they can do it send an email to the "billing department" to have my case recviewed....I ask both the customer service rep and a supervisor if they thought that was good customer service and they both circles around the question and did not want to answer the question....this company is a scam....they just want to nicke and dime you in every way they can. I hate that we do not have a choice in using a company to pay our school bill.
ParentAdvocateSmartTuition Send email
 
Feb 16, 2017

Online Bill Payments

Smart Tuition does not recommend online bill payment at this point in time because it is not the most efficient way to make a payment. I would like to explain this process with online bill payments through banks. When payments are initiated through banks, they remove the funds from your available funds and send Smart Tuition a physical check by regular mail. That does not mean that we received your check as soon as the funds come out of your account. Your bank will sometimes give you an estimated date of arrival but they cannot predict delivery times of the US Mail. We are told by the USPS to allow 5-7 business days for delivery and when there is a holiday to allow an additional 1-2 business days on top of the normal delivery time. The delays everyone has experienced are not just with transit times, the postal service also has to sort the mail before we can pick it up. Our lockboxes pick up 6 times a day in order to make sure that we receive all deliveries for that day. I strongly recommend making payments through our website or by phone to avoid any delays. We are in the process of setting up electronic receipts of onliine bill payments by the end of the 2nd quarter of this year.

Sincerely,

Jim Lozano
Director of Parent Experience
Smart Tuition
pissedOffDad Send email
 
Feb 13, 2017

late fees

Smart tuition will add a late fee if you pay by check at least once a year. Your check can arrive a week before the due date, but if they dont process checks in time, you will be charged a late fee. I send my check out 15 days before due date. Even on a bad mail week, Smart tuition gets my check at least 5-7 days before it is due. Somehow, I will get charged at least one late fee every year. Scam! Smart tuition is generating money because they sit on your check.......until after due date. Scam!
carobert@gmail.com Send email
 
Feb 6, 2017

"Late" fees charged for payment made 10 days before it was due

I had already been charged a "late" fee once before by Smart Tuition because they didn't process my automated payment. That was weird, I've never had a problem with Bank of America's automatic BillPay before. To avoid this happening again, I moved up my automatic payment date to 10 days before the end of the month. That should be enough time, right?

Once again, I get charged a "late" fee because they didn't process my payment fast enough (attached is my confirmation from Bank of America showing it was delivered by 12/22/2016).

It turns out SmartTuition's terms with schools is that they gets to keep 100% of late fees. The slower they process payments, the more money Smart Tuition makes! What a scam!

I called on January 3, at 10:00 and waited on hold for 30+ minutes (I assume because everyone else was calling to complain as well). The representative "Josh" told he couldn't refund the late fee until they "received" my payment (which was undoubtly sitting in their office in a pile with all the other unprocessed payments). I was told I would have to call back after it has been "received" to request a refund of this late fee.

When I asked to talk to a supervisor, I was put on hold for three more minutes until Josh came back on the line and said there weren't any supervisors there today. No supervisors, huh?

I asked that the supervisor call me when one came back, and he said OK. A month later I am still waiting for a supervisor to call me back.

Josh, please have your supervisor call me if you read this! I'm waiting by the phone.

This business model is a thinly veiled scam on parents. Any school considering using them should be very wary that parents will pay the price.

"Late" fees charged for payment made 10 days before it was due

ccortez Send email
 
Feb 2, 2017

convenience fee

According to Visa's policy, certain criteria must be met in order for a merchant to charge a convenience fee:
-The payment must take place across an alternative payment channel.
-Customers must be told about the fee in advance.
-The fee must be a FLAT or FIXED price rather than a percentage of the sale.
-The fee must be included in the total transaction amount.
-The fee must be applied to all means of payment that are accepted in that alternative payment channel. However, tax payments don't have to meet all of those criteria. "While Visa regulations prohibit merchants from applying surcharges to normal transactions, we do permit our cards to be used for tax payments together with a convenience fee," says Ted Carr, a spokesman for Visa.

why they charge a percentage of the ammount??
ccortez Send email
 
Feb 2, 2017

convenience fee

According to Visa's policy, certain criteria must be met in order for a merchant to charge a convenience fee.
-The payment must take place across an alternative payment channel.
-Customers must be told about the fee in advance.
-The fee must be a FLAT or FIXED price rather than a percentage of the sale.
-The fee must be included in the total transaction amount.
-The fee must be applied to all means of payment that are accepted in that alternative payment channel. However, tax payments don't have to meet all of those criteria. "While Visa regulations prohibit merchants from applying surcharges to normal transactions, we do permit our cards to be used for tax payments together with a convenience fee," says Ted Carr, a spokesman for Visa.
lb2 Send email
 
Jan 24, 2017

File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commisssion

I have also had a horrible experience with smart tuition. They send my monthly statements so late that there is no way my check will be received in time. To avoid the dreaded "late fee" I am forced to use their online pay. In addition I pay a monthly "administrative fee" but for what? To get my bill sent late for them to rack up late fees... Since the BBB has been no help, the next step is filing a complaint against them with the Federal trade commission. Their business practice is nothing short of extortion.

The Federal Trade Commission's complaint website is:
https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/GettingStarted?NextQID=251&Url=%23%26panel1-9#crnt
Concernedparent Send email
 
Jan 22, 2017

Smart tuition

I had the same issue - I deliberately sent my check and it was delivered 1/6/17 (confirmed by my bank online pay) - and smart tuition did not process it til 1/18/17 and charges me $40 - second time it's happened this year - it's a scam and I will not use them any more - I will be directly paying the school - I am a busy parent but I keep my finances under close scrutiny and this is unacceptable behavior!
lray Send email
 
Jan 18, 2017

Adding to the late fee complaints

Here is my experience w/ Smart Tuition.

1) When they send out bills by e-mail, the bills are sent at least one day AFTER the date on the bill.
2) If one wants to pay by check, which is reasonable to protect bank account privacy or avoid credit card fees, they give you 17 days to turn around that payment.
3) If you mail the check on the SAME DAY that you receive the bill, they will hold the check until the day after it is due and charge a late fee.
4) If you spend the time and effort to dispute the late fee - which is a significant time commitment - 15 minute phone hold time, then dealing with incompetent customer service reps. - and you win your dispute, they do not remove the late fee from the billing statement, but rather, they credit your account by the late fee amount. In other words, they are dishonest and will not admit that they should not have charged the late fee.

Think about it. I don't know how many schools they serve, but if half the families at the one school that my child attends pay by check, that would amount to $10,000 in late fees PER BILL. If they bill a half dozen times per year, that's $60,000 collected in late fees for each school that they service. I bet that most people don't check their accounts carefully, and the late fee doesn't show up as a late fee on the summary billing statement. In other words, besides the behavior described above, they attempt to hide the late fee.

I get about a month to pay my credit card bill. There is no reason that such an organization must bill with so little time to pay...and we have no 7-11 or other locations to pay as they suggest...and then they lie when they have the check in hand and purposely delay depositing it. This organization is unethical. Their intention is to collect late fees on as many bills as possible. I would encourage all of you who have had a similar experience to contact your school and urge them to dump this provider.
ParentAdvocateSmartTuition Send email
 
Dec 27, 2016

Smart Tuition

I'm sorry your unhappy with delivery times for payments. We do offer more efficient payment methods other than mailing payments or online bill payments.

These are the best ways to make payments at Smart Tuition that do not involve transit times for payments.

1. Website payments
2. Telephone payments
3. Automatic debits from your account
4. Cash payments at 7 Eleven, Ace Cash Express, or Family Dollar
5. Mobile App payments

We are working on accepting online bill payments from banks electronically in the upcoming year. This should eliminate a lot of the transit times associated with this payment option.

If you have any questions about how to use one of these payment options, please call 1-888-868-8828.

Sincerely,

Smart Tuition
terron09 Send email
 
Dec 27, 2016

A Polished Scheme to Cheat People

Smart Tuition operates a highly organized scheme to profit from late fees. Here is how is goes:

1. The company receives your check before the due date.
2. Occasionally, the company holds check until after the due date, and then cashes your check.
3. The company charges a $50 for your "late" payment.
4. After you call and complain, they take seven days to process your complaint.
5. They then tell you that you are responsible for ensuring your payment is received on time.

And so you know, ever employee will tell you the same things - like they are reading from a script.

This is well-organized company that is not satisfied with their legitimate profit. They defraud their customers of their money, and to make matters worse, the customers have zero options for working with another company since the customers are required by their children's school to use Smart Tuition.

Check out the online reviews for this company, and notice the pattern.

Behind their polish and professionalism, the company is simply a well-orchestrated gang of pickpockets that immorally profit off families who pay for their child's education. And of course, this scheme more easily ensnares lower income families who are making monthly payments and who pay on the due date.

Currently, I am paying $50 for a "late" payment that was due on November 1. The company received the check on October 28 and waited until November 2 to register the payment.
D Snipes Send email
 
Dec 14, 2016

Money extraction with late fees

I'm currently battling smart tuition pertaining to late fees incurred because my payment was in last year account. This has happened to me before and it happened both times when I had to reset my password. I was talked down to by a representative twanda about my money was placed in last year's account. When I told her I felt disrespecTed ,she stated she perfered to get it straight. I asked to speak with a manager and a number in the event I get cut off she stated she couldn't do it because they were busy and gave the # I called to get her. I spent between 2:53pm to 3:50 pm on hold and being insulted and the problem still didn't get resolved. A supervisor Glenn called me back to placate me. My money is in smart tuition account, but it's going to take 12 days to switch it to the correct account. While it's in anew old paid in full account, I am being hit with late fees. I have a late fee for a $25 late fee. They are illegally extracting money from people. Shamed on you smart tuition.
Frustrated123 Send email
 
Dec 9, 2016

Illegal late fees

''Smart Tuition offers a variety of payment options to avoid late fees. We offer automatic debit, one time payments on our website and by phone, cash payments at 7 Eleven, Family Dollar, and Ace Cash Express. We also have a mobile app called Smart Tuition for parents. Smart Tuition offers free payment options if you use your checking or savings account. We do not recommend Online Bill Payment as a payment method however we are in the process of setting up electronic payments with banks. We are looking to establish this connection by the 2nd Quarter of 2017''.

TO ALL PARENTS, LOOK !! THIS IS GENIUS FROM ""RETARD"" TUITION!! They offer autopay in so many different ways so that they can get away with it, without us busy parents knowing about it, just trust them with your checking or savings account . That's their way of fixing the problem or should I say "scam" of late fees.
ParentAdvocateSmartTuition Send email
 
Dec 6, 2016

Smart Tuition

Smart Tuition offers a variety of payment options to avoid late fees. We offer automatic debit, one time payments on our website and by phone, cash payments at 7 Eleven, Family Dollar, and Ace Cash Express. We also have a mobile app called Smart Tuition for parents. Smart Tuition offers free payment options if you use your checking or savings account. We do not recommend Online Bill Payment as a payment method however we are in the process of setting up electronic payments with banks. We are looking to establish this connection by the 2nd Quarter of 2017. If you still wish to use Online Bill Pay as your preferred payment method, you should generate your payment earlier. At this time, banks send us these payments by regular mail and there is no way for them to guarantee deliver of payment. Banks give an estimated delivery time the payment should arrive. We have no control over when we receive the payments.

If you have any questions about this please contact me at parentadvocate@smarttuition.com.

Kind regards,

Jim Lozano
Director of Parent Experience
Smart Tuition
Frustrated123 Send email
 
Dec 2, 2016

Illegal late fees

It's official now, there is a new racketeering organization on the bloc, it's called smart tuition that specializes in "late fee" scams. After I read all these complaints about erroneous late fees, I realized that they must be doing it in purpose as a way of bringing in income knowing fully that parents have their hands tied since they cant choose an other form of payment to their school. My ordeal has been going on for 4 months. For months they kept a duplicate (hidden) account on one of my children's name, and every week they would send me an email saying that my account was late, but when I sign on and check both of my kids' accounts they would show that I was all caught up as far as payments and shows a balance of $ 00 Due!! So I call their " smart" customer service and they check both my accounts and they confirm that my accounts are up to date (did this 3 times and each time I was assured that their is no problem with my account and that the balance was $00). They explained the annoying emails as a nuisance or a glitch in the system, and that I should not worry about them, they will make sure to stop the emails. But of course none of that happened until I started receiving emails letting me know that I was charged $35 late fee. T which time I started calling again and every time I was assured that it must be a mistake. It took few calls 2 of which were to a supervisor since the "smart" reps couldn't see anything wrong with my accounts, one the supervisors after some digging finally found out that one of my children had 2 accounts under the same name!!!! (go figure) But the kicker was that when I log on to pay it always shows the same one and the one accumulating the last balance and late fees never comes up. So she explained that to me and suggested I pay the outstanding payment but not the late fees ( which are now 35 + 35 = $ 70) since she was gonna send that to a level higher to be removed. Of course none of that happened the emails are still coming warning about late balance and then late fees. I called again to get to the bottom of it 2 more times and was told that it's still been looked at!!!! And that they would let me know, but instead the emails now are telling me that another $11 late fee was added to original $9 balance!! $9 balance + $35 late fee +$35 late fee + $11 late fee now my balance is $90 !!! what the F*#$%!!!! Keep in mind that the last supervisor I spoke too assured me that while the matter is still not settled I shouldn't see anymore late fees assessed to my account, yeah right!!! In case any one from "retard tuition" wishes to dispute or refute any of this here is my email: bazobziz2000@hotmail.com since I cant post my children's accounts here. After reading all the posts I know that I'm not the only victim of this mobster company, and I'm not the first nor am I the last!!!!
rpatel00 Send email
 
Nov 30, 2016

Refund and Charge to a different card

I accidentally used the wrong credit card, called in a day later to see if they could refund the amount, so I could charge it to the correct card. Customer Service was awful. I would no choose to use this service, but have to because of the school we attend.
Klovesabbey Send email
 
Nov 2, 2016

Late fees

I have had my fill of this company and underhanded late fees. My payment is due on the 10th of each month. I sent my payment ahead through my bank for 9/29 with a 5-7 day check delivery for an arrival expected before 10/10. Still hasn't been cashed. Here we are on 11/1. My bank sent a letter to them stating that the fee should be waived ($45) because payment was made on time. Last months payment was sent out on 8/30 and cashed 9/9. Explain that one? Every mot nth prior with similar setup and delivery. This is not the first time either. From 2012 to 2016 this has happened a total of 5 times. I have bank records and account inquiries to back this up. When speaking about this most recent transaction to Smart Tuition., I was told to mail my check should be mailed 3 weeks before due date to ensure arrival. What the f@&$? Who expects or does that? I finally consented to draft it from my account to avoid problems. I wish I did not have to do this. I do not trust you with my information. But I have little choice in order to keep my kid in the school. The school administrators have even spoken on my behalf EVERY time. Yet the still seem perplexed that I am having such issues and make it seem that I am the only one. This is the last year thank God! If you can, avoid this company like the plague. Or have direct payment set up. If you Are like us this can be stressful to maneuver. God help me if my child is out of this school and they continue to bill me. Any lawyers out there with similar experiences, I'll be glad to share my story.
ParentAdvocateSmartTuition Send email
 
Sep 19, 2016

Smart Tuition

If you are having any issues with your account please contact the parent help center at 1-888-868-8828 or email me directly at parentadvocate@smarttuition.com. There was no Smart Tuition Family ID reference so I cannot view your account.

Kind regards,

Jim Lozano
Director of Parent Experience
Smart Tuition
Ilenej Send email
 
Sep 5, 2016

Smart Tuition

My school never informed its parents of this service being put in to use. We only found out after school started. I am still not sure why I am being billed as I have paid the entire tuition.
They sent an invoice with a 15 day time period to pay $50 to use its services and if the $50 doesn't reach them and get posted in time, they will charge an additional $50. I have emailed the company 4 times, asking them to take me off their list. I have tried to explain that I did not owe any tuition at all for the entire school year, and would not be paying $50 to be in their system, only to keep receiving a bill.

After reading hundreds of complaints all over the Internet as well as at the Better Business Bureau, regarding how it charges these late fees routinely, even when the check reaches them ( their excuse to everyone has been that although they cashed the check, it takes time to post it to their system) it's pretty easy to deduce that this company is running a scam operation. Any school that would force this on its students is either not doing its diligent research about the company or is in on the scam.
tnguyen Send email
 
Sep 2, 2016

Payment processing error

Hello,
I supposed to receive the payment letter by this beginning of the month for this coming monthly payment I already registered. I checked online and the due date was Sep. 15, 2016, therefore I should be able to pay my bill already. However, the system told me there was a error processing payment of my account. I wonder what is happening with my account.

Thank you!
ParentAdvocateSmartTuition Send email
 
Aug 10, 2016

Consumer complaints and reviews about Smart Tuition

I apologize for any frustration you are experiencing. We have attempted to answer your complaint on another website. If you want additional assistance please email me directly at parentadvocate@smarttuition.com.

Kind regards,

Jim Lozano
Director of Parent Experience
Smart Tuition
dmfnewyork Send email
 
Aug 3, 2016

First Bill and Already Late!!!!!

We received our first bill yesterday - a DOUBLE BILL..... $1248.80 haven't even stepped foot into the school yet.
I have 2 weeks to pay it. Received it 8/1 due 8/15. Sure... Let me just pull that right out of *ss....

Clearly it benefits S T to do this. with late fees on top of late fees oh or I can give up my bank acct and routing # so they can just take it out. Considering administrative practices that would NOT be in my or anyone's best interest.


I am going to solicit meetings with the parents at our parish, then parish's close in my area and so on build a strong complaint with the Archdiocese to get a reputable company to handle tuition payments.

I have thought about paying more to daycare to avoid you disgusting people all together...

My principle stated how displeased she is to hear that she can no longer halt late payment fees, see some of us have to pay late or can not attend. These fees push affordability right out the window and that's not right.

Every parent I have spoken too has not had a good experience with you people and please save the BS comment that you are supposed to post at the end of this.
I know, you know it bullshit...
ParentAdvocateSmartTuition Send email
 
Jul 11, 2016

Convenience fee?

I apologize for any frustration you are having with credit card convenience fees. Smart Tuition discloses the credit card convenience fee on the phone and on our website if you are going to be making a debit or credit card payment. You can then agree to the fee or decline the fee before the transaction is completed. You can also make a payment free of charge from your checking or savings account to avoid the credit card convenience fee. If you would like to speak to me directly, please email me your Smart Tuition family ID and a number I can reach you during the day and I will contact you directly.

Sincerely,

Jim Lozano
Director of Parent Experience
Smart Tuition
mel2605 Send email
 
Jul 8, 2016

Convenience fee?

You are in the business on gouging parents struggling to make tuition payments and if it means garnishing the child's financial aid fund, you will do it, helping yourself to whatever fees you want to charge the family. I was just billed a $14.00 "convenience fee" to make an online payment. You need to be shut down -- you lay in wait to charge exorbitant fees. I am also writing to the better business bureau. More parents need to be informed of what you are doing.

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