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Sometimes a parent’s payment does not go as expected. Being aware of these occurrences and following up in a timely manner is vital to insure that your program is paid for services rendered and parents are aware of what is happening on their student’s billing account.

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Failed Payments

If a payment made against a balance fails, brightwheel will immediately alert both the program administrator and the parent via email. 

Brightwheel will also add a line to the Activity Since Last Statement section of the student’s billing account indicates the attempted payment failed as well as the reason, and the amount will be added back to the student’s total balance due

If a payment fails to your school, we recommend you get in touch with the payer directly to resubmit that payment. Once they're ready, the parent can submit a new payment against the balance due. If possible, the reason the payment failed will be included in the email, if there is not a stated reason, the parent should reach out to their financial institution for further information.

Please Note: If the failed payment was made via Autopay, it will not be automatically attempted again.  The parent or payer must manually make the payment through their brightwheel account.

Typically failed payments are caught quickly and never process to your account, but occasionally a parent's payment then fails after brightwheel has already made that deposit into the program’s account. When this happens, brightwheel will deduct that payment to reconcile that those funds. Details about this deduction can be found in your Deposit Details Report. In addition to the emails sent whenever a payment fails to alert you to the failure, brightwheel will either take the withdrawal out as a stand-alone transaction from your program’s bank account (resulting in a negative deposit) or group it with the deposit you have scheduled that day.

Disputed Charges

Please Note: Brightwheel is not a payment processor and does not have control over a parent disputing a payment with their credit card company or financial institution.

Occasionally, parents may make an official dispute directly with their credit card company or bank. By disputing these charges, the parent completed what is called a 'chargeback.' In those situations, an investigation is conducted by the bank or credit card company itself. 

In the instance that a bank or credit card company rules in favor of a parent, that institution could withdraw the money from the service provider. Credit card companies have the power to pull back funds, which in turn will be pulled from future deposits to your account. This may result in a negative deposit.

If a dispute is lost by the school, brightwheel will charge $15 chargeback fee. The process is a bit different depending on how the disputed payment was received. 

ACH Disputes 

In order for a parent to dispute an ACH (bank to bank) transfer, they must inform their bank in writing within 60 days of the original payment. When a parent has disputed an ACH transfer, the parent's bank will automatically side with their customer (the parent) and closes the dispute in their favor. This is due to the difficulty of disputing an ACH charge.

As a next step, we suggest that you reach out to the person who submitted the original payment for additional context on the dispute and find a direct resolution. We know this is a serious issue that impacts your business and we are here to support you in any way possible. Unfortunately, because this person elected to go this route, there is little that we are able to do.

Credit Card Disputes

In instances of credit card disputes, brightwheel will make every effort to support  you, the provider. As soon as our team learns of a dispute, brightwheel will email both the school and parent to get more information. Ideally, the school and parent can connect offline, and the parent will drop the dispute.

If a dispute is not dropped, brightwheel will send your billing administrator an email outlining the process and requesting the this form be completed to submit any evidence you may have to prove a charge is valid. 

Please have the following information ready when submitting evidence here:

  • Information regarding the disputed charge
  • A copy of the parent's signature from the handbook/tuition agreement and any information you have outlining your tuition amounts. This may also be any detail you have on additional charges such as supplies, t-shirts, meals etc.
  • Evidence of services rendered such as a copy of the student's Check-In/Out Report or a copy of the student's Activity Report for the disputed days in question. 
  • Any communication you have with the parent regarding the disputed charges/original payments. This could be brightwheel messaging, text messages, or emails.

The billing administrator has 5 business days to respond to that email. 

Once brightwheel receives the requested evidence, we will submit it to our payment processor, who will in-turn send that to the parent's credit card company. Because these disputes are handled by the credit card company, we are not privy to the details of such investigations. Please note that this is specific to credit card transactions; many providers elect not to accept credit cards. We give the choice to providers - it is up to them to choose whether to accept credit card payments; bank transfers are always an option.

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