Failed payments

If a payment has failed then we have not been able to charge the client's card

Shahid Lakha avatar
Written by Shahid Lakha
Updated over a week ago

What happens when a payment fails?

***Please note: in the event of a failed charge, Spires itself is not able to do anything to correct it. The corrections are done either by yourself or the client***

The client will be told their payment has failed via email, and the reason why. It will also be displayed on their screen when they log into Spires.

You will also be told the payment has failed and the reason via email. And you will be able to see more information in your payments tab. Locate the pending deposits section and you will be able to click "see more" on the failed payment to view the reason and the next steps the client should take:

Students will not be able to book further classes or enter the classroom when there is a failed payment. Please do not suggest any workarounds or exceptions to this rule, it is against our terms and conditions.

Why do payments fail?

Payments can fail for two reasons, either the student's card was declined, or Stripe declined to charge the student's card because your Stripe account has been restricted.

The new payment system requires that Stripe split a payment into parts and the Tutor fee must be allocated to the tutor's Stripe account. In the event the Stripe account is restricted, this cannot be done. The reason for restriction is usually that the Tutor has not supplied documentation to confirm identity and address. All it would take to correct this is uploading this information via your payments tab.

The most common reasons for the student's card being declined are:

  • Insufficient funds - Their card did not have enough credit on it. This is the most frequent reason by far.

  • Address check failed - The address the student has entered on Spires does not match. The article offers more advice on troubleshooting this.

  • Verification not completed - Sometimes a transaction needs to be approved by the client through their banking app, SMS or other method.

  • Card expired - A newer card has been issued and the bank is no longer honouring the old card.

  • Charge blocked by bank - In some instances no further information is available and they need to contact their bank to find out more.

Please note payments do not fail due to technical problems with Spires. We do not handle payments, Stripe does.

How can this be fixed?

These issues cannot be fixed by yourself or Spires. It is up to the student/bill payer to resolve them. The solutions are usually straightforward - either add more credit, verify the charge through their app, add a new card or contact the bank to unblock the payment.

Once these steps have been taken, they just need to log in and follow the onscreen instructions. However, we have implemented four automatic retries on failed payments over a 14 day period: after 1 day, 3 days, 7 days and 14 days. This usually helps in instances where they did not have enough credit, which is the cause for 95% of failed payments.

What if they refuse to pay?

We do everything in our power to ensure payments are made in full and on time through the system. But, there are limits to our powers. Ultimately, tutors are self-employed and trade on their own account, which means they risk losses. For this reason, Spires cannot guarantee payments. Still, it is in Spires' interest to do everything possible to collect payments as Spires does not get paid either when they fail.

In cases where they do not pay, we can look at releasing their details to tutors, with the intention being that tutors are then able to instruct debt collectors and/or take them through the courts to recover what they are owed.

Our total payment success rate is 99.997% and recent improvements should have increased this further.

You may also want to read the student version of this article

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