The trusted educational brand was down and out for two days before appearing back online earlier this week.
When Will Vtech Learning Lodge Be Back Online
Vtech Learning Lodge, the website and app that gives parents control over their children’s education, went down at the beginning of the month. Initially, no explanation was offered to parents, who were unable to access the site or download the app. Once their child’s progress was being tracked, a message appeared stating “There is a bug in our code, and the site is currently under maintenance. We will have this repaired by the end of November. In the meantime, please visit this page.” In the meantime, parents no longer have full access to the Learning Lodge, and their children are still not given a detailed report on how they’re doing each week.
The website and app got into some hot water earlier this year when, in January, the Department of Justice charged two Vtech executives with a conspiracy to overcharge the government on the overpriced devices by keeping up false data to avoid further investigation. Two other Vtech executives also were charged in the case. While that scandal will likely go away with the charges against the three executives, the website and app have been in some other problems with copyright claims, among other things. Parents are understandably nervous about the future of this site, and in part it is due to their own concerns.
When the site was last updated (November 1), it was noted that the team had temporarily stopped updating the website. Newsletters for parents had also stopped coming out. It was stated that until further notice, the website and app would only share user data with those who had previously signed up for updates.
“Thank you for the interest in VTech’s Parent Dashboard,” the site stated on November 1. “We are stepping down our Parent Dashboard updates for a couple of days to focus on the maintenance of the website. Our Consumer Dashboard will remain up for parents to access online.”
Yet, at the beginning of the month, the site was still not updated in over a week. When a parent wrote the team of Vtech regarding the site’s lack of updates, he wrote, “Our child’s progress with VTech will dramatically deteriorate without this timely communication.” Since then, a spokesperson for Vtech informed the parent that the site and app would now be operating. The spokesperson did not give a timeline for how long the site would be shut down.
This lack of communication during the recent downtime has had some parents confused as to how the site and app will work after its shutdown. While it was claimed on the website and app’s FAQ that “a review of past errors will uncover missed statistics during the maintenance period,” parents are now concerned that parents will be unable to obtain proper metrics on their child’s progress. The website’s FAQ also stated, “Complaints from parents will need to be submitted to [the Vtech] team.”
The official account for the Vtech Learning Lodge tweeted yesterday that a new update would be available soon and that it was “fixing the current errors.”
We are fixing the current errors. We will release a new update soon. — VTech (@vtechusa) November 7, 2018
In July, when the Department of Justice charged Vtech, the Learning Lodge went down and an investigation was opened into Vtech’s product sales practices.
The Learning Lodge was available for free to families only. It provided children’s tracking tools, private profiles, and reports on their children’s progress.
In August, a ban on the Learning Lodge was lifted for all National School Lunch Program clients after a complaint was filed with the Children’s Rights Center, the organization that makes sure children are taken care of in USDA schools. While the site is once again open to families, families are still having trouble accessing the site.
Parents who want to get their children to school can contact the federal government’s School Lunch Program website (USDA’s School Lunch Program) to see if their child is eligible for the school lunch program.