Why does my Baby’s Days crash regularly? Is it because it isn’t a website?

As blogged last night a fair few number of people have posted in the Baby’s Days support group or messaged me directly to say they are experiencing technical issues using mainly the Risk Assessment section, The 2 year check and also the SEF section of Baby’s Days.

What seems to be happening is mid way through using these sections the device just freezes so the work is lost or a little grey pop up says, “this web page needed to reload”.  Obviously many people are frustrated that this is happening and they don’t feel they can open a support ticket for fear of being made to feel like an idiot or even worse for fear of losing all their work by “annoying” Baby’s Days.

Mark Kahl director of Baby’s Days has said this issue is because the Baby’s Days system is,

“NOT a website, it is a SaaS application that is very ram and system resource hungry”.

Tonights blog post is going to clarify exactly what Mark Kahl means by this and as with most other things in this blog I’ll hope you’ll see why this statement is very misleading.

Firstly what is a SaaS application?

Mark Kahl is right in that Baby’s Days isn’t a website.  I agree with him there, first time for everything I guess.

SaaS stands for Software as a Service.  Software is usually defined as the programs and other operating information used by a computer.  So on a typical laptop you might find software like Microsoft Word or Norton Anti Virus.  This software is run and stored on your laptop.

SaaS is a different type of software that isn’t actually “run” directly from laptop, it’s usually run through a web browser and stored on a server.  So it’s still software, but it’s not “hard” software in the sense that most people might be more used to; it’s not a disc you can pick up for example it’s virtual software.

A website isn’t a programme at all, it’s just a document if you like stored on the internet.  That’s the easiest way to explain it although if you want to be a purist it’s not 100% accurate, but it’s good enough for the purposes of this blog post.

Does SaaS require a load of RAM?

There is absolutely nothing in the Geek Bible that says a “SaaS” is or should be inherently more resource heavy than any other aspect of web browsing.  My understanding is that the whole point of a SaaS is to remove the resource heavy part of the software off of the persons computer and on a server in the cloud.  So it then seem ludicrous to say the reason the system is crashing is because SaaS applications are more resource heavy!

Does my device have enough RAM to do what most would expect from a typical SaaS application?

If you can watch a video on YouTune then in my opinion your device has plenty of RAM to operate a SaaS application like Baby’s Days.  Closing apps that may be “on” in the background (as frequently advised by support) wont stop Baby’s Days crashing.  If you can load Youtube on your device then chances are that RAM isn’t the issue and if it is the issue you need to question what exactly BDs is loading up that’s bigger than your average Youtube video?

So what’s the conclusion?

As ever I believe Mark Kahl and the support staff are using Geek talk to mystify people rather than dealing with actual issues present in the Baby’s Days software.

If people have facebook open (not a SaaS App but an awesome platform that updates in real time, plays videos automatically, loads constant photos etc) but babysdays crashes then it’s pretty obvious where a big chunk of the issue is.  Do not be fooled by the smoke screen of “awww poor love it’s because it’s SaaS, don’t worry you wont understand it, just believe me”.

It may be that some people have low ram machines, but then you have to ask the question what is Babys Day’s trying to load into memory that is so large that it makes things fall over?

If they’ve potentially coded a site bad enough that it’s crashing people’s browsers or devices, the problem is in their coding, not in the site being “resource hungry”.  SaaS or website, there’s no reason to ever use enough ram or CPU to crash anything; despite what Mark Kahl says Baby’s Days and any system like it uses a fraction of what sites like Youtube or similar high quality media SaaS sites do, and they can manage it without crashing anything.

I hope this post helps those feeling really frustrated with the system at the moment have the courage to open a ticket with support and get the issue sorted. Just becasue you do not have an IT degree it does not mean the issue “must be your end”.  You pay a lot of money for this service, the least it could do is actually work.

Make sure you pop back tomorrow when I’ll be blogging about the changes in Baby’s Days customer service over the years and the recent server downtime that many customers may not be aware of.

Are all Baby’s Days systems “identical”?

Hey readers thanks for all the messages of support over the last week, many of you were worried the blog might not return, but as promised here it is!  I managed to get so much wedding stuff done, the only thing left now is a heavy duty Generator that I need to hire so if you’re in the South West and have one kicking about let me know :)

Anyway, today I wanted to blog about how the director of Baby’s Days, Mark Kahl, repeatedly claims all Baby’s Days systems are “identical”.  This has come up this week on their Facebook support group as many users are experiencing their devices (mainly iphones and ipads) crashing and then losing all their work.

A line that Baby’s Days like to use when dealing with some technical support issues is, ‘all systems are identical, if anyone else was having this issue we would have 1000s of complaints, it must be your end’ or words to that effect.

In my experience this isn’t true, all systems are not identical.  I say this based on my own experience; if you have read this blog from the start you will know it was started because the director at Baby’s Days (Mark Kahl) uses his discretion to decide which systems do and do not get the monthly upgrades, that’s right you aren’t automatically entitled to them as part of your subscription.  My system and at least 2 other systems did not receive the control centre update when it was released, despite the fact that all other customers had been updated. If you don’t believe me here is a link to a post which has further details.

So no in my experience all systems are not identical and Sys IQ Ltd have the ability to make some systems do some things and some systems do other things. So when Mark Kahl says all systems are identical please take this with a pinch of salt.  If you have a technical issue open a ticket with support and get it sorted, don’t be fobbed off with ridiculous excuses.

As lots of users have had problems with Baby’s Days crashing their devices recently and their servers have been down twice in the last few days so I’m going to be blogging about that tomorrow and what exactly a SaaS Application is; so bring your nerd glasses!  Just take heart in the fact that if the system is crashing and you can play videos on youtube it’s probably nothing to do with the RAM on your device (as Bbaby’s Days advise), so don’t drive yourself mad trying to “fix” it like I used to!

Would any other EYFS company keep a customers data?

So, in my search for an alternative to Baby’s Days, I questioned as anyone might, whether it was wise to place my data with another EYFS software provider.  Since the blog started many readers and Baby’s Days customers have asked me the same question, “could this happen again with a different company?  Isn’t it a case of better the devil you know?”

It started to dawn on me that what Baby’s Days / Sys IQ Ltd has done to 3.5 years worth of my data may reflect badly on other EYFS provider, so I thought I would post a blog post to clarify that I truly believe this would never have happened with a different online EYFS provider.

When you read reviews of Baby’s Days the one consistent theme is that customer service is terrible; the man behind the customer service is Mark Kahl as far as I am aware.  He is the company director of Sys IQ Ltd.  He is also the common denominator in almost every single negative experience a customer of Baby’s Days has had.  In the interest of fairness, I’m sure lots of customers also find him very helpful.  The point in that he does not work with any other company and so his customer service techniques are isolated to the Baby’s Days brand alone.

I contacted a few different companies and asked them:

…I have a lot of people asking me if they were to leave Baby’s Days for another online software company, how could they be sure the new company wouldn’t withhold their data in the same way Baby’s Days has withheld mine.  How can customers be sure their data would be returned?

Most of the companies replied in an extremely shocked tone, they couldn’t believe that Baby’s Days didn’t allow me time to download my data before they terminated the agreement.  They were even more shocked when I told them that any attempts to retrieve the data after termination had also been fruitless and that the ICO had found Baby’s Days to be in Breach of The Data Protection Act.

It’s feel it is fair to conclude that that way Baby’s Days has handled my data isn’t the industries standard approach; as such readers of the blog shouldn’t think if they switch providers the same thing might happen with the new provider.  It seems to be a customer service issue isolated to Baby’s Days alone.

For those that would like to read more info, here is what each company said about their own policies regarding returning data to their customers after terminating an account:

Minding Matter (Previously Mega Minder):  “Your data will ALWAYS be accessible to YOU and the PARENTS of your setting. We will NEVER lock you or the parents of your setting out of your account

Easy Solution 4 Nursery Education: “All data is owned by the provider or [by] the family in the case of our ‘linked up’ (to the provider’s EASYpro) and the stand alone version EASYparent. 

We view our role as the guardians fo their data (as per our terms and conditions – 9.1 The Licensee shall own all rights, title and interest in and to all the Licensee Data and shall have sole responsibility for the legality, reliability, integrity, accuracy and quality of the Licensee Data).   Our software is applicable for children from birth until their eighth birthday, when the data is deleted. 

However, we give the setting, or the family in the case of EASYparent and EASY@home, ample opportunity to download all the information in a report form, before the data is removed.  We also offer to return to them, the photographs that have been uploaded in JPEG format, although there is a small charge for this service.  These conditions also apply to any setting that may cease to subscribe to EASYpro.

Owl Track:  “I have just had my first client leave recently due to financial reasons. As I mentioned before I cant send them data as such but they can access it via their account on [the] site. I have told this client that I will not delete the account for two months in order to give her time to download, save or print any information that her or her parents requires. I will also check with her before finally deleting it. This is good customer service which is vital for business these days.”

Orbit:  “We suppose we are slightly different in that Orbit is free, so there is no subscription. We also allow the download of children’s learning journeys at any time (as a pdf document) so you always have access to the data…. In the unlikely event that we were to stop providing the service, we would give our users the maximum amount of warning possible and allow them to download and backup data.”

2simple:  “You may access your information (in return for a small fee) and request details of the entities with whom we have shared your information by contacting us at info@2simple.com. In most cases we will comply promptly with your request and let you know when we have done so.

However, sometimes you will not be entitled to access your information. For example, where the public interest or your own interests override your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998. We may withhold information where we are legally allowed to do so.”

Target Tracker:  “I can advise that we would never withhold a subscribers’ data.  In fact we make it very easy to export the data at any point as a file or by exporting whichever reports are useful.

If a subscriber chooses to leave they are able to export their data up to the end of the subscription.  After that point a small admin charge may be applicable as we would need to re-enable the subscription in order to export it.

We like to put our subscribers at the heart of what we do and it would not be in anyone’s interest to make things difficult for any customer.”

EYFS Tracker:  We have only once been asked by a setting for access to their data after they had let their licence lapse. We re-enabled their account on the same day they requested it to allow them to download their data (as they had an Ofsted inspection the following day), and we did not charge a fee for this.

Connect Childcare:  Our viewpoint is very simple – we own the software but you own the data. At any stage you can download/back this up yourself if you wish.  We will help you do this as it’s yours.

I also contacted Jeans Database, although the package does not offer an online facility I felt it fair to include the company with the others.  Jean replied; “The CM Software database is not an on-line product – it resides 100% on whatever device the customer chooses to store it on.  Which means that they also have 100% access and ownership to their data at all times. “

Pop back tomorrow for a post about how many childminders believe simply sing Baby’s Days will result in them achieving an Ofsted Outstanding grade.

Make sure you leave a review for Baby’s Days…… or you won’t get a system update!?

Yesterday, Mark Kahl posted on the Facebook Baby’s Days support group asking people to leave a review as it, “encourages [them] to release fantastic new features onto the system.”

marks-postIf you’re a regular reader of this blog you will know that when Baby’s Days introduced the control centre they refused to update my (fully paid up) system with the update, they refused to tell me why I suddenly wasn’t eligible for updates and they refused to pass my letter of complaint to the director.  I’m not quite sure how they did this given their insistence that all systems are “identical”, but they did and you can read about it here.

Anyway lots of people are very concerned about the wording of the Facebook post made by Mark Kahl on the support group run by Kel Thomas via facebook.  I’ve had numerous messages in my inbox over the last 24 hours asking things like:

If someone doesn’t leave a positive review will they be denied the next update?

Is this review site some sort of method for weeding out those not 100% happy about the system and cutting them off?

Why hasn’t Mark Kahl advertised this review website on the official Baby’s Days like page? Is he concerned that he will get more negative than positive reviews?  After all the support group has all the unsatisfied customers weeded out by admin Kel Thomas, but you can’t stop people reading the official ‘Like page'; all those unhappy people will see the post and will leave a negative review.

I posted on Monday that my fair and accurate review wasn’t published on their review site, I know of a few others that have posted fair and reflective reviews too, but they also were censored.  It turns out they are approving each review individually!


You have to start questioning at this point, is this a review site or a fan club?  Can you imagine if Trip Advisor had to “approve” each review individually?  What a farce!

Also, how many people have something negative to say about Baby’s Days that warrants them needing to approve each “review”.  I’m under the impression I’m the only person in the history of the world EVER, to have had a problem with Baby’s Days (according to them).  They have posted the link to the review site in a closed Facebook group. Surely if it’s just little old me with anything bad to say “approving” each comment is overkill?

In my opinion, you’d only need to approve each comment individually if you were worried you might get “too many” reviews that were “bad”.  Given that this review website has only been advertised in a closed Facebook group how many “bad” reviews are they expecting to warrant this level of scrutiny?

These are the questions that current users of Baby’s Days really need to be asking themselves.  There are still lots of people that believe the theft of my data by Sys IQ Ltd is somehow my own “fault”, I must have deserved it in some way.  Surely no company would treat a customer the way I claim Baby’s Days has treated me, I must be lying, right?

Apart from the fact this blog is fully evidenced, you have to ask, if it’s just me that they have upset with their disgusting customer service why has this blog had over 30,000 views in such a short space of time?  Why are so many people banned from posting on their “like” page?  Why are so many users removed from the Support Group run by Kel Thomas that Mark Kahl, director of Baby’s Days, continues to endorse?

If it’s “just me” why not let my factual and fair comment lie there in with the (supposed) “hundreds” of others?  Wake up and smell the coffee people, it’s not just me that’s why each post has to be “approved”; to keep their little bubble from popping.

And FYI Mark Kahl (my most frequent blog reader) I spent nearly 4 years on my work that you have refused to return, I sure as hell intend to spend at least that getting it all back.

Pop Back tomorrow where I’ll be posting a critique of Baby’s Days false advertising methods and then Friday I’m hoping to be posting a collaborative piece with a guest blogger.  Ohhhh Exciting!

Baby’s Days / Sys IQ Ltd buy all domains similar to my blog.

Hi readers, I hope you all had a fab weekend!  For those of you that let me know about the issue with not getting emails to say I had updated, I think this has been fixed?  Please let me know.  We have well over 30,000 visitors now so word is spreading and I just can’t keep up with my facebook inbox, I’m so sorry!  Please be brave and comment on the blog, it is all Anon and I remove all email addresses.

For those of you that haven’t subscribed, there is a subscribe area on the left hand side of the screen for those on computers.  For those on phones, hit the three little lines in the top right and it will pop up with the side bar and you will see where you can subscribe.  There is also a problem with the stat counter and I’m manually updating it based on unique views, hopefully it will be working properly by the end of this week.

Anyway, on to the first blog post of this week.  When I started this blog, many people who were in favour of it were worried I would run out of things to blog about.  That was also a worry of mine too, but Baby’s Days just keep giving me more and more material!  It’s very helpful!

They have a strategy that they use with competitors whereby they buy competitors domain names and then, in a sneaky bid to get more customers, they divert these domains to their own website.  I know to many of you this might not make much sense.  So let me simplify it.

There are two companies, both are hairdressers.  One if called Cutz and the other is called Styler.  Styler will buy up lots of shops and put signs over the door called Cutzz or Cuts in the hope that unsuspecting people don’t notice.  Then in these “fake” salons, they have a secret door to their actual salon called Styler.  I’m not sure that makes sense but I hope so!  In this example, Bbay’s Days are acting like the salon “Styler”.  Very underhand indeed, I’m sure you will agree!

Take this example.


Here is a screenshot taken a while ago, this shows that Mark Kahl (The Director of Baby’s Days) owned the domain nobleminder.com.  Nobleminder was a company just liked Baby’s Days that provided a software solution to childminders for the EYFS.  They dissolved back in May 2012 and a lot of customers lost a lot of data.

So either Baby’s Days is/was somehow affiliated with Nobleminder OR they bought Nobleminders dot com domain to essentially lead customers through the secret door to Baby’s Days software.

Anyway, the reason I’m going on about this is because my blog domain, www.babysdaysreview.co.uk has many similar alternatives, such as www.babysdaysreview.com or www.babysdaysreviews.com all of which have been purchsed by Sys Iq Ltd.  The director of Sys IQ Ltd is Mark Kahl, and Mark Kahl is also the director and creator of Baby’s Days.

So, because my blog has reached page one of google results and because it is gaining in popularlity, the director has chosen to buy up domains in an attempt to “drown out” my blog, hoping that it will get lost amongst his domains.  He has also started a review blog of his own but as you might expect, with everything related to Baby’s Days it is heavily censored and my factual and fair review was not published.  Here is what it said:

my review not published

Why don’t you leave a review for them and see if it gets published? The address is www.babysdaysreviews.com.  I’ll personally be contacting everyone that leaves a review on their new domain with a link to this blog so that the can ensure their data is safe.

Pop back tomorrow for  an update on retrieving my data via the ICO investigation, later in the week I will also be publishing my 4th legal letter.