Driver SOS (UK)
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Instructor wont refund my money
I started driving in January and I started driving with the cheapest company around, I thought this would be a good idea as it saves money. But the guy I am driving with is not the most PC of men. He turns up late to every lesson, sometimes brings me back early from a lesson. His wife is in the back of the car during my driving lesons as well because she is training to be a driving instructor but surely she should do her own course. On my last lesson they were both on the phone which was very annoying to put up with, plus I had to ask which direction I was meant to be going at the junction. My instructor is also teaching me tackticks I don't need for my test such as bully boy tackticks. My dad rang him up and said that neither of us is happy with the service being given and politely asked for a refund on the lessons I have not yet had or booked. My instructor refused and said I have signed something which I havent....I am now worried he may forge my signiture onto that document.
What can i do?
With driving lessons costing a fortune these days, it is a good idea to go with a cheap instructor. However an instructor who charges less money for a driving lesson should not really be compromising on the quality of the lesson. I think your driving instructor is completely out of order after reading your message and I think you should complain about him straight away.
If you haven't signed any papers, then don't worry as you will be able to sue him if he forges your signature. However you need to understand that if you do not have any contract stating that you've booked for block lessons, then it will be difficult for you to get your money back because he will deny the fact that you've already paid him in advance.
If you have a mobile phone which can record voice (or a similar gadget), try tricking him into a conversation where he admits taking the money from you so that you can use this evidence against him. You can also film him and his wife sitting at the back when you are driving and show them talking on the phone with a spy camera if possible.
If you don't mind losing the money (depending how much he owes you), then don't bother as you will need to gather solid evidence first and probably go to court to sue him but you can still lodge a complaint against him through the Driving Standards Agency and see where that leads you; they might help you recover your money or suggest better ways (by the way, DSA takes complaints very seriously).
Going to court will cost you money indeed and if you cannot prove him wrong then it will be a waste of time and money for you (not to mention the stress this is likely to cause). Try get your dad to talk to him and say that you are going to make an official complaint to the DSA unless he refunds you the remaining money (do that anyway afterwards though). Then ask people which driving instructors they've been with in your area and go with the one they recommend.
I believe *some* driving instructors get away with murder, they should have more regular checks, specially male driving instructors, the actual stories I know, could make the hairs on your neck stand to attention. Most of them evade tax, get paid cash and declare very little, why don't they get regular checks, both by the police and the ADI bodies? Especially one man driving schools. Come on ADI group, wake up, every 4 year checks, I think they should be subject to every year checks.
I'm having similar trouble! The instructor owes me £47.50, I book in 5hour blocks & had only done 2 & a half hours in the last month!! I was going at least ten days inbetween my lessons,because he could never fit me in when I was free. I've spken to the company he drove for (he left when I complained) they are doing their best to get me money back, even though it wasn't put through the company accounts, but I personally think he's taking me for a mug!! Biggest problem is, I have no proof! I'm so angry that he thinks he can treat people like this! I have since been out with a new instructor & I feel like i'm back to square one... it's very deflating, considering i've done at least 15hours driving!! I feel like I would have been better off burning my money. I'm going to look into complaining to DSA
I had the same problem, tell the person to go and do one make a complaint to the DSI