Colwell's Driving School

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Hidden False Advertising Driving me to Drink!
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BRONX, NEW YORK -- March 2007, I contacted Colwell’s Auto Driving School in Bronx, New York to begin driving lessons. I received information over the phone from Carmen indicating that I can obtain a package that would consist of 5 driving lessons as well as the usage of the instructor’s car for the road test. I was also told at that time that if I chose not to use the instructor’s car, I would be refunded the usage of the instructor’s car. During my instruction period, my classes were supposed to begin on March 18, but my instructor never showed up. I waited outside in front of my house for approximately half hour before calling the instructor named Carlos to find out where he was. His response was that the school was supposed to contact me and tell me that he was not working that day. The school never called me, (my incoming phone calls are available as proof). On April 14, the weather forecast indicated that a nor’easter would hit the area and because of past experience, I called Carlos to see if he would show. His response was, “I told the school to call you. They didn’t call you? I’m sorry. Not tomorrow because the weather will be bad”. We then made arrangements to meet the following Sunday. I have since completed my classes and have taken the 5 hour course requirement on Friday, June 29, 2007. At the class, the instructor Richard indicated whoever signs up for a package should have received a tape entitled “How to Pass the Road Test” given to them for free. During the break, I asked him about it, and he instructed me to call the school and let them know that I was never given the tape. I have also since decided that I will not use the instructor’s car for the road test and called the school for the tape, which should have been given to me in the beginning of the lessons as well as the $55 refund that I am entitled to. Upon calling during the week of 07/08-07/15, a lady, who did not specify her name at Colwell’s told me that I should have been given the tape and to come in on Sunday, 07/15 to obtain the tape and my refund. I stated that I may have to come in at a later date due to my schedule. I called yesterday and today and was told that I am not entitled to the tape because I do not have a package. I explained to both the service staff as well as to the manager Dan that the culpability does not lie with me as I would have never known that a tape was available free of charge to students who sign up for the package had I not attended the 5 hour class because neither Carmen nor my instructor bothered to mention its existence, thus, I would have had the tape whilst completing my lessons and should rightly have it. I was told that I can be given back my refund less a $10 fee for the cost of the tape. In speaking with the manager over the phone, I proceeded to make another attempt to find a resolution with him by giving him a comparison of a similar situation that my family and I incurred that was resolved so that he can understand where I was coming from and he promptly told me, “You’re making a big deal out of a tape”. I was completely and utterly astounded that he would make such a statement considering that this tape is being sold to other students at a price and under the guise that it would help them to pass their road test! Furthermore, as is indicated above, I had no way of finding out that there was a tape as I applied for the package deal over the phone. To add insult to injury, online, it does mention that the tape is free so why should I have to pay considering that I signed up for the lessons under the package deal? As indicated in the school policy letter, I would be refunded the usage of the car, no where does it indicate on the school policy letter that the cost of the video would be deducted from the refund! This is outrageous!!!!
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User Replies:
adzidek on 07/18/2007:
This situation has driven you to start drinking?
mangomaiden on 07/18/2007:
Driven her to drinking something cheap and strong. After all...she's out a whole $10!
Melanie S. on 07/19/2007:
I love the comments... you guys are hilarious!'s about being treated rudely over a $10 tape.
gprimr1 on 08/05/2007:
Did you pay with a credit card? CC companies have lawyer divisions designed to deal with this.
Melanie S. on 08/05/2007:
Unfortunately no... I paid in cash and have a contract agreement with the school, however, when I notified the BBB, the school was compliant and not only agreed that I was right, but also decided to change the wording in its school policy to avoid further incidents like this. Apparently, others have complained as well... Thanks for asking!!
Colwells on 09/19/2007:
Colwells on 09/19/2007:
Its amazing to see the lies that some people like to spread. My name is Dan Colwell, owner of Colwell's Driving School. We have never had to change our policy because of Melanie. We are very clear in our policys. In fact we give them out in writing, on our brochures and posted on our office wall. We also did not ever agree to her being "right". Our package deal is exactly what it means. If you pay the full package get all the benefits that come with it. This includes a free dvd which we normally sell for 10 dollars. Melanie chose to ask for a refund of a good part of the package money she had paid, without completing the package. Now we all know that if someone chooses NOT to pay the full price for a package deal offer, it doesn't mean you get to keep all the extras. Why even bother offering discount packages then?? Because she was quite mean and nasty to my staff and myself I tried to assume the motto that the customer is always right. I apologized for any misunderstanding and gave her the dvd for FREE !! The SAME DAY !! Yet some people I guess are so miserable and unhappy with their own lives they like to share that unhappiness with others and a little lying while they are at it. It really is ashame. But again, to Melanie, I will apologize for you being so unhappy. I hope you enjoyed the dvd. Sincerely, Colwell's
Melanie S. on 09/19/2007:
As you can see people..the proof is in the pudding! What kind of company would issue a response such as this: a disreputable one! Despite the fact that I have detailed information (as in documented) that explicitly stated that he would change the wording in the policy because several people asked about the same thing and/or several people are confused about the refund if they do not use the car. As for being unhappy, yes, I am unhappy that I chose Colwells as are many others as is evident of the fact that Colwells chose to go online and seek out any complaints about them. (see Better Businees Bureau for more info)
Again, I was entitled to my refund as I did not use the company car..nor sought out additional instruction from the late instructor who neglected to give me the tape/DVD in the first place!
Melanie S. on 09/19/2007:
Oh..and by the way...the refund and DVD that was supposedly given the same day was in fact:
a) - blank/damaged
b) - the refund was issued in a form of a check (I paid cash)....
Colwells on 09/19/2007:
Last needed response. You can be the judge. There is always someone who likes to remain unhappy. As for the CHECK refund, she was told that is the best way for myself and the school to prove that a refund has been givin. Good advice for anyone else out there. We give out hundreds of dvd's. If she claims it didn't work, I would gladly give another. I believe it worked fine. For any others, feel free to even check out our website. You can look under the packages and under "also available". Clearly marked the dvd is $ 10 but free if you do a package. The package she chose consisted of 5 lessons and the car for the road test. If she chose not to use the car, then that it is NOT A PACKAGE. Find me somewhere where it says we have a package of just 5 lessons and a free dvd. There isn't one. The dvd is free when you pay the $ 205....NOT $ 150. Example: When a store offers you a package deal of buy 2 get 1 free...You can't walk in and buy just 1 and get 1 free....YOU NEED TO BUY THE 2. Is this really that hard to comprehend ?? And an apology and free dvd she got anyway against my better judgment. Why so unhappy. be the judge. Safe driving to everyone out there. Colwell's
Anonymous on 09/19/2007:
Whoever controls the money in any country is master of all its legislation and commerce.
-President James Garfield
Slimjim on 09/19/2007:
Never listen to a guy named after a cat
Anonymous on 09/19/2007:
But he's right..
ordinaryhousewife on 09/19/2007:
You have a right to be mad
Melanie S. on 09/20/2007:
thank u ordinaryhousewife...
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