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, nowhere does it indicate on the school policy letter that the cost of the video would be deducted from the refund! This is outrageous!