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pakav66

BSM Refunds refused for unused driving lessons

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Keeping it simple...I need some advice on the next course of action.

 

I was learning to drive with BSM, did some lessons and booked a further 12 hours with them. Unfortunately, stuff cropped up at work and I didnt have time to use any more than 2 hours of the additional 12 hours I paid for.

 

Contacted them and explained the situation and they have refused to give me any refund for the unused lessons. The words goodwill and flexibility dont work on them and having gone from the branch to the complaints department they now say a flat no on the grounds of terms and conditions. I booked the first batch of lessons online where they dont show T's and C's and the batch I am looking for a refund on were done over the phone where they said nothing about the money paid being non refundable. Their claim is I should have cancelled within 7 days and the concept of someone changing their mind or if their circumstances change didnt make a dent in their thick skinned approach to customer care.

 

Their T's and C's are hidden in the back of the "Track record" booklet given out at your first lesson which is usually a week or more after you make your payment so how they expect you to be aware of the clause is beyond me.

 

Any suggestions or is it just a case of "buyer beware"?

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Welcome to the site.Will move your thread for some thoughts.


Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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I would guess your only course of action would be a small claims action on the basis that the terms are unfair. Whether you would win on this bearing in mind that although you hadn't received your progress book in time to claim your first set of lessons back, you did have thebook when you made the second payment so could have seen the terms by then.

 

Whenever I have had a pupil cancel lessons because their circumstances have changed I have always provided a refund and only keep the payment for the lessons they have taken, although this is usually at a slightly higher rate. i.e. by doing a block booking they were given a discounted price, if they cancel some of this block booking the lessons already taken are charged at the standard price which seems only fair.

 

p.s.

your other solution is to take the outstanding lessons with them as these are already paid for and they will have to honour them. Then make sure you tell them at the end of that block that when you get back to driving it will not be with BSM. :)

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7. No refunds will be made in the case of non-use of lessons booked under the Offer for any reason.

 

 

The terms and conditions are on the site. It's as crem says, so if you are still within the 3 months, then go book them and use them.

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They also permit you to assign them to someone else (assuming you have no need for them). They only sell courses, not individual hourse, so it would be correct they would be unhappy at crediting unused lessons.

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They only sell courses, not individual hourse, so it would be correct they would be unhappy at crediting unused lessons.

 

:confused: since when? :confused:

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Since 2002 when they realised they could make more money offering discounts on package deals. A 10 lesson course commitment was 40% cheaper than 10 x 1hrs booked individually. Also if franchised, there were other differences too.

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Well they don't only sell courses in my area to my knowledge. I'll ask some of the lads when I am next in the test centre.

 

Edit

Well I have just used their online booking system (not all the way to the payment screen of course) and it is quite happy for me to be booking a 1 hour lesson.

 

Not forgetting that "they" don't make any extra money no matter how many hours the pupil books as most of the instructors are francise drivers therefore all the lesson money goes to the instructor

Edited by crem

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They work the same way as RED, instructors self-employed, and the retail presence a booking service. Their business is to commit the end user to as many lessons as their budget will allow, and provide credit too ( if required ).

 

The fact the customer wants a credit for untaken lessons won't be of much interest to them as they are removed from the front line, just a facilities company interested in the back office system. A visit to an office will sell you a course, bot a lesson - but as you pony out, the instructor drivers are free to negotiate their own deals.

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So where does the comment about them only providing block bookings come from?

 

(btw I used to work for RED so know how they work, and they never ever took a block booking on my behalf)

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Try reading para 1 in message 9...? It is the retail/marketing side that takes the block bookings, they also provide the theory part 1, leaving the instructors to provide the hands on training. A freind who took a course with them in 2007 had limited choices, in that she only wanted the Theory test and 5 hours on live tuition, but was dissuaded by being told this would cost her more than if she took the 'package' which included the Theory test for 'free'.

 

As for taking a 'block booking on your behalf' - I never said they did. They took block bookings from customers for a set number of lessons. I don't believe they'd tie themselves to blocking an instructor as well. How it worked when they paid the Brand/Franchise owner for lessons taken (NOT arranged by the front office) I've no idea. Perhaps you could advise?

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As for taking a 'block booking on your behalf' - I never said they did. They took block bookings from customers for a set number of lessons.

 

Who do you think the block booking would be on behalf of then if it isn't the instructor? The money for the the lessons has to come to the instructor, how do you think we make a living?

 

As you don't seem to be clear how driving schools work; RED, BSM, AA etc don't make any money from the lesson fees, these are paid to the instructor for his time/instruction.

 

The company makes it's money by charging the instructor a weekly "franchise fee" for allowing them to be a "member" of the school, they run the advertising and provide the call centre to take customer inquiries then place the pupil with the appropriate instructor in their area. This is a fixed fee irrelevant of how many pupils or hours the instructor takes (although some charge a "new pupil fee" of say £30 for each new pupil) and isn't a %age charge of the instructor's weekly income or anything like that.

Edited by crem

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Yes, and your point? Surely not that the instructor isn't paid by the customer? When a customer makes a block booking and either enters into a credit agreement or other arrangement for multiple lessons, the office credits the instructor for the time taken - I don't know if RED has/had retail offices in cities like BSM do. But the RED system (I recall) had its own franchised area system. You had an exclusive locale in which no other franchise holder could encroach. They seemed to be more instructor-facing, in that they'd train drivers to be instructors, then offer them a franchise, making money from both parts of the deal, but NOT dealing with the student. other than pointing them to the nearest franchise holder, but if I've got this wrong, please update me.

 

With BSM, they called on a pool of instructors, none of which had any exclusivity, but they were operating as a student 'front end' not to offer areas or train drivers to instruct. My friend disliked BSMs system as she had no continuity of instruction, of the 8 lessons she took, she only had the same instructor once.

 

[FX: Cue: Bob Newhart: The Driving Instructior] :)

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Yes, and your point? Surely not that the instructor isn't paid by the customer? When a customer makes a block booking and either enters into a credit agreement or other arrangement for multiple lessons, the office credits the instructor for the time taken - I don't know if RED has/had retail offices in cities like BSM do. But the RED system (I recall) had its own franchised area system. You had an exclusive locale in which no other franchise holder could encroach.

[Not true]

 

They seemed to be more instructor-facing, in that they'd train drivers to be instructors, [via The Instructor College, their teaching division] then offer them a franchise [possibly], making money from both parts of the deal, but NOT dealing with the student. other than pointing them to the nearest franchise holder, [no, they arrange the 1st lesson day/time, which they notify the appropriate instructor about. 1/2 the time the 1st contact the instructor has with a pupil is to re-arrange the 1st lesson because they are already booked for that time/day. Not the best first converstion with a pupil! RED think it is a good system, I never thought it was!] but if I've got this wrong, please update me.

 

With BSM, they called on a pool of instructors, none of which had any exclusivity, but they were operating as a student 'front end' not to offer areas or train drivers to instruct. My friend disliked BSMs system as she had no continuity of instruction, of the 8 lessons she took, she only had the same instructor once. [even with BSM you are supposed to be placed with a consistant instructor, but I have known it to go pair-shaped. BSM seem to think it is an advantage that if your instructor is off on holiday/sick, that another instructor turns up to take your lesson.... the pupils tend to disagree. :) ]

 

[FX: Cue: Bob Newhart: The Driving Instructior] :)

..

Edited by crem

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Ta for the update, most helpful. I agree, students need a constant car/instructor and it really is unfair if this isn't delivered

 

We kinda deviated from the OPs problem, with a deal direct with an instructor, I doubt there would have been a problem, as described.

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