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#1 18-12-13 17:51:31

djfada
Member
Registered: 18-12-13
Posts: 7

Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

Hi everyone sorry my first post has to be a bit long winded but here goes...

I was supposed to be taking my practical test today at 2.57pm in Pontefract, West Yorkshire. When my instructor got here an hour before for my pre-test lesson she told me that my test had actually been cancelled due to the examiner being ill but seen as though I had 2 hours booked and I had to pay for them anyway we should still do the lessons. I was obviously a bit annoyed at all of it so I ended up just paying for the lesson but not taking them (a bit silly I know). Then I decided to ring up Bill Plant, the DVLA and the DSA just to see what was going on. I had no luck at all over the phone so in the end I got a lift through to the test centre to see if I could speak to someone. An examiner there checked for me and I was told that they hadnt got a test booked under my name at that centre at all.

After ringing Bill Plant again and getting nowhere my dad phoned my instructor and after that she phoned back to say she had messed up and actually booked the test at the wrong centre. It was booked some where in Wales that also began Ponte.. but not Pontefract, West Yorkshire. But now she has re-booked it at Pontefract for the start of February and the money I paid today will be for the lesson before my test in February and for while on my test.

At this point I've ended up doing nearly 70 hours worth of lessons, atleast 65, but split between 2 different instructors, the first a local private driving school and then I switched to Bill Plant and got my current instructor. There was a 2 month waiting list to get my test I shouldve done today so this is a reason Ive ran over the recommended 45 hours a fair bit which is fair enough. But now I'm faced with having to have another 2 months worth of lessons which I have to find the funds for.

I'm not prepared to give my instructor any more money after it all seen as I've allready shelled out so much for lessons and I'm £100 down today for a test she wrongly booked. But as usual with these things she wont consider a refund. Or see if I can keep that start of feb test (with a bit of hope I could get in earlier if theres a cancellation) and either a) take it with a different instructor and have lessons with them up untill the start of feb, or b) possiblly take it in my parents car which I've had countless hours of private practice in and am insured on. Option b would really be the best but of course I'm not sure if the DSA will let me do the test in that car? I've tried checking on their website and as far as I can tell if it had a 2nd rear view mirror fitted for the examiner and as long as my insurance covers me for it or I can change my policy to cover me for the test it would be possible. But then theres the problem of having 2 months driving without an instructor and if I pick up any failabel bad habits in that time.

Im pretty stuck with what to do other than those 2 options and would really appreciate any advice any of you could give.

Thanks.

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18-12-13 17:51:31

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Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre




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#2 18-12-13 18:34:21

christhedrummer
Verified Member
Registered: 18-10-06
Posts: 1,163
Website

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

Hi,

Don't know where to start with this one. Firstly, I'm sorry to hear it's happened. We are humans and make mistakes but your instructor should have come clean to start with instead of making up a little story.

Obviously your instructor has made a serious error in booking at the wrong place (and then to lie to cover it up!) so you should not be paying for something that you haven't used. i.e. I would expect your instructor to have paid for your rebooked test - not you - and also refund you for todays test and lesson which you didn't use. It is THEIR mistake and they should compensate you accordingly.

What happens between now and your new date is up to you.

Looking for a cancellation is the main option. This time of year they do appear but you've got to be on the ball as they disappear very quickly. Taking your test in your parents car is absolutely fine. As long as it's insured, taxed, MOT-ed, clean(!) and has a rear view mirror - a couple of quid from Halfords, L plates, and all the bulbs working then great.

Without having seen your driving no one can really comment on what lessons you might need between now and your new test. Unfortunately there is no easy solution.

I think getting your Dad to liaise with BP customer services (?!) and explaining the situation to them would be the best place to start and see what happens.

Last edited by christhedrummer (18-12-13 18:37:07)

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#3 18-12-13 18:51:02

djfada
Member
Registered: 18-12-13
Posts: 7

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

thanks for replying

Well she says that she has rebooked it for me and I havent actually had to give her another 62 and that what I originally paid her for todays test will be for the new one at the start of feb. There was some problem with booking it online and paying with my card 2 or so month ago when it was originally booked (the first test date for today) so I ended up giving her the cash and she said she would book it for me before my next lesson. I was a bit dumb there I guess I shouldve just waited till I got home and booked it myself online and made sure it was at a time that she was available. But at the time she had seemed trustworthy and I thought nothing of it.

I really dont want to have any more lessons with her or take the test using her car now, though tbh.

I think I'm going to have to lose out on the lesson I paid for today and switch to a new instructor after christmas and just hope she really has booked the test and I can get some written/official proof of that off her to take to whoever my new instructor is. Hopefully its 3rd instructor 3rd time lucky.

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#4 18-12-13 19:13:25

Loopy Lou
Verified Member
From: Berkshire
Registered: 03-11-07
Posts: 554

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

djfada wrote:

... just hope she really has booked the test and I can get some written/official proof of that off her to take to whoever my new instructor is. Hopefully its 3rd instructor 3rd time lucky.

You can check it yourself online! Just go to the following link on the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/change-date-practical-driving-test and put in your driving licence number and your Theory test pass number (if you don't have that, follow the instructions on the page!).

As for what's happened today, as someone who runs a small driving school myself, I am pretty speechless at the actions of your instructor and the unhelpfulness of her driving school. If they have acted in the way you describe, that's very unprofessional (I'm being "politely restrained" there!)

I would SERIOUSLY suggest that you and/or your Dad don't let the matter rest. Show your Dad this thread. For starters, when a Practical test is booked online, the DSA send an email to the email address entered on the booking form (presumably your instructor put her own email address) to confirm the booking with details of the time and location. Even if your instructor really did "make a mistake" at the time of booking, when she received the email, had she read it she would have KNOWN of the mistake straight away and could have rectified it.

You need to check Bill Plant's Terms and Conditions to see if you can get a refund. Don't just accept a "no" from your instructor.

Let us know how you get on smile


It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful...

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#5 18-12-13 19:20:24

djfada
Member
Registered: 18-12-13
Posts: 7

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

thanks a lot Ill check that link now and see if that makes things any clearer.

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#6 18-12-13 19:21:00

reddragonbus
Verified Member
From: Edinburgh
Registered: 05-02-06
Posts: 1,653

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

What the instructor has done is basically fraud.

Charging you for the lesson and use of the vehicle for the test knowing full well that they had messed up the booking.

I would approach your local trading standards.


LGV PCV Instructor DVSA ADI Fleet

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#7 18-12-13 19:24:30

djfada
Member
Registered: 18-12-13
Posts: 7

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

Ok thats telling me that she has indeed booked the new test for the 2nd of feb and its paid for. So atleast she has been honest about that part.

I cant tell whether she did really book the original one at all though it just shows the new one. Should there be a record of the old test on there too?

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#8 18-12-13 19:58:55

Roadmaster
Verified Member
Registered: 04-03-04
Posts: 5,670

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

You used to be able o see your test booking history online when you check or change a test, I can't access the site just now to check.

You need to keep an eye on the current booking, because if you sack the instructor (and I think you should)  she might cancel your test as she has paid for it so the refund will go back to her card, and you could end up arriving at the test centre with no test.

You can take the test in your own car, all it needs is a second mirror for the examiner, which you should already have for your supervising passenger have if you are practising in it.  They only cost a couple of quid from car accessory shops (avoid Halfords, they are expensive)

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#9 18-12-13 20:11:58

MGM
Verified Member
From: Surrey
Registered: 24-10-11
Posts: 861

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

christhedrummer wrote:

Looking for a cancellation is the main option. This time of year they do appear but you've got to be on the ball as they disappear very quickly. Taking your test in your parents car is absolutely fine. As long as it's insured, taxed, MOT-ed, clean(!) and has a rear view mirror - a couple of quid from Halfords, L plates, and all the bulbs working then great.

Chris is right, but it also needs to be roadworthy, which is NOT the same as having an MOT! The one obvious thing which they always check is the tyres - make sure they're legal and correctly inflated.

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#10 18-12-13 20:20:15

kaf
Verified Member
From: Wiltshire
Registered: 05-08-07
Posts: 3,324
Website

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

I can only tell you what I would have done in this situation.

I book all my students tests.

Had I booked the wrong test centre and my student missed the test, I would have been providing free lessons until the next test.

My mistake, my loss.

I strongly suggest you take advice from citizens advice.

I doubt you will be able to get compensation for extra lessons, but the instructor should refund the two hours you have paid for today and your test fee.

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#11 18-12-13 20:23:34

djfada
Member
Registered: 18-12-13
Posts: 7

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

I going to contact another instructor tomorrow and see about if they can do an evaluation lesson to see where I'm at. I was of the understanding I was at test standard a couple of month ago when my first test was booked (or supposedlly booked) and it was just because of the current waiting list for my local test centre that it would take longer. But who knows. And I'm sure if I just try to get private practice and use my parents car for the test I'll pick up bad habits that I could fail on over the next couple of month.

Hopefully I can sort out having them as the registered instructor for this new test at the start of feb too. On the link Loopy Lou posted it has the section for 'instructors reference number' left blank but still has it registered as being paid for. Obviously me paying cash to the previous instructor could scupper things though. neutral

Anyway thanks a lot for all your help guys I really appreciate it.

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#12 18-12-13 20:26:46

djfada
Member
Registered: 18-12-13
Posts: 7

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

kaf wrote:

I can only tell you what I would have done in this situation.

I book all my students tests.

Had I booked the wrong test centre and my student missed the test, I would have been providing free lessons until the next test.

My mistake, my loss.

I strongly suggest you take advice from citizens advice.

I doubt you will be able to get compensation for extra lessons, but the instructor should refund the two hours you have paid for today and your test fee.

I'm just worried about if she then cancelled this new test date now though for the sake of getting 40 quid back.

Last edited by djfada (18-12-13 20:27:16)

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#13 18-12-13 21:19:00

kaf
Verified Member
From: Wiltshire
Registered: 05-08-07
Posts: 3,324
Website

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

The Dsa do not link an instructor with a test, you can turn up with another instructor or your own car, they do not care one bit.

The test is yours, you have paid the instructor, the only problem is, if it is cancelled, the money gets refunded to the account it came out of. Your instructors.

The line of least resistance is to keep the test date, and tell the instructor that you will be taking it in your own car, so will not need her services further.

It would be wise to have a couple of refresher lessons in the interim, only you can decide if it will be with her or someone else.

I know what my choice would be.

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#14 18-12-13 23:35:06

AUTAX
Verified Member
Registered: 22-07-11
Posts: 1,032

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

There is a way of getting a cancellation notification without sitting in front of a computer all day.

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I use this site and have had 100% satisfaction.

A strongly worded letter of complaint is required to Bill Plant. Also CC it to your local papers. This thing is reprehensible. Yes, we can make mistakes but this is unforgivable. We are a Professional body with a lot of bad apples unfortunately.

Firstly, looking for the test centre. What is difficult in spotting Pontypridd looks nothing like Pontefract?
Secondly, when the email arrives it is checked for accuracy, Test Centre, time booked and date.
Thirdly then a copy is past onto the candidate as proof that the test is booked and then the Pupil checks all the details.

All the safety checks are there. You have been badly let down and like oaf, if I had let down someone as badly as this then I would be paying to get an earlier test and all lessons between now and then would be at my expense.

I would want to keep you on side because if I responded in the manner above I would hope that you would forgive the act of crass negligence and not bad mouth me.


Be Fear-less, go GEAR-LESS!

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#15 19-12-13 15:19:15

djfada
Member
Registered: 18-12-13
Posts: 7

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

I contacted the DSA this morning and she hadnt even booked a test at all till last night. So the money I gave her 2 month ago to book one just went straight in her pocket. I guess I'll have it out with her 1 last time and if she still wont take responsibility for it all I'll have to seek some legal advice.

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#16 19-12-13 18:36:20

AUTAX
Verified Member
Registered: 22-07-11
Posts: 1,032

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

Name and !!!!!!!! shame mate. I'm sick & tired of do gooders telling us we don't have dodgy ADIs amongst us.

You need to take this a lot further now. She has taken money under false pretences which is a criminal offence.

In English law a fraud is committed when a person dishonestly says or does something which results in loss to you. From the information you have given it certainly sounds like you are the victim of fraud here.

Even if the money is repaid the crime is not extinguished. The person is still liable for the crime although by re payment the punishment would be less.

You are entitled to report this matter to the police and they will take action. The other person may be arrested and, depending on the evidence, could be charged an end up in the Magistrates Court.


Be Fear-less, go GEAR-LESS!

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#17 19-12-13 18:37:34

AUTAX
Verified Member
Registered: 22-07-11
Posts: 1,032

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

Name and !!!!!!!! shame mate. I'm sick & tired of do gooders telling us we don't have dodgy ADIs amongst us.

You need to take this a lot further now. She has taken money under false pretences which is a criminal offence.

In English law a fraud is committed when a person dishonestly says or does something which results in loss to you. From the information you have given it certainly sounds like you are the victim of fraud here.

Even if the money is repaid the crime is not extinguished. The person is still liable for the crime although by re payment the punishment would be less.

You are entitled to report this matter to the police and they will take action. The other person may be arrested and, depending on the evidence, could be charged an end up in the Magistrates Court.


Be Fear-less, go GEAR-LESS!

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#18 19-12-13 18:40:52

Evan
Administrator
Registered: 27-12-09
Posts: 2,058

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

Totally agree with the above post, you need to bring this to the attention of the DSA, this is not the behaviour of a fit and proper person!

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#19 19-12-13 18:56:55

kaf
Verified Member
From: Wiltshire
Registered: 05-08-07
Posts: 3,324
Website

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

I'm not sure this can be done, but ask the DSA if they can ensure she is not able to cancel or amend the date she has booked.

So only you can make changes

Last edited by kaf (19-12-13 18:57:17)

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#20 19-12-13 19:02:19

AUTAX
Verified Member
Registered: 22-07-11
Posts: 1,032

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

Kaf, she didn't book the original test in the first place two months ago and lied about it being booked at a Welsh test Centre in error.

She had taken the 62 two months ago but has just now booked the test for the very first time.

Report her to the Registrar, or/and the police. You've been well and truly duped by one of our so called colleagues and I feel very sorry for you.


Be Fear-less, go GEAR-LESS!

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#21 19-12-13 19:39:28

kaf
Verified Member
From: Wiltshire
Registered: 05-08-07
Posts: 3,324
Website

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

I appreciate that, my concern is, that if the ADI chooses,,she could cause the OP grief, by making changes to the test booking without authority.

There is now a test booked, I just want to find a way of making sure she does not lose that booking.

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#22 19-12-13 19:52:47

Roadmaster
Verified Member
Registered: 04-03-04
Posts: 5,670

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

Anyone who has the access information can change the test, and DSA has no way to block any  individual from changing it.
I would doubt that the instructor would be so stupid as to change or cancel it, considering the problems they have already caused,  but djfada does need to keep checking the date to be sure.

As for contacting DSA, it has no powers to take any action or intervene in business dealings of ADIs, it will almost certainly suggest that trading standards is contacted.

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#23 19-12-13 20:37:27

MGM
Verified Member
From: Surrey
Registered: 24-10-11
Posts: 861

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

Roadmaster wrote:

As for contacting DSA, it has no powers to take any action or intervene in business dealings of ADIs, it will almost certainly suggest that trading standards is contacted.

He has the powers. Under section 128 (2(e)) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 the Registrar can remove anyone from the register who has "ceased ... to be a fit and proper person to have his name included in the register".

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#24 19-12-13 21:09:36

Roadmaster
Verified Member
Registered: 04-03-04
Posts: 5,670

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

During the past few months there has been a lot of debate at meetings about the registrar wanting to introduce civil sanctions (fines) for ADIs because currently he has no powers to 'punish' an ADI for being naughty, other than removal.   Business dealings do not fall under the fit & proper, which applies only to the ADI not their business,  as admitted by the registrar, because they come under trading standards regulations.
If the ADI was prosecuted for fraud, as suggested by AUTAX then the fit & proper criteria could be used.  However, it's very unlikely that the police would get involved either.

DSA and some of the associations last year attempted to introduce a code of conduct, which includes a section about business dealings, but this has proved ineffective as it cannot be made compulsory.

At the end of the day the ADI has made a mistake, error of judgement, cock up or whatever you want to call it.  It isn't fraud, as they have corrected the mistake by booking the test.   I'm not defending or condoning what the ADI has done, but it's just bad business parctice which has already had an impact in losing business, and if/when word gets around might cause more damage.

Last edited by Roadmaster (19-12-13 21:17:46)

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#25 19-12-13 21:14:50

Lady-Hynarc
Verified Member
Registered: 09-04-12
Posts: 648

Re: Problem with Instructor booking test for wrong test centre

I am absolutely horrified by this tale.  Following the advice given above, take this as far as you can.  You have been woefully treated and deserve some recompense as far as I am concerned.

Best of luck.

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