Beware of Motor Driving Schools in Pune
Cribb sent in by Sanjukta.
I want to reach the residents of Pune to make them aware of the real face behind the driving schools that promises them a lot to take out money.
I intended to learn driving and hence was in the lookout for a driving school in Pune. After speaking to a couple of them I found out that the time they devote on each session (15 minutes-30 minutes) was not upto my expectation. I also intended to obtain my license (both learning and permanent) through them as I’m new to Pune and was not confident about how to get it done on my own.
In the beginning of April I came across an Advertisement on Times Classifieds of a driving School (Champion Motor Driving School) that promises to take 1 Hour driving sessions on any of the preferred car type. I called on the mobile no displayed in the Advertisement and spoke to one Mr. Rajan who claims to be the owner of this school. I was interested in enrolling for a 10 day course (1 hour each day) starting from the next day that was 05/04/2009.
In no time Mr. Rajan personally visited my place and promised to make me skilled enough to drive on my own on city roads after this 10 day course with them. He also is bragged a lot about his professionalism and how he made the school better than other such schools in the city. He said he would take feedback from me periodically to check if I’m satisfied with the way the trainer has been training me. Moreover he claimed that his agency would do everything to help me get my license without any hassle. He asked for the entire course fee Rs. 3000 upfront plus Rs. 700 for license (200 for learning license + 500 for permanent license).
Me and my husband both were impressed with his claim and paid him the entire course fee + Rs. 200 for learning license for which he (Mr. Rajan) wrote down a list of documents I should carry to the RTO the following Monday (06/04/2009) when his agents will help me get it in no time. We decided to start the session from the next day (i.e Sunday 05;04/09), and the time we decided on was 10 am-11 am everyday.
The next morning I was ready before time and at about 9:55 am called a phone no given to me as the trainer’s phone no to give him direction of my place. To my utter surprise, the trainer said that he was out of town and could not come that day. I was annoyed with such unprofessionalism as I wasn’t informed by either the trainer or Mr. Rajan. When we called him (Mr.Rajan), he gave lame excuses like he didn’t know the trainer was out of town and so on. After I insisted on starting the session on the very same day, he agreed on sending some other driver but in the evening (5 pm- 6 pm). The driver did come that evening at the time agreed on and I specifically told him that I don’t know anything about driving and this was the 1st time I sat on the driver’s seat. After the 1st session he told me that he would come the next evening (Monday 06/04/2009) at the same time.
Next afternoon (06/04/2009) I called up one of their agents in RTO as asked by Mr. Rajan and he told me a list of documents I needed to get the learning license. The list was different from what Mr. Rajan gave us and according to which we kept the documents ready. Inspite of that I got all the documents photocopied immediately and went to the RTO. Their I the agent gave me a form to fill up and assembled the documents and thereafter I was to do the rest. I understood that I gave them the money (Rs. 200) for no reason. The inspecting officer asked for one more piece of address proof other than the one I was carrying. When I came back the the agent, he said I need to get an affidavit done for which they asked for another Rs. 200. I refused to pay the same and told Mr. Rajan about the same but he did nothing to resolve it. So I went back home saying that I would come back on the following Wednesday with more documents.
Now the same evening I was waiting for the trainer to come for my second session. No miss call came from the trainer, hence, I called up Mr. Rajan. He said it was the trainer’s day off so he would not come. Extremely annoyed I told him that the trainer didn’t tell me anything about the same and again he gave some lame excuses which means that he virtually has no control on what his trainers do. The trainer did continue to come for the next three days but only taught me to control the steering. Half the time he would be quiet and if I asked any question he would either be sarcastic or answer as if he was doing me a favour. I still ignored all that.
On 10/04/09 which was supposed to be the 5th day of training, the trainer sent me an sms saying he could not come for the session and would come the next day at the same time, he didn’t mention any reason for that. I ignored that as well. The next morning (Saturday 11/04/09) the trainer gave me a miss call. When I called he asked me to take the session in another 15 minutes from them. When I insisted on the evening timing for the session, he agreed. In the afternoon a different trainer called and said he would come instead as there was a family problem in the actual Trainer’s family. Irritated with all these we called Mr. Rajan to complain and he said that he would send a senior driver whose no he gave me on the 1st day. That trainer came for the next two days. He was very humble and taught me the basics very well, however, he was surprised to see that the former trainer has literally taught me nothing. I was satisfied with this trainer so I called Mr Rajan and requested him to send this senior trainer for the rest of the days.
On the following Monday (13/04/09) I went to the RTO again and obtained my learning license on my own in which the agent had no hand and decided to obtain my permanent license without their help for which thankfully I didn’t pay them before hand. From that day my trainer went on leave for more than two weeks as he went to his native place to attend some family function. I could not decide whether to continue with the help of another new trainer or to wait for him to come back. After a day I called up Mr. Rajan again and he said he would send another senior trainer to take the rest of the classes.
Since then no trainer has come, it’s been more than 10 days. In 20 days with such unacceptable gaps in between I have learnt nothing at all. I’m now no better than a trainee on the 1st day of training. Mr Rajan’s phone is not reachable since then. I have no clue about what to do. I don’t intend to shell out more money and go to a different Driving School as there is no gurantee of them being any better. I want my course fee back from these frauds and I intend to go to the consumer forum for the same.
I hope you can help me to lodge a complain against them to the consumer forum in the city and I suggest the residents of Pune who intend to take such trainings through any such school to beware not not pay the entire money upfront. Moreover, no one should pay them for obtaining license. It’s a simple procedure. Just search on the net for the list of documents needed, get them photocopied and visit the RTO with the documents both xerox and original. Get a form, after filling it up just assemble the documents and ask the Inspector on what to do.