Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Crisis du Moment, II

or, Why You Should Not Take Driving Lessons With BSM

This afternoon's crisis was dealing with fucking BSM again. My god those people are fucking incompetent. It absolutely astounds me that they are still in business. (I even wrote that in the letter I sent them this morning.) Let's go in order, shall we?

Fuck up #1: The instructor never showed up for my first lesson. No phone call, no notification, nada. Just didn't show. I waited outside, in the rain, for 90 minutes, during which time I phoned them repeatedly to complain, and they insisted that, despite their failed attempts to contact the driver, they were sure everything was OK and he would be along any minute. It took an hour and half for them to clue in that something was amiss.

Fuck up #2: Against my better judgment I rescheduled the lesson, but I insisted on a different instructor. He showed up on time and was very nice and apologetic while he told me that he couldn't take me for a lesson. You see, I didn't have a provisional license. No one told me I needed one. When I first phoned BSM to book lessons I explicitly told them that I had an American driving license. No one said anything about needing a provisional or in any way indicated that having an American license was a barrier to receiving driving instruction.

Fuck up #3: After that I phoned and demanded a full refund. They were not apologetic. They tried to keep my business by offering to reschedule my lessons in Plymouth after the wedding, but they gave me no incentive whatsoever to do that. I insisted, and they said the cheque would be in the mail. Then I got a phone call three days later explaining that there had been "a clerical error" and that my refund would arrive in 2 separate cheques, on 2 separate days, so I should not spaz out when the first one arrived and it was for less than the full amount. At least they gave me a heads-up.

Fuck up #4: After more than a week an envelope finally arrived. It did not contain a cheque. It contained a letter explaining that they can only give refunds directly to the card with which I made the purchase. That's fair enough, but why were 2 different employees on 2 separate occasions convinced I would receive a cheque??? Furthermore, the letter said (and I am not making this up) "Will we refund you the full amount of [my postode]." Yes, they actually put my postcode where the amount should have gone. Someone doesn't know the difference between a monetary sum and a postcode??? It's also highly suspicious, since because of that error nowhere did it say in the letter how much they owed me. The letter committed them to paying me absolutely nothing because they neglected to include the amount. Frankly, I don't think it was a mistake. I think it was them being slimy. So I sent a copy to my solicitor, along with a copy of my reply to them (which basically said everthing I've just written here).

It's going to take forever to get that 222 pounds back, I can tell. I must say, I felt a profound kinship with GSE all day. This is just the sort of shit that seems to happen to her with statistically improbable frequency.


GreatSheElephant said...

yup. The question is - why me? Or indeed you?

ziggi said...

I still haven't got my phone reconnected!

Now be a good girl and apply for a proper British licence ;-)

**ducks and runs**

helena said...

The DTI (they go under a new name but if you just google DTI you'll get the new website)used be very good at chasing up companies that screw up sending you cheques and stuff - I got a couple of businesses closed down through them - worth giving them a ring (you could also try trading standards too)

Miss Melville said...

Hey, did you get the text I sent you the other day?

Also, I think it might be cheaper (and definitely easier) to just hire a driver. Slightly pretentious, but you'll be a Dr. soon enough, so really... I'd consider it. ;)

Chaucer's Bitch said...

GSE: because entropy loves us.

ziggi: they must be good friends with the chocolate fountain people!

helena: thanks for the tip! That's really good to know. I'm on it like a fresh-from-the-state-pen excon on a hooker.

MM: no, what text? send me an email.

FirstNations said...

I'm almost afraid to comment. lordy when it rains it pours don't it?
definitely being jacked around here. call the people who chase the checques and meanwhile have Ziggi cast an evil wart spell on them. thats what i say, dammit! or kill them all and let god sort them out; whatever works best.

Graham said...

This is a classic example of why you should always go with a smaller, local school. I run a driving school in London and we get so many people coming to us from the Nationwide schools such as the one you have mentioned saying that they have repeatedly been messed around.

Should you ever be in the London area, please give us a call.