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    • LatinDancer
    • By LatinDancer 14th Jul 17, 2:56 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Contract for driving lessons
    • #1
    • 14th Jul 17, 2:56 PM
    Contract for driving lessons 14th Jul 17 at 2:56 PM
    Advice please
    in Sept 2015 I paid over £1600 for a booking of driving lessons for my two children.

    the written contract included
    35 hrs of driving lessons each,
    preparation for theory test,
    test fees for both theory & practical tests.

    We all informally agreed they would go out for lessons together or separately for 2 hrs minimum. Instructor said his availability was 6pm-9pm each evening.

    Both passed the theory test in December 2015. In April 2016 lessons were cancelled as the instructor went away. I contacted him in July asking for him to finish the contract or refund the outstanding hours and practical test fees. (21 hrs total outstanding)

    Instructor replied saying the lessons should have been at least 4 hours each and he should have only collected my children 17 times. He said he was on holiday and would work out the contract as soon as possible.

    We waited to hear from the instructor ... Meanwhile my children moved on to higher education away from home. In April 2017 I contacted him asking for a refund of the cost of outstanding hours stating he had fundamentally broken the contract, and I had given him plenty of time to complete the hours.
    I contacted DSA and CAB for advice, they advised mediation or that I seek legal advice.
    In June 2017 I sent a letter before action stating my claim, and my evidence plus suggesting ADR.

    I received a reply ignoring the ADR suggestion and saying if I proceed he will counter claim that my children breached the contract and cancelled 2 hours of lessons each time they were out for a 2 hour period. He is claiming that I owe him money. At no time did he say they had cancelled lessons, and my children did not say to him at any time that they wanted to cancel. He decided when to bring them home each time, and on occasion they arrived home earlier than the 2 hour lesson, plus they were often stationary whilst he berated them for minor mistakes.

    Both my children subsequently took lessons with a different instructor and passed the practical test first time. I would be happier about getting my money back via ADR rather than going through the court. However as he's ignored my request, and threatened a counter claim (for which he has no written evidence) what are my options?

    The contract clearly stated what he would provide. I have receipt for my payments and appointments cards completed by him for each pupil showing the hours completed.

    thank you in advance for comments.
Page 1
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 14th Jul 17, 2:59 PM
    • 3,779 Posts
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    • #2
    • 14th Jul 17, 2:59 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Jul 17, 2:59 PM
    Raise a claim (MCOL) and let him try to counter-claim.
    Diary of a madman
    Walk the line again today
    Entries of confusion
    Dear diary, I'm here to stay
    • powerful_Rogue
    • By powerful_Rogue 14th Jul 17, 3:01 PM
    • 3,330 Posts
    • 4,865 Thanks
    • #3
    • 14th Jul 17, 3:01 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Jul 17, 3:01 PM
    However as he's ignored my request, and threatened a counter claim (for which he has no written evidence) what are my options?
    Originally posted by LatinDancer
    Your options are as pointed out in the Letter Before Action you sent.

    He's ignored the request for ADR, so it looks like you now need to follow though and issue a claim in the Small Claims Court.
    • LatinDancer
    • By LatinDancer 14th Jul 17, 3:24 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    • #4
    • 14th Jul 17, 3:24 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Jul 17, 3:24 PM
    Thank you ... do you think there's any chance of the counter claim being taken seriously?
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 14th Jul 17, 3:57 PM
    • 11,742 Posts
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    • #5
    • 14th Jul 17, 3:57 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Jul 17, 3:57 PM
    Of course it all depends on what exactly you said in your letter, but the whole point of an LBA is to basically make them aware "look, this is your last chance, if you don't do x within 14 days, i'm going to begin legal proceedings". Providing your letter says all the necessary things, theres really no reason you shouldn't just go ahead and issue proceedings against him.

    You could try to give him one more chance and ask him to clarify whether he's willing to enter ADR or not (wouldn't have to ask him formally, could do so via email). I can't see the claim going against you, but it wouldn't hurt to have something in writing proving that court action really only happened because he refused to negotiate (could potentially see costs being awarded against him even if - theoretically - he won his counterclaim).

    The downside to this is that it undermines your LBA threat.

    Although I'd perhaps point out that his claim the lessons were supposed to be 4 hours doesn't fit in with his availability of 6-9pm being a 3 hour time slot (perhaps something to make a note of, especially if you have his availability in writing somewhere). And also if the contract doesn't mention the 4 hour lessons, that he was contracted to provide 35 hours + book their tests, not 17 lessons of 4 hours each (especially since that only adds up to 68 hours of lessons.
    Money doesn't solve creates it.
    • LatinDancer
    • By LatinDancer 16th Jul 17, 2:59 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    • #6
    • 16th Jul 17, 2:59 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Jul 17, 2:59 PM
    Thank you, yes I do have in writing from him the 3 hr availability slots, and nothing in writing about 4 hour lessons. Nothing verbally about that either until after he'd disappeared in April '16, when it seems he'd tired of teaching my two!

    I will go ahead and make a claim through MCOL thanks again for the advice.
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