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My driving instructor died and the family isn't refunding me

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So I paid for a 20hour package with my driving instructor for £390 a few months back and 8 1/2 hours into the package of lessons he passed away at about the end of January. I only found out about his passing a week later by calling his phone and having one of his family members responding and giving me their individual number and saying they would personally be dealing with it. I contacted them roughly every 2/3 weeks since then so about 4/5 times now and I have constantly received the same response "Not much I can do until we get access to his bank account. That's if he has any money at all". I understand that because it was his own driving company that he had with a partner it may be more difficult to access accounts and stuff but the family hasn't once contacted me to ask me how I paid or to give me any information about anything. Today I contacted the family member and said very clearly that I had been waiting for a month and a half already and am currently owed around £230 and am constantly being pushed off whenever I ask about information so I wanted to be taken more seriously and have some answers. They responded saying I was disrespectful and asked me if I had a receipt. I didn't receive a receipt but I did pay for the lessons via bank transfer and I have a record of all of the lessons we took up until his passing. The family member said this wasn't a receipt and then went on to that that they were only helping out and are not a part of the company and would pass on my complaints to someone else but when I asked for the number I did not receive a response. I don't know what to do moving on or who to contact to get this issue taken care of.

Also, 2 of my friends did lessons with him as well and have consistently received the same response from the family member.

Replies

  • tacpot12tacpot12 Forumite
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    You really need something that confirms that £390 was the cost of 20 hours of lessons. Do you have something that confirms that? A flyer, a note on the back of the business card in his handwriting, a text message? You need to link the amount that you paid to a offer from him of 20 lessons for that amount. If you have something like this, I thing you could win if you take this to small claims court. You will need to send his estate a Letter Before Action. (Google Letter Before Action to find examples). 

    It is not disrespectful to leave a month before asking for your money back.

    Make sure that your friends take the same steps as you do to recover their money. If you have home insurance, you might also have legal cover; if you do, they will help you with legal advice, and possibly legal representation to recover your money. 

    Just be aware that the estate could have insufficient money to pay his debts, in which case if could be a waste of time. Never pay for lessons up front. 
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • General_GrantGeneral_Grant Forumite
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    Ayahmgd said:
    . . .  I understand that because it was his own driving company that he had with a partner it may be more difficult to access accounts and stuff . . . 
    . . . I didn't receive a receipt but I did pay for the lessons via bank transfer and I have a record of all of the lessons we took up until his passing. 
    . . . 
    Was the account to which you remitted the money one for the company/partnership or his private bank account? 
    If he was operating using a company, why continue with the family member rather than the "partner" in the business?
  • John_John_ Forumite
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    Maybe, while the family are grieving, they have other things to be taking care of than someone harassing them for money that is not their debt.
    The debt, if indeed their is one, will be owed to you by the estate of the deceased. If there is enough left there then you may well, in time, be due a refund, but there’s no point in you harassing the poor family over it.
  • ThrugelmirThrugelmir Forumite
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    Ask who the executors of the estate are. Then submit a written claim for the money you believe is owed. You are just one of many things that need attending to. 
    “Buy value, not market trends or the economic outlook. Individual stocks determine the market, not vica versa." - Sir John Templeton
  • badmemorybadmemory Forumite
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    It can take many months for executors to be able to access the accounts.  I too suggest you put in writing to the executors of whatevername a claim for however much.  This really could take many months & in some cases years so you are going to need to be patient.  If a solicitor is the executor it could take a really long time, but either way they will need a logical & calm reason for the debt.
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