The letter below was written to help warn people about dodgy commercial transport training companies. It was forwarded to us by an LGV student who was mislead and miss sold LGV, Driver CPC and ADR training by a dodgy HGV training broker.
For legal reasons we cannot name the broker, needless to say they were advertising themselves as a national HGV training provider who would also provide job advice on completion of training.
The letter reads
I came across this company on the internet in November 2011 as I was looking to change my career and HGV driving was my choice. I decided to carry out my training by attaining my class 1 (category CE), and class 2 (category C), and I also wanted to gain an ADR licence so I could become a tanker driver.
I was given the impression (by the broker) that there are a lot of vacancies in this area (tanker driver work) and also that the pay is higher than a normal class 1 (category CE.) I completed and submitted the online registration form found on the broker’s website. I was then shortly called on my home telephone directly by an employee of the HGV broker company.
He (the broker) explained the training programmes on offer and sent me a hard copy of all of the training prices etc. I selected the courses I wanted to carry out and called the broker directly on the number advertised on their website. I was told that no one was available but they would take my details and pass them on and someone would call me back. They called me back almost immediately.
The courses I selected from their menu were as follows.
Double Category C and CE Licence, including: DSA theory test training material, DSA theory tests, 5 day approved C tuition, 5 day approved CE tuition, DSA practical driving test for each category, professionally made drivers CV, Job finder service
Pass Protection, provides one extra retest if needed, each with an extra training session. This ensures you have at least two chances to get your licence.
Initial CPC including, full training for both modules 2 and 4 of your initial Driver CPC.
ADR Course: 5 days packages and tanker course. I was lead to believe (from the broker) that if I have an ADR I would gain access to the highest paid HGV jobs in the market today
Total cost should have been, as per the menu 3,596 pounds but they were offering a deal, if all of the above was booked at the same time I could have it at a reduced rate for 2,600 pounds. I thought this was very good value and decided to book straight away. I paid a deposit there and then of 206 pounds via my credit card. The deposit was paid on the 28th November.
I then stated that I was expecting more funds (into my account) by the middle of December and that I would pay the balance then. I paid the remaining balance (2,400 pounds), over the phone on the 12th December with my Visa debit card. Once all monies were paid all of the necessary documentation was sent through to me.
Booking date for an HGV driving medical and confirmation dates of the DSA Theory tests. I was also told that I would need to apply to the DVLA to gain my provisional category C licence entitlement.
I received my provisional licence application back from the DVLA at the beginning of January. Unfortunately I had to re-apply again as the application was not completed correctly. I finally received my new licence (with full provisional entitlement) on the 15th January.
I then contacted the broker to arrange and book my theory tests. My theory tests were booked for the 6th and 15th February. I studied hard and am happy to say I passed both exams first time.
After passing the theory tests I contacted the broker to book my practical driver training. I wanted to start the practical element as soon as possible. I then forwarded all of the theory pass test documentation to the broker as they had requested this. I subsequently received a letter from the broker dated 17th February 2012 stating that my practical training had been booked to commence on Monday, 19th March 2012. In the letter of confirmation I was informed my course would be delivered in Hampshire.
On Sunday 18th March I decided to drive to the address to check the distance to make sure I was there on time on Monday morning. When I got back I logged onto my email account to check my emails and discovered that I had received an email from the broker stating that, due to an oversight by someone in the HGV broker team my course hadn’t been booked and that they would be back in touch with me to arrange a new date to take place within the next two weeks.
I was somewhat disappointed by this and tried to make contact the broker via telephone and email immediately, but all I kept getting was the receptionist who kept informing me she had no direct contact with anyone at the HGV brokerage.
I again tried to contact the HGV broker on Monday 19th via email and telephone but again I had no response. In desperation I contacted the training centre in Hampshire where the course had been allegedly booked. I spoke with a lady who was very helpful. She told me that the broker had tried to book a driving course with them for the 19th March.
The lady then told me that they had asked the broker for payment upfront as they had never had any dealings with them previously. The lady then received an email back from the broker stating that I (me) could not get time off for that date and would get back to them. They never did.
I have sent a registered letter to the broker requesting my money back under the Supply of Goods and Services act 1982. I have since re booked in with the local Hampshire HGV training company which has cost me another 1,331 pounds. I have contacted my credit card company who are going to try to get the 206 pounds deposit I paid.
I have also contacted my bank who is trying to get back the other 2,400 pounds I paid to the broker, however I don’t hold out too much hope. On top of this I have contacted TRADING STANDARDS who forwarded me to CONSUMER DIRECT. I informed them of all of the details I had and was then advised to contact the INSOLVENCY SERVICE to check if the company existed. To date I have not received any response from anyone.
I am extremely disappointed and can’t believe that I have been taken for a ride but I would like to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else in the future.
We at www.hgvlgvtraining.co.uk think the way dodgy brokers operate is detrimental to the new driver and the industry as a whole. How can it be right that companies like this can legally trade by exploiting and taking advantage of people who are only trying to improve their careers?
The story you have read here is not a one off. Hundreds of people have been ripped off by dodgy HGV brokerages companies and still they continue to trade with relative impunity.
If you are considering a career as an HGV driver please don’t be put off by what you have just read. The fact of the matter is the overwhelming majority of HGV driver training is delivered by reputable established local training companies. Just go direct rather than use a broker.
Posted on Tuesday, 27th March 2012