Driving Students to Get Refunds, Transfer Info
It could take a long time for students at Driver's Choice Driving School, which closed Monday, to get their money back.
Students at Driver's Choice Driving School, which abruptly closed Monday in Attleboro as well as at its other locations in Mansfield and Rehoboth, should receive forms in the mail by this weekend stating their progress toward completing required courses, according to a voice message from co-owner Richard Paulhus.
The message, which is what greets callers to the school this week, states that Driver's Choice is working with other schools so students can complete their training. Paulhus recommends contacting Labonte's Auto School, which has locations in Seekonk and North Attleboro, among other areas.
As for refunds, FOX 25 in Boston reported Wednesday that the RMV would file a claim with the Mansfield-based school's bond company so that people can get their money back. The RMV told the TV station that students would receive "a prorated amount of money that would be equivalent to the cost of the remaining amount of training they still have to complete."
Refunds will likely be slow to arrive because there is a lengthy process, which will begin once the RMV receives the records from Driver's Choice, according to FOX 25.
Teri Marshall, an Attleboro resident whose daughter was enrolled at Driver’s Choice, said she was surprised about the sudden closure
"We were in the car, and my daughter saw somebody had posted it on Facebook," Marshall said. "One friend started posting, and then all the kids started talking."
Marshall said she would transfer her daughter to another school soon. She is concerned her daughter's training will cost more money than it would have had she been able to complete her education with Driver's Choice.
Driving schools put classes and road lessons in package deals, which are always cheaper than separate lessons. The problem with this is that Marshall's daughter took the class, but not the road lesson. Marshall will be stuck paying more at other schools, regardless of the reimbursement.
Marshall said she made a $300 down payment for the package deal. The driving hours would have been another $275 to complete.
"Now, when I go on Labonte's website, there's no way $275 is going to cover for 12 hours of road lessons," she said.
There has been no word on why the school closed without any notice. A brief message on the school's website does not give any details and neither Paulhus nor his wife will talk to the media. Paulhus states in the voicemail that he is sorry for inconveniencing people.
"You have to know from the bottom of my heart this is hard on me also," he says. "This was my life. This was my business. It just went down."