I went to this schools's sign up office in Lake Worth, FL. where the salespeople, Brian and Marsha lied to me about everything to do with the training. I went there to get a CDL/ school bus license. I was told that the buses were air conditioned and had automatic transmissions. I was told that there would be group lessons or private depending on what I wanted to spend.
They said the group lessons would be a group of students on the bus, with an instructor, and depending on how many students show up for that time period, I would drive anywhere from 2 - 4 hours per day, and that we learn from watching other students with the instructor as well. I selected a 60 hour group intermediate course at a cost of $2,195. They made me give a deposit for $500. Then they made me pay $300 more before the first lesson.
When I went to the training yard at their Miami office, I was the only student for the bus, and there were at least 5 other students there for tractor trailor instruction. There was only one instructor, and he just drove the bus to me, and told me to drive it back and forth all morning long, staying in between the lines and cones. He got off the bus and ignored me for the rest of the morning.
He stayed in the yard, either hiding under a tent or watching the students on the tractor trailors. The bus was a 1993 filthy, non air conditioned bus, that didn't even have a fan. In the Florida summer heat, I was soaked with sweat within 1/2 hour. The seat was so dirty and full of tons of previous dried sweat, it was gross. I had to constantly drink water not to faint from dehydration. It was no wonder the instructor did not stay on the bus. I asked the tractor trailor students how hot their trucks were, and they said their trucks were air conditioned.
After lunch, I was told to do off sets ( back up parking) into different lanes. Again, the instructor ignored me. I was basically given a bus and told to teach myself how to drive. By 4PM I left the yard and went to their main office accross the street to complain. When they saw how mad I was, they got me away from the waiting area, where they could lie to me in private, and away from their next victims.
When I told a rep. named Carlos what I was promised at the lake Worth Office, Carlos told me they should have not told me this, because they have only one instructor for group lessons, but he should have spent alot more time with me. He also told me that Brian should have known better, because he trained Brian, and Brian spent 6 months at the Miami site to learn the business. Carlos told me they would not charge the day to me, and to come back next week, and they would increase the instructor time.
When I came back next week, I was on the bus for one hour, and the instructor came on the bus 2-3 times for about 2 minutes at a time, and then left as usual. I left the yard and went to complain at the main office. Again I was wisked away to the rear so prospective clients could not hear me. I was now given to a manager, Mike Hanley, who told me I was misled by the staff at the Lake Worth office, and that he would give me a truck that has AC, but the AC was broken now, so I was told to come back next week. I refused to take these ridiculous "group lessons", which does not exist as described to me at the sign up. I asked for my money back and was told I could not get a refund. Then I was offered private lessons, which I agreed to for 4 hours the following week.
The following week I showed up and was told the truck had a manual transmission. I was furious. This was just another lie to keep me in the training program and continue taking my money. The instructor told me they had no other vehicle with AC for me, and that I should learn how to drive a manual transmission as well. After a half hour the AC broke down, and I was sick of stalling the truck out, because I needed to learn that skill as well.
And the instructor only stayed on the truck about 10% of the time, again, hiding under a tent or talking with other students or another instructor. He didn't want to be on that hot truck either. This is not instruction, this is being given a bus and try to learn yourself. After a half hour I refused to be on that hot manual truck. Then I was given another school bus, that had no AC, but 2 fans, blowing hot air. I was again drenched with sweat, for this is Florida in the summer time. And doing slow driving in a yard, there is almost no breeze through the windows.
I demanded my money back from this school by email, sent to the school and the corporate office. They never answered me back. I consulted with an old friend of mine who has been driving buses for over 20 years. He could not believe that the instructors don't stay on the bus at all times to teach you.
I spent many days studying for the permit, spent $19,50 in DMV fees, made 3 trips to Miami which took me 2 hours each way, and cost $12.00 each time in travel costs. They ripped me off for $800 in fees. I reported them to my credit card company, who are disputing the charges. If this is not settled by the credit card company, I will be suing these low lifes in court.
Do not enroll with The CDL School! They will rip you off!