A local driving school is accused of leaving several teen drivers at the curb, while keeping enrollment fees for behind-the-wheel driving classes.
A case filed in San Diego's East County Small Claims Court says Worldwide Driving School of Lemon Grove has failed to deliver the services it promises and calls the school "a fraud."
The case was filed by Breneta Fairley, who told 10News her 17-year old son, Anthony Lorenz, was stood-up for his driving lessons in January and again in early March.
"They never showed up," said Fairley, who claimed she stopped by the school on March 7 to remind them of her son's lesson.
"I sat at home all day, waiting for someone that was never going to come," said Anthony, who still has to be driven to and from school by his mother because of missed driving lessons.
Anthony admitted he had to postpone his scheduled lessons in February after being injured on the basketball court. However, the postponement came after he and his mother said Worldwide Driving School didn't make it to their appointments in January.
When Anthony was stood up again, Fairley became upset.
On March 7, Fairley claimed she and her son were home, but the driving instructor never showed up. The same thing happened on March 8, according to Fairley.
"They never called. They never showed up," said Fairley, who claims she called the school. "They said, 'Hang on because we have a problem, a situation down here, and after the situation we'll be there in a couple of minutes.' I said, 'It can't be a couple of minutes because I'm in Allied Gardens and you're in Lemon Grove.'"
On March 10, Fairley filed a civil suit, asking for $600 even though she said she paid $275 for the lessons. Fairley said the extra money is to compensate her for her lost time, since the driving school charges its students a fee if they miss class.
The owner of Worldwide Driving School, Aisha Candor, told 10News Fairley's complaint doesn't make sense. Candor said several driving sessions were canceled in January because of wet weather conditions. Candor also said her instructor went to Anthony's house to pick him up on March 7, but nobody was home and the phone number her school had on file for the family was disconnected.
"We've bent over backwards to accommodate them," Candor said. "If a session is missed or a student cancels, or we miss a student, they have the option to reschedule. We don't cancel their files. We don't ever stop giving them service."
Fairley is not the first person to file a complaint against Worldwide. 10News found several other lawsuits filed against the company in small claims court. Candor said most of those suits have been settled.
The Better Business Bureau of San Diego lists 35 complaints against Worldwide, giving it an "F" rating, the lowest possible.
"Consumers should be extremely concerned about doing business with this company," said Sheryl Billbrey of the BBB.
Candor said she is doing her best to resolve each and every complaint and urged people who have an issue with her company to report them to a manager by calling 310-699-5417. In many cases, she said, Worldwide will offer a full refund.
"We can't make everyone happy," Candor said, with a reminder that it's not about the money. "It's about making sure that child, their child, was serviced, licensed and doesn't go out there and get in a horrible accident."
A call to the Department of Motor Vehicles confirmed that Worldwide Driving School has a valid license in good standing.
A DMV representative said any complaints should be filed with the DMV's Occupational Licensing Bureau in San Diego.