JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Several parents have emailed First Coast News about a statewide driving school called All Florida Safety Institute.
It opened in Northeast Florida in 2016. There are locations in Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra, Fleming Island and St. Augustine. Parents say they paid hundreds of dollars, some more than a $1,000, in order for their children to get driving lessons. They say the driving school took the money and they got nothing in return.
Keith and Kami Fulmer of St. Augustine registered their daughter for driving lessons in October.
"They told me that the scheduling department would reach out to me, which they did, maybe a week later with the schedule," Kami Fulmer explained.
After that, the Fulmers say they started getting emails that the classes had been canceled and needed to be rescheduled. The latest lesson for their daughter was supposed to happen December 8th.
"Here comes December 8th, her first lesson, and no instructor showed up," Fulmer said.
That is a common complaint among parents.
All you have to do is go to All Florida Safety Institute's facebook page to read the reviews for yourself. If you look up the company on the Better Business Bureau's website, more complaints, and a note that All Florida Safety Institute filed for reorganization under the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Act in September.
"Same thing is happening. People who've paid in full and instructors aren't showing up and nobody will return their calls or emails," Fulmer added.
First Coast News Anchor Anthony Austin spoke with All Florida Safety Institute's Executive Director Mark Allen on the phone for about 30 minutes. He asked that the details of the conversation remain off the record.
Allen says there are a number of issues with the driving school and he's trying to solve the problems they best way he can. He's asking parents to be patient.
"At this point they just want a refund. Are you willing to offer refunds?" Anthony Austin asked.
Allen did not give a direct answer to that question. He says he's coming up with a new scheduling plan to get things back on track and plans to resume lessons in January for Northeast Florida. He told Anthony he would personally speak with any parents who have reached out to First Coast News.
As for the Fulmers, it's going to take a lot to earn back their trust.
"I don't have any faith in them at this point. I really don't want my daughter driving with them anymore," Fulmer said.
As of the date of this story being published, The Fulmers were told an instructor was coming to their house for driving lessons. No one ever showed up.
A representative with the Better Business Bureau says they're giving the driving school more time to resolve customer complaints before taking further action.