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Ask Anthony: Former driving school employees say lack of pay is leading to scheduling issues

Former employees of All Florida Safety Institute say customers aren't getting the services promised, because some workers are not getting a paycheck.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — We have new information after several parents emailed "Ask Anthony" about All Florida Safety Institute. The statewide driving school has locations in Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra, Fleming Island and St. Augustine. 

The parents said they paid hundreds of dollars in order for their children to get driving lessons. They say the driving school took the money, and they got nothing in return. 

"I'm pretty mad. Takes a lot for me to get mad. I'm frustrated with the lack of communication. I just feel like I've been scammed," Kami Fulmer said. 

After our original story aired, former employees of All Florida Safety Institute reached out to First Coast News. The employees say customers aren't getting the services promised, because some workers are not getting a paycheck.  

"Some of those parents pay thousands of dollars. Some of them pay $2,000. I've taken a payment for $5,000," one former employee told First Coast News Anchor Anthony Austin. 

The former employee of All Florida Safety Institute, who asked to remain anonymous, says she worked for the driving school for about a year, scheduling students and working in the call center. 

"The parents that are buying these services...they're not getting the services rendered because there's nobody there to render the services," the former employee added. 

Parents we spoke with say the instructors are not showing up to their scheduled appointments and this former employee says there's a reason why. 

"Drivers (instructors) are not showing up because they haven't been paid. They're owed like two months of pay."

A parent we spoke with says an instructor called them and told them the same information. Another former employee messaged "Ask Anthony" last week and said she's still waiting on her final paycheck.

All Florida Safety Institute posted a lengthy statement on Facebook this week. The statement mentioned two hurricanes created a situation they were not prepared for and was accompanied by a nearly two-week shortage of any revenue. 

To our valued customers, Due to several circumstances beyond our control, our customer service has been...

Posted by All Florida Safety Institute on Monday, December 19, 2022

"I've always felt bad for scheduling students when things like this happened. I feel like the main reason why the company is failing is because their motto says one thing, but their actions say another," a second former employee told Anthony Austin. 

We spoke with Executive Director Mark Allen who says current employees will be paid, and it was never the organization's intention to scam anyone.  

He says All Florida Safety Institute is reorganizing under Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and plans to start a fresh set of scheduling in March. He's asking parents to be patient.

"My main concern is the students. I want them to get what they paid for in the correct way," a former employee added.

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