HoneyBee / DriveCo Driving School – Western Cape

Honeybee Driving School, also trading as Driveco, has been repeatedly reported to SAIDI SINCE OCTOBER 2018.

1.

Dear  Saidi,

I wonder if you can assist me.

On Sunday, 27th January 2019, I paid R1700 to Honeybee Driving School so that I could have 10 driving lessons for automatic car. I paid this money in cash to the instructor, Nageeb and was issued with a receipt (attached).

The agreement was that I will have the next lesson on Wednesday, 30th January 2019. None one came and upon enquiring was told that there was a mix up. They promised to get back to me immediately which they never did.

I made a further attempt to send whatsapp messages to two numbers listed on the website, that is, 061 543 8407 and 072 493 4906. They are now not responding. Upon making my own investigation, was reliably informed that it has happened to many other people in the past with this school.

Do you guys monitor these driving schools?

Please assist.

2.

Friday, 11 January 2019 9:29 PM

Dear Pat

We are in the process of reporting the matter to the Mowbray Police Department as it has come to our attention that Honeybee Driving School has been operating from the Damelin College premises in Mowbray under the name of drivecodrivingschool.co.za. I have been informed by Damelin staff that they have severed all ties with the driving school as they have defrauded many students and charges have been laid against them at the Mowbray Police Station.

Below is a synopsis of what transpired between Honeybee Driving School and my daughter.

In December 2018 I went online to look for an affordable and reliable driving school in Cape Town. Honeybee Driving School was one of the top results with a 4.3 rating on Google.

On Saturday the 5th of January 2019 I made a booking request via their website and on Sunday the 6th of January I was informed that my booking was confirmed for Monday the 7th of January at 4pm.

On Monday the 7th of January my instructor arrived fifteen minutes earlier than the booked time, an hour’s lesson took place and at the end of the lesson I paid for the 10 lesson package   (R1 800)and was issued with a generic receipt. I asked the instructor how I could book the subsequent lessons and he informed me that it could only be done through the office.

Immediately after the lesson I sent an email to request times for my subsequent lessons and received no response for 2 days.

On Tuesday the 8th of January I phoned them and received no response.

On Wednesday the 9th of January I phoned them again, sent the school a WA message and the driving instructor a WA message and received no response. I then alerted my parents that the driving school were not responding to my calls, emails or WA messages. My mom then phoned the number that was provided on the website and managed to get through, she spoke to a gentleman by the name of Naqeeb who informed her that he had been ill and that was why there was a backlog in correspondence. He assured her that all subsequent lessons would be honored and the second lesson was booked for Friday the 11th of January at 11:00 am and all lessons booked for next week would be confirmed in today’s lesson.

At 11.06 I sent the instructor a message to confirm our lesson for 11am and received no response, at 11.30 I telephoned the driving school and at 11:53 I received a message from the instructor to say that he was on his way for the lesson and arrived for the lesson at 12:11pm.

After the lesson I inquired whether he could please confirm next weeks’ lessons and was told that he could not confirm the lessons as it had to be handled by the office.

When I arrived home after my lesson I phoned the driving school and received no response. After calling multiple times my parents  (who were already suspicious at this point) and I decided to visit the physical address that is listed on their website. We then realized that there was only a street listed and not an actual property number.

This led us to further investigations which included contacting the driving instructor who informed us that their offices are situated at the Damelin college in Mowbray. When enquiring from the Damelin reception staff we were informed that the driving school was asked to vacate the premises as they were defrauding a number of students and this had negatively affected Damelin’s reputation. We were also informed that students had laid charges against them.

We were eventually contacted by the instructor who requested a meeting to reach an amicable solution. We informed him that following the events that transpired; we didn’t feel comfortable in continuing with the lessons and requested a refund. He promised to discuss it with the owners of the driving school and get back to us. Subsequently we received a call from a lady by the name of Samira who informed us that she was ill and was not in office (this was exactly the same excuse that had been given by Naqeeb on the Wednesday when my mother had phoned). She further stated very emphatically that on no account were we entitled to a refund and that an email would have been sent to us stating that they do not do refunds. When we mentioned that according to the Consumer Protection Act that we were entitled to a refund she told us that we were welcome to take them to court and lay charges.

The clear trend that we are able to extrapolate is that this is Honeybee Driving School’s modus operandi eventually leading to clients forfeiting the balance of the paid up lessons. It is for this reason that we are laying charges against them.

3.

Good day

I am emailing on behalf of my sibling who recently booked and paid in full for driving lessons with Honeybee driving school.

She paid for 10 lessons, and she received 4 with her instructor; which was painful as the instructor was constantly late or didn’t pitch or was constantly moving the appointments.
Despite this, she stayed on with the school, hoping things would get better.

After the 4th lesson, she started being harassed by one of the staff members; who was sending her threatening and derogatory SMSes.

I then assisted my sibling by requesting that they staff member no longer contact my sister, as we would make a case if she did. And that the owner should contact us instead. We indicted that given the unprofessionalism we no longer wanted to be associated with the school and that we requested a refund.

The story that the school gave was that my sister was confused with another student that “was harassing the instructor”. If this was true, they should have contacted the police, instead of maliciously harassing my sister, who suffered anxiety about this. Which is what I indicated to them.

Their response by the school was that the “owner” or “director” came back to say that the staff member no longer works there (which is untrue, as my sister spoke to the girl, when she called the school the other day), and that a new instructor was assigned.

I explained that the damage had already been done and that we wanted the refund instead, so that my sister could find a more professional and reliable school.

They have since been giving us the run-around for about 3 weeks now. We are planning on submitting a complain to the consumer protection agency, as well as go to small claims court. We are also looking at submitting a claim to the South African Information Regulator, as there has clearly been a violation of PoPI act in respect of the staff member using a client’s contact details for their own purpose.
Furthermore, I’ve been doing some of my own checks, and it looks like these people have more than one school, and that my sister is not the only one that has been defrauded.

There are a number of complaints on hello peter, and it is sad to see that there are so many people that haven’t got a clue as to what to do about their situation; as most of these are young people / students.

Here are a few of the complaints I’ve found:
• https://www.hellopeter.com/honeybee-driving-school
• https://www.hellopeter.com/driveco-driving-school/reviews/bad-experience-2470475?fbclid=IwAR0jT6onQvN03mRWdA6tYioVHc9IVeS_k3TB44tB-eg3Om4ASkqRLz11Bd0
• https://www.hellopeter.com/honeybee-driving-school/reviews/they-are-very-unprofessional-and-untrustworthy-1762399
• https://www.hellopeter.com/honeybee-driving-school/reviews/beware-of-this-driving-school-in-cape-town-2596385

I’ve also checked online for the owner’s details, as he was not contacting us back at all, despite the staff telling me on numerous occasions that he would contact us.
I sent him a message on Facebook also, requesting assistance with regard to the refund so that we can be done with the situation.

It was at this stage that I noticed that there was affiliation with other schools also. I may or may not be correct, but it looks like they have been operating under atleast 2 driving schools.
• Honeybee driving school
• Drive National Driving Academy – I noticed the number on this schools facebook site is the same number as that of the driving instructor working for Honeybee.

On their website, they also say they are affiliated with Driveco Driving Academy, which seems to be a legitimate school; but at this stage, everything seems to be suspicious. I have contacted Driveco to find out if they are associated with Honeybee, but haven’t yet heard back from them yet.

Thus, in addition to attempting to getting my sisters R1020 back, I am also trying to assess whether this school is actually legitimate, or if it is just a bunch of websites that have been set up with the intention of defrauding youngsters out of their hard-earned money (or their parent’s hard-earned money).

Furthermore, I was going to drive to “one of their offices”, but it would seem that the Honeybee driving school is slap-bang in the middle of Access park, while the Drive National Driving Academy is in front of Damelin college. This means that there is no physical office that can be visited to talk in person. Again, leading me to believe that something dodgy is going on.

This driving school needs to be investigated and exposed, should they be fraudsters. People don’t have money in our country, and so we must ensure that any risk of being defrauded must be eradicated.

4. 

Hi there,

I am one of many displeased clients of Honeybee driving school.

Listening and getting feedback from some of the clients, we all have the same story and complaints.

They take on students, insist on untraceable cash payments, then barely ever pitch.

Despite all efforts to make suitable arrangements, clients often find themselves with instructors who will not answer to texts or calls, cancel the last minute, give the most absurd excuses and are no-shows.

Any attempt to resolve this with the administrators ends up with them unresponsive to emails, calls and texts. The enlisted address on Google is false.

Most of us find ourselves having had less than 50% of the 10lessons offered in their packages Months after initial sign up- which they obviously refuse to refund.

I personally believe they should not operate at all.

5.

Good day,

I could not resolve this issue last week so I asked my husband.

I AM SICK AND TIRED OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THE NEXT PERSON.

I TRUSTED THAT WHAT YOU ADVERTISE ON YOUR WEB SITE WAS FACTUAL.

I REFUSE TO BE MESSED AROUND, I WORK HARD FOR MY MONEY AND I PAID UPFRONT FOR A SERVICE I NOW HAVE TO BEG FOR.

YOU SEND ME A DRIVING INSTRUCTOR. WHO ROCKS UP LATE TAKES HIS SWEET TIME TO GET TO THE DESIGNATED AREA. SO ITS 24 MINS GONE AND MY LESSON HASN’T STARTED. YET WHEN IT IS CLOSE TO THE 1 HR BEING UP THEN TIME MATTERS.

UNACCEPTABLE!

ESPECIALLY AS THIS IS YOUR SECOND ATTEMPT AFTER MY FIRST COMPLAINT WANTING MY MONEY BACK.

THIS IS MY BANK ACCOUNT PAY MY MONEY BACK. I’M DONE WITH HONEYBEE.

Sent: Tuesday, 12 February 2019 5:49 PM
To: info@saidinational.org
Subject: Driving school Complaint

6.

Dear SAIDI,

I would like to lay a complaint against DriveCo Driving Academy in Cape Town which defrauded  me. I paid R1400 for ten lessons in September 2018 and I have only received two lessons. The instructors and manager/owner ignores my calls, texts and emails. I would like you to please add them to the list of driving schools to look out for as I am not the first person to complain about them.

What further steps (through you) can I take to have them stopped.

Kind regards,

Namhla Bula

7.

Sent: Thursday, 14 February 2019 4:30 PM
To: Info@saidinational.org
Subject: Driveco Academy complaint

Afternoon,

My name is Siphokazi Mfundisi and I called earlier. I paid for 5 lessons upfront including car hire and booking but I received none of that from driveco in Cape Town. After 2 months of begging them for a lesson they said they won’t refund me but can only give me a driving license voucher which I could use at any driving school.

I called other driving schools to confirm the voucher issue and they said they’ve never heard of it. So finally they stopped taking my calls and messages and told me there’s nothing they can do for me. Even if I don’t get my money back at least other people should be aware and this school should be shut down. I have attached proof of payment I’m thinking of going to the police as well and go to small claims court. Please publish my story so that more people are aware.

Thank you

8.

Hi

I have a complaint about a driving school (Honeybee driving school), I’ve paid these guys R1400 on the 8/01/2019 for 10 driving lessons for my son and he only had 1 lesson so far, been trying to book lessons with them and no luck and they are very unprofessional, I also tried to get a refund which they promised to pay back on the 15/02/2019 and I’m still waiting for payment and they not answering or returning my calls, so please assist and just look at the condition of the car, cv joints making a noise and management light was on. 

9.

Sent: Tuesday, 26 February 2019 9:52 AM

Good day,

I got your email address from an online forum. I would like some advice please.

My wife booked a package with Honeybee driving school and has had endless problems with them.

She was due to have a lesson today and this not the first time they have not pitched and do not respond to calls. They have also shown up for lessons in sub standard vehicles and without petrol or money for petrol and on top of it expected her to pay for the yard when she had already paid for the package upfront.

My wife is due to do her drivers test tomorrow with their vehicle and is starting to panic as she feels she could miss the test and have to re-do her learners license test again at a cost to us if they do not pitch.

This driving school is completely unprofessional and scamming people out of money. Is there anything we can do?

Do yourself a favor and check on hellopeter.com and facebook there are countless negative comments about this school.

Hope you can provide some sort of advice.

Kind regards,

10.

From: Mohamed < Removed
Sent: Tuesday, 05 March 2019 3:10 PM
To:
Subject: driving school.docx

Hi

Attached please find a complaint against Honey Bee driving school based in Cape Town.

We have never received any invoice from them stating their terms and conditions and the adamant that we cannot be refunded any money due to us . We have clearly advised them that we do not intend proceeding with further lessons .

Thank you

Kind regards

Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed

Letter attached to this email copied and pasted here:

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

In January 2019 our daughter needed to have driving lessons and after completing a google search on driving schools she decided to go with Honey Bee Driving School. She booked a 10-lesson package deal for R1 800,00. At the end of her first lesson she was told by the instructor that all subsequent lessons would need to be booked directly with the driving school. This is when the drama ensued, she left countless messages which were never returned. I eventually phoned and was told by the owner that he had been ill and hence there was a backlog of calls that he needed to return. I then asked him whether we could book the other nine lessons and he assured me that while the dates had been diarised they would be confirmed by the driving instructor. The second lesson was booked for Friday, 11th of January at 11am by 11.45am the instructor had not arrived and no calls were answered. At that driving lesson my daughter asked whether the subsequent 8 lessons were confirmed and the driving instructor said that none of the lessons were confirmed and that she would need to make contact with the driving school to book them. It was at this stage that we knew that something was amiss about this business. We drove to the address that was listed on their website to personally consult with someone only to discover that it was not a physical address. We decided to investigate further and now know that Honey Bee Driving School are a fraudulent business who have managed to defraud many innocent individuals by using the same modus operandi. We are attaching all our correspondence to them and while we know that we will not be able to get our money back we would like this business reported and shut down so that future clients are not defrauded.

11.

From: SAIDI National <pat@saidinational.org>
Sent: Saturday, 02 March 2019 11:39 AM
To: pat@saidinational.org
Subject: New message from xxxxxxxxx

I am very disappointed with the treatment, non-service received from Drive Co Driving Academy.
I called them and was told it was R1800 for 10 lessons and they book the driver’s licence test. So my daughter went for the first lesson and I paid for everything via EFT.
My daughter told me that it was a very difficult lesson as the car was not working properly and the woman didn’t know what she was doing. I tried calling them to discuss and there was no answer for a whole day. I called SAIDI and enquired if they were registered members and was informed that they were not. They do not answer or are evasive if I do happen to get them on the line.
They won’t give their names and are now refusing to refund me after saying they would when I did manage to speak with Nageeb, who said he would repay.
I cannot allow my daughter’s safety to be at risk. What do I do now?

12.

From: xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, 28 February 2019 2:11 PM
To: info@saidinational.org
Subject: Driving School complaint

Hi 

Thank you for taking my call earlier.

Please note I don’t think that those are the only two driving schools.

Please see the linked driving schools not sure how they all linked.

They all under the drive co Instagram account.

The bank account I paid into was referenced Drive Driving Academy. Which is pretty dodgy and I didn’t notice until now.As that is one of the other driving schools linked to them via Instagram. 

Please see my proof of payment also attached .

The post below was put on Facebook and Instagram.

Kind regards,