I am a man of my word. I read what I sign before I sign it. I assume responsibility for my actions.
These are real emails sent to clients. I provide them so future clients and drivers do not have to receive any email like these and, hopefully, I will not have to write any more like these.
I have enjoyed a positive working relationship with 99% of those I have served.
I have had a strained working relationship with about 1% of those I have served and worked with. One-hundred percent of those that I have had a strained working relationship with had three things in common.
1. They did not read the working agreement well.
2. They did not keep their word.
3. They did not assume responsibility for their actions.
If you are not willing to read the Working Agreement carefully, are not willing to keep your word and/or are not a person that assumes responsibility for your actions, please do not employ me. It won't end well because I will hold you responsible for your word, that is, for what you sign.
If you will read the Working Agreement carefully, keep your word and assume responsibility for your actions --WELCOME, WELCOME. I look forward to working for you and with you.
Just for fun, when reading the emails below, try to identify which of the three failures in each case caused the difficulties.
REAL EMAIL # 1.
I got behind in my homework, but I will catch up.
My Response: No. You will never catch up. Each driving session has a full session of learning material. Once a driver falls behind in self-study, there is no way to catch up because there is no extra time in any future lesson devoted to catching up. The only way to catch-up is to add training sessions as each training session has a full compliment of material to teach and learn. You can catch up on your written homework and I hope you do. That will help for future lessons. However, the training skill lost behind-the-wheel is forever lost if you do not add additional training time.
REAL EMAIL #2
My son will have to cancel his training for now because he does not have the time to do the mandatory reading from the driving Workbook.
My Response: As noted in the signed Guarantee and as I pointed out verbally, reading the Workbook is not mandatory in order to take behind-the-wheel training.
REAL EMAIL #3 - My Response Only:
Dear Mr. Smith (not real name),
You brought up several negative concerns you have about what I am doing and what I expected of you. Every point you brought up is clearly clarified in the one-page Working Agreement that you signed the day before yesterday. Your concerns tell me that you did not read the contact. Please read your copy. Let me know, after reading your copy, if you have any lingering concerns. If you want to change something in the Working Agreement, just ask. I am easy to work with. The only thing I will not consider changing are my charges.
REAL EMAIL #4 - My Response Only:
Dear Mrs. Jones (not real name),
I, too, am concerned about your Son's extremely low progress in driver's training. Your implication that his slow progress is my fault is without merit.
You are highly motivated for him to learn to drive, but he is not even slightly motivated to learn to drive. He is taking lessons because you are paying and making him do it. He made it clear to me in your presence before you and he signed the working agreement and before you paid me any money that he did not want to take driver's training and that he would not work at it. I made it plain to you at that time that I felt paying for driver's training would be a waste of your money.
He tells me that he has an abundance of family and friends who drive him anywhere he wants to go anytime he wants to go for FREE. He tells me that once he gets his license, he is going to have to pay for his own car, gas, car payments and insurance and those things will necessitate him getting a job. He does not want a job. He does NOT want to get his license. Therefore, he does not want to learn to drive. If I had people to drive me anywhere I wanted to go, anytime I wanted to go at their expense and if I could live well without working, I (also) would not be motivated to learn to drive, get a license and assume the expense of car payments, insurance and fuel. Who would?
I am happy to continue teaching him to the best of my ability, but I cannot assume responsibility for his lack of interest. It is very hard to teach a person who wants to fail at learning. That is true for everyone. You might want to reconsider enrolling him in training at this time. If and when he loses his free and convenient rides, he will be interested in learning to drive. Permit me to once again state that I think you are wasting your money to pay for him to be in driver's training. He is not learning because he does not want to and that has nothing to do with me.
REAL EMAIL #5
Do I have to do everything listed in order to have the full money back Guarantee? It seems like a lot to do.
Dear Mrs. Confused About the Guarantee:
I do not refund money for training already completed any more than the local gas station will refund your previous gas purchase when your fuel gauge reads "Empty." I do offer a money back guarantee for funds paid in advance for lessons not yet completed or started unless funds are lost due to contractual agreement. May I ask you where you think you read that I offer a refund of money for lessons already completed?
Regarding the things you think I am mandating that you do, I have no mandate for anything any one has to do except pay me for my services. I do not know what mandatory work you are referencing.
REAL EMAIL #6
Why did you send the Evaluations/Progress Reports to my mother? I am your adult student and I am the one you should be sending the reports to.
Why did I have to pay $630 just to learn to pass the State Driving Exam?
I never liked or agreed with your contract.
Dear Ms. Disgruntled:
I asked you where you wanted all email correspondence sent, including your Evaluations/Progress reports. You provided me with your mother's email address. That is why she received emails from us.
You enrolled in the Defensive Driving Course because you said you wanted to learn to be a good driver. If you only wanted to learn enough to pass the State exam at a minimum skill level, you should have enrolled in the Pass the State Exam ONLY, Course; which was offered to you and suggested by me. You declined it stating you wanted to be enrolled in the Defensive Driving Course and signed the necessary paperwork for your enrollment in the Defensive Driving Course.
Why did you sign the contract if you did not like it or agree with it? The Contract states that I am open to considering changing anything except my prices, if asked to do so. Why didn't you talk to me about things in the Contract you wanted to change?
REAL EMAIL #7
Dear Mr. Collins,
My Son came away from the lesson believing he drove well until his evaluation was received.
Do you provide instruction to student-drivers in real-time (during the lesson) or is the method of providing an email evaluation after the lesson the method we should expect to continue?
Your Son did do well for a new driver because he was able to accomplish the tasks of learning where the accelerator and brake are and how to use them properly in mild traffic conditions. However, doing well for a new driver on the first lesson does not mean he has nothing else to learn.
I am sure your Son did not tell you that he received no instruction during the behind-the-wheel training. Ask him directly and he will tell you the instruction was constant. If he takes more lessons and does well with new skills, I will tell him so, but doing well with new skills does not mean there are no more new skills to learn.
REAL EMAIL #8 - My Response Only.
Dear Mrs. Davis (not correct name),
I am sorry that your Son is frustrated because I asked him if he memorized the steps for entering a parking space. He said he wanted to memorize the steps for parking and three point turn on his own time for free rather than you pay me by the lesson for him to memorize those steps during paid driving time. According to your request and his and as stated verbally and confirmed by email, today he was scheduled to begin his parking and three point turn training today. I asked him if he had the chance to memorize the steps. Why was he upset with me for asking that?
REAL EMAIL #9
Why did you have me write, "No refund for completed lessons" on my check? What is that about? What if I am not happy with the training and want all of my money back?
Dear Ms. Refund (not real name),
You asked me about my refund policy. I read it to you word-for-word from the Contract, "There are no refunds for completed lessons." I got the impression you were not listening well and/or did not understand, so I took a couple of minutes and restated it in expanded form. Still, it seemed to me that you were not listening and/or did not understand. So, I had you write on your check, "No refunds for completed lessons."
The reason I had you write on your check "No refunds for completed lessons" is that I do not provide refunds for completed lessons any more than you can take your food purchase receipt back to the grocery store and ask for a refund of consumed food or get a refund for a spent tank of gas.
You did not seem to hear me when I said "No refunds for completed lessons." You did not seem to understand the words "No refunds for completed lessons" when I pointed those words out to you on your contact. I had you write "No refund for completed lessons" on your check in your handwriting so if you asked for a refund of completed lessons, I would win if you took me to court for a refund of completed lessons.
REAL EMAIL #10
Why did you accuse my son of being and angry person?
I did not accuse your son of anything.
When I instructed your son to drive within the speed limit, he got mad at me and told me that people were tailgating him and forcing him to drive beyond the speed limit. When I instructed your son not to enter turns so fast and not to brake abruptly in turns, he got mad at me and told me he was does not like to stay in intersections any longer than necessary because intersections are dangerous and driving fast through them, even in turns is safer. When traffic was slow in front of him, he got mad at the drivers ahead of him and began to curse them. When traffic lights turned red and he was required to stop, he got angry at the traffic light. He was angry about something all of the time.
I did not tell him he was an angry person. I told him it was not wise drive when angry. There is a difference. I do not know if he is an angry person. I do know he was angry for the entire driving session.
REAL EMAIL #11
My wife is just about finished with her four lessons. She has kept her homework current and will through lesson four. When do I get my 50% rebate?
The paperwork you signed states that "student-drivers who do the homework completely and faithfully usually progress about twice as fast through drivers training and therefore at about half the expense of the expense compared to drivers who do not do any homework." The Agreement does not state that drivers who keep their homework current get a 50% rebate. I do not refund any money for completed lessons nor refund 50% of the tuition to drivers who progress faster and at less expense through training because of the FREE self study material I provide.
PostScript: Dear Friend, Do you see why we do not have nor honor any verbal agreements, ever!? Some people struggle greatly with understanding words. Some people are just manipulators. In either case, imagine if we were held hostage by anything that followed, "But you said...." Those who get confused by words and those who manipulate would put us out of business in six months.
Traffic Law and Substance Abuse and Education
Rules of the Road Course
Remove points from your driving record and the Drug and Alcohol Course.
The on line courses that follow are not part of our services. We simply recommend these sites as excellent places to secure your on-line training. Click on the appropriate icon. They are easy to navigate and easy to understand the step by step directions.
To remove points from your record, click on either one of the I DRIVE SAFELY icons below and follow the step by step directions.
Drug and Alcohol Course
Required to secure driver's permit.
Go to or click on:
Goal: Good control of steering, brakes and accelerator in non-traffic conditions at speeds of up to 25mph. (General Safety Score of no less than 90 points.)
Course Duration: Most drivers complete this training in one 75-minute driving session.
Charge: $140 per 75-minute lesson minus discounts as noted above in the "Charges" section.
Goal: Pass the State Written Exam ONLY.
Part One: FREE
Part Two: $70 per hour with one hour mininimum
Call 850 981-3355 for details.
Pass the Florida State Driving Exam
Introduction to Safe-Defensive Driving
Driving Skills Memory Work
Pass the State Written Exam ONLY, Part One.
Pass the State Driving Exam ONLY
On-Line Video Defensive Driving Courses
Fundamentals of Defensive Driving
Rules of the Road
(This Course can be taught behind-the-wheel or from printed material.)
If you would like a Course or training specifically designed for you, just ask.
Goal: Just drive around and learn by driving but without instruction. We call this the Osmosis Course.
Some people believe that improving as a driver is solely the result of just driving around until safe driving skills come to or dawn on the driver. We no longer try to convince people that there is no such thing. So, we have created a Course for them.
Course Duration: Until driver does not want to drive around any more.
Graduation Requirements: None
The date is June 13, 2015. It is 2:30pm. After eight years in this business and after training almost 1,100 people, it dawned on me today that I have failed to offer an often asked for Course. There are a lot of people who think learning to drive safely is the result of time behind-the-wheel only. That, somehow, if they spend enough hours behind-the-wheel that they become safe drivers.
These folks do not want my training or to hear my instructions. All they want is to drive around and have me deliver them from crashing if I am needed to do so. I have lost a lot of business over the years by turning these drivers away. I will not do that any more.
This Course is for drivers who only want to drive around and teach themselves. It costs one-third more because the driver is always dangerous behind-the-wheel and will not progress much or fast. The safety level will remain much the same (no significant improvement), so I charge more to be in excessive danger all of the time.
Here is how it works. The student-driver drives around aimlessly (no pattern) until driver does not want to drive around any more. No instruction is provided.
Charge: The charge is one-third more due to the excessive and maintained danger level. There are no discounts for this Course since the danger level starts and stays high.
Basic Vehicle Control Course
Goal: Driver opts to learn the rules of the road, the meaning of pavement markings, and signs and signals by driving around and having Mr. Collins point out these things and explain them during paid driving time, rather than learn these things by reading on the Student's time for FREE.
Course Duration: The training ends when the driver feels he or she knows as much about the rules of the road, etc. as he or she desires.
FREE: Written materials that explain the rules of the road, etc are provided FREE upon request.
Charge: $140 per 75-minute lesson minus discounts as noted above in the "Charges" section.
Variable Skills Course/Training
We offer only five Courses which are the three above, the one below and this one, the Variable Skills Course. In the Variable Skills Course you tell us what skill level you desire and we tell you, after the first lesson, how many more lessons it will take to reach that driving skill level. Just fill in the blanks below:
1. At what driving speed do you want the driver reasonably safe? Note any speed between 15mph and 70mph. _____
2. In what speed zones do you want the driver reasonably safe?
Note one: 15mph zones only.
Up to 30mph zones (residential) only.
Up to 35mph zones (city) only.
Up to 45mph zones only.
Up to 55mph zones only or
In all speed zones including Interstate .
3. Among what drivers do you want the driver reasonably safe?
List one: Excellent Drivers Only.
Good and Excellent Drivers Only.
All Drivers including Crash Prone Drivers.
4. In what weather conditions do you want the driver reasonable safe?
List one: Good Weather Only.
Good Weather and Mildly Adverse Weather (some wind/rain).
All weather including adverse weather (lots of wind and rain).
5. In what traffic conditions do you want the driver reasonably safe? List one: Mild Traffic Only.
Mild and Moderate Traffic Only.
All traffic conditions including congested traffic conditions.
6. In what driving environments do you want driver reasonably safe? List one: Memorized areas only.
Memorized and well-known areas only.
All areas including driving areas that are completely new to the driver.
7. At what times do you want the driver reasonably safe?
List one: Daylight hours only
At all times, including daylight and dark.
Charge: $140 per 75-minute lesson minus any discounts that might apply.
Emergency Procedures taught if requested.
A. Driving off road by mistake or plan.
B. Tire blow-out
C. Skid recovery
D. Emergency braking in car with and/or without anti-lock brakes.
E. How to handle warning lights on dash board.
F. How to deal with brake failure.
G. How to deal with sudden loss of headlights.
COURSE # 7
Some insurance companies require only X number of minutes or hours of behind-the-wheel instruction to qualify for their insurance discount. You find out from your insurance company what they require and we create a time only course to comply. Our minimum time only course is 15-minutes of behind the wheel training. You must tell us what you want taught. If the time runs out before we complete the teaching of the skill or skills you want taught, we will stop the training at the time limit your insurance company specified. If you do not or do not want to provide the training you want taught, we will teach safe lane changes. In most cases we can teach safe lane changes in 15- minutes. Some students can and some cannot learn safe lane changes in 15-minutes.
The Osmosis Course. (Just Drive Around)
Goal: Pass the State Driving Exam. If a driver can drive at 25mph and stay in his or her lane and make safe right turns, I can, usually, teach that driver to pass the State Exam in one driving lesson if the driver will memorize the steps for parking and three-point turn well enough to quote those steps upon request and without hesitation before the lesson and use his or her own vehicle for parking and three-point turn training. The driver will not be significantly safer in traffic than he or she was before the training, however. I can train a driver to pass the State exam even if they are not a good or safe driver. I do not recommend this, but I can do it if this is your wish. (General Safety Score of no less than 100.)
Course Duration: Most drivers complete this training in one or two 75-minute driving sessions if the driver uses his or her vehicle for training and meets the graduation requirements(Goals) of Course 2 (above) and tests at the Gull Breeze Driver License Office.
Charge: $140 per 75-minute lesson minus discounts as they apply.
All Pre-driving study is from books and/or viewing training material on the internet. Every Pre-driving Course is FREE to anyone, including the training material. However, all of this training can be accomplished behind-the-wheel if a client is willing to pay for pre-driving training provided during behind-the-wheel training.
All Course study material is found in one book.
No driving school can promise crash-free or citation-free driving; however, the better-trained a driver is the more likely the driver will drive crash-free and citation-free.
Every driver has access to some FREE service and materials. See the FREE page of this web site for details.
"Most drivers," as used in this column of information, means a driver of, at least, average IQ, one who is motivated to learn, speaks English as his/her first language, is accustomed to the driving patterns of America, has no learning disability, is willing to spend three to four-hours of self study in preparation for each driving lesson beginning with lesson two and will memorize the following ten words in consecutive order before the start of lesson one -- "ahead, behind, mirror, shoulder, signal, ahead, behind, mirror, shoulder, move."
Every driver is offered the option of doing homework (self-study) which always decreases the amount of time required behind-the-wheel to reach his or her driving goal(s). However, homework is an OPTION and not required. Homework is three to four hours of devoted study in preparation for each driving lesson starting with lesson two.
The location for the study workbook is: http://www.lulu.com/shop/joda-collins/joda-collins-driving-academy-course-workbook/paperback/product-22706126.html
EXTRA OPTIONAL WORK BEFORE BEHIND-THE-WHEEL TRAINING
Is the completion of the six "pre-driving courses" required before a driver can sign up for a behind the wheel course? Answer: No. Any driver can sign up for any Course with or without doing any of the Pre-Driving Courses. However, all of the Pre-driving Courses, including the Internet training for pre or new-drivers are FREE. Going through that training provides a strong foundation for behind-the-wheel training. Those that do the pre-driver's training work ALWAYS progress faster behind-the-wheel; some up twice as fast and half the expense.. To take advantage of the FREE pre-driving, new-driving Courses and Internet training go to: http://www.lulu.com/shop/joda-collins/book-1-pre-driving-courses/paperback/product-20122797.html.
ESTIMATE OF PROGRESS
At the end of the first driving session I will tell you how many more driving sessions, if any, I think it will take for you to reach your driving goal. There are two estimates. The first is for those who keep 100% of the assigned homework current 100% of time and turn it in on time 100% of the time.
The second number is for drivers who do not keep 100% of the assigned homework current 100% of the time and turn it in 100% of the time. That number will be 60% of the first number and rounded to the next full lesson. One becomes two, two becomes four, three becomes five, four becomes seven and so on. This is the estimate for drivers who do NO self study. Drivers who do some self study should complete their desired training in the number of lessons between the two offered.
CHARGES (Non Credit Card)
Driving sessions are 75-minutes @ $140 per driving session (tuition). Includes a 10% discount for not using Visa or MasterCard Credit Card.
CHARGES (Visa or MasterCard Credit Card. No debit cards accepted at this time).
Driving sessions paid by Visa or MasterCard Credit Card are $155.55 per lesson.
A. $5 per lesson for weekday lessons rather than Saturday lessons.
B. $4 total for two pre-scheduled lessons paid for at one time if paid at the start of lesson one.
C. $9 total for three pre-scheduled lessons if paid for not later than the start of lesson two if paid for by the start of lesson two. Except for B above, a lesson is considered pre-scheduled if on our scheduling calendar not later than 7pm the night prior to lesson two.
D. $16 for four pre-scheduled if lessons paid for at one time if paid for by the start of lesson two. Except for B above, a lesson is considered pre-scheduled if on our scheduling calendar not later than 7pm the night prior to lesson two.
D. $45 for five prescheduled lessons if lessons are paid for not later than the start of lesson two. Except for B above, a lesson is considered pre-scheduled if on our scheduling calendar not later than 7pm the night prior to lesson two.
E. $9 per lesson times the number of lessons for six or more pre-scheduled lessons paid for not later than the start of lesson two. Except for B above, a lesson is considered pre-scheduled if on our scheduling calendar not later than 7pm the night prior to lesson two. All discounts are subtracted from the last paid lesson not all lessons equally.
I do not accept payment for lessons that are not on my scheduling calendar by 7pm the night prior to payment.