I’m writing in to share a terrible experience I had with a driving school in Singapore. The name of the driving school is Soon Tien Driving School.
I got to know this driving school through SgInstructors (they are the worse. I’ll get into the details later about them).
I got paired to a driving instructor through SgInstructors. He is an old man who apparently doesn’t bother much about what u do during your lessons as most of the time, he was talking on his phone with his girlfriend. I’ve read in an recent article about this instructor and decided to share my side of the story as well.
Long story short, the instructor insulted students mother and owner apologised to student and came up with some lame excuse that the instructor was someone they hire during the busy periods only. Obviously, they are lying and trying to cover up themselves, leaving the instructor to fend for himself while they try to do service recovery and end the commotion quickly before it escalates further.
Anthony is not an instructor that they hire during the busy period. He is my instructor now and he has been for the past 8 lessons I had. All I can say that he is terrible at his job and I seriously is having the thought of changing the instructor.
During the first lesson he punched my thigh multiple times as I released the clutch too early and the engine died. He said and I quote in mandarin, “死人脚，每次不听话，不听话”，which is loosely translated as “stupid leg, always does not listen to command”. I scolded him for lifting a finger on me and he kept apologising thereafter.
It’s was my first lesson and it’s as if he expected me to know everything. If I knew how to drive, I would not have engaged you for it. I pay to learn, not paid to get physically abused.
Occasionally during my 90mins lesson, he would ask me to stop halfway while he go does his own stuff ie stop by the roadside along circuit road while he goes buy his dinner. He would ask me to stop in the middle of nowhere along the road behind a row of parked cars and asked me to wait. Leaving me alone in the car with the engine still switched on, along a very busy road. It’s was 6pm+ in the evening and the traffic along that road was congested.
As I was illegally parked behind a row of parked cars, I had to constantly move my car forward and backwards as I’ve to give way to those parked cars who are coming out. Yes. All by myself. He came back with a packet of rice almost 20mins later and started to eat in his car with no seat belt on.
He proceeded to get me to drive to a petrol kiosk and he said wanted to top up the fuel and wanted to use the toilet. This took another 10mins. I lost a total of 30mins for a lesson that I paid for 90mins and this happens regularly. Not that I want to be calculative of what but we are paying to learn and of course we want to learn as much as possible in the shortest time possible. I don’t think this is the way to handle a driving lesson.
Speaking abt the owner, his name is Mr Tan. He is an eccentric man. He does all our bookings and he has this habit of copying and pasting multiple messages and sending it to u in 1 shot. When I said multiple, I seriously mean MULTIPLE. LIKE 10 messages in 1 short, telling u abt the rules and regulations of booking with him. He has this format whereby u die die have to follow. WORD FOR WORD. Down to the punctuation. Any error, he would call you and scold u, ask you to not waste his time. He’s blur and always got my bookings wrong.
There was even once he forgot abt my booking and I made a wasted trip down to the driving class only to find out he forgot to book for me. He called to apologise and compensated for my class thereafter. He’s rude when u coverage with him and he does not listen to u. It’s like we owed him a living ad he constantly calls u to scold u for not doin it his way when he’s the one who messed up big time always due to his inability to multitask. He charges u extra money if u do not do it his way and calls it “service charge”. He’s the boss of the driving school and yet receiving such a unprofessional service from him.
As for sginstructors, after getting the enrolment fees of $85 from me and attaching me to such an atrocious school, they literally ghosted me. When I approached their help and let them know of my experience and if they could recommend me another driving school, they asked to approached Mr Tan instead. Yes. Mr Tan. The boss of the Tan Soon Tien Driving school. 1 of the cause of my ordeal. That was their resolution for me. The replied frm them was also unprofessional. I changed frm manual to auto on my 3rd lesson and I told sginstructors if I have to pay any charges. They replied no. But when I told them abt the ordeal I went through on my 7th lesson, they literally ghosted me. This was the convo we had:
Didn’t they said I don’t have to pay extra chargers for changing? Why are they asking me to pay up now? After which they ghosted until now. This happened on 11 Sept 2020.
Very bad experience with sginstructors and I highly DO NOT RECOMMEND them at all!!