A trucking student says he deserves a refund after his instructor fell asleep during every one of his training drives instead of offering him advice and instructions.
Edward Chaparro was looking to transition from tow truck driver to trucker when he paid $5,250 for trucking school, but he says he failed his first test because he didn’t get the schooling he paid for. After going over the written instructions, learning how to park, and getting the hang of maneuvering around cones, Chaparro hit the road with his instructor. The problem? The man kept falling asleep.
“Then, the next thing, I look to my right, and I see him sleeping. I’m like, ‘Hey, you OK?’ Got worried.”
Chaparro says this happened each of the four times he drove with the instructor, and he eventually took a risk by filming the situation while driving.
Yeah, he slept all the time that I would be on the road. He’ll be sleeping.”
When Chaparro took his CDL test, he failed, which he believes has something to do with his sleeping instructor. So instead of paying for another test, Chaparro took the footage of the sleeping instructor and went to the school’s office.
“I took a video, and I went up to the bosses, the owners, and I showed them the video. They got mad at me. They said I was not supposed to make that video,” Chaparro said.
The next day, Chaparro says his teacher met him in the parking lot and confronted him physically, which eventually led to him getting fired, and Chaparro being kicked out of the school without a refund of his $5,250 tuition.
“I was staying away, trying to stay away from him, and he kept on putting his hands on me.”
Without his CDL or a refund, Chaparro says he was in a tough situation. “I cried because I have a baby, and I have to provide for her,” he said.
“Legally, this is tricky,” said a 7 News legal expert. “On the one hand, Edward should not have been videotaping while driving a tractor-trailer. On the other hand, the teacher should have been supervising and not sleeping, but a judge would probably side with Edward and conclude it’s a breach of contract, and they owe him the money to finish at another school.”
The owner of the school says that Chaparro was dismissed because of the altercation, not the videotape, even though filming while driving was not allowed either.
“Edward should have never videotaped the instructor but should have told us to look into it because we have cameras on the trucks. We decided to dismiss Edward and the instructor because they got into an argument and almost an altercation, and we don’t allow that. We do not give refunds but will return $800 to Edward so he can take the driving test at another school.”
Chaparro eventually did obtain his CDL with the help of his $800 refund, but hopes that this will serve as a lesson to other prospective drivers.