This month, I had a driving lesson, which in itself was good, on the day, the instructor was polite, nice and professional. However, after the lesson, we arranged another lesson booked in for the following week. However, due to a family death, I had to cancel. The instructor text me on the day the lesson was supposed to be and told me that as I cancelled on short notice, I would still have to pay. He ended the text with a threat, telling me that if I failed to pay I would be facing legal action. The next day, I had a blazing row with the company's manager, who basically called me a liar and that if I didn't pay, I would be facing legal issues. I put a review about them on Trust Poliot, which they replied to, they are now making me look like a liar. Anyway, things were left alone then for about a week, until tonight. The instructor messaged me and told me to ring up the office a pay. I'm feeling very stressed out and can't cope. I have evidence that he did text me, but I don't know what to do.
They are making me look bad, every time I try to tell the truth.
Didn't you already post this last week? If you cancel at short notice you're still liable for the fee unless they decide to let you off, they haven't, having an argument with a manger afterwards doesn't change that. By all means argue with them and leave bad reviews, but they sound well within their rights to demand payment and threaten court enforcement. *shrug*
48 hours notice. I would expect them to be understanding because of the situation due to which you cancelled. Pay up and let them know that they really should make allowances when it's a family bereavement. Mind you, it does depends whether it is your immediate family, or extended.
They won't go to legal action since it will cost them more than £20 to try and recover the money.
You don't provide enough detail on when you informed them to cancel (only said that they replied on the day of the lesson). No doubt the review on Trusted Pilot has probably annoyed them.
Is it a big driving company or a small one?
If it was short notice, unfortunately, you will need to pay.
You shouldn't been informed before your first driving lesson of any cancellation policies and subsequent fees as a result of late cancellations - with my driving school, they will charge if you cancel in less than 24 hours from the start of the lesson. You have to remember that these instructors have to make a living too, and within that cancellation window they may not be able to find a replacement student in that time.
I am ever so sorry to hear about the death of your family member. I understand why you may feel like you deserve some sort of sympathy or empathy in this situation, but the driving school clearly are not interested in their reasoning, they just want your money. I'm afraid you'll have to pay, one way or another.
If you’re so stressed, just pay?
Unless you signed some form of contract or bought a block of lessons, you're under no obligation to pay. Most driving instructors pretend to operate as a business when in fact they're just an ADI that happens to be self-employed. They have no more legal grounds to demand money than a street beggar.