BIG TOM Customer Benefits

 Owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram, explains one of the customer benefits:

“When my customers go to take their driving test they are given the option of having me observe their test for them, from the rear passenger seat.  I talk through with them the positives and negatives of utilising this additional service that not all driving schools provide.  It is, however, entirely my customer’s decision and I will respect their wishes.

Recently I observed on a driving test my customer being asked to do a reverse parallel park in the location as shown in this image; this is precisely the arrangement that occurred in the driving test.  I knew from my experience of observing dozens of driving tests over the years, that this was not a reasonable demand to make.  The reason I knew that to be the case, is that the DVSA Driving Standard insists that driving instructors encourage pupils to make continual risk assessments while driving and develop this vital skill for safety after the driving test.  As such, it would be entirely inappropriate to then demand a pupil who has got used to making such assessments to then go against their training by forcing them to do in this case a manoeuvre in an entirely unsuitable area.  One only needs to consider how close the driving school car is to the parked car, the kerb on the right and the junction at the end of the road to notice that there are added risk factors being “designed in” to this particular driving test which is not the norm.

My pupil attempted to do the reverse parallel park in the situation demanded and failed her driving test just for that reason (no other serious/dangerous driving faults committed).  Having observed this, I then spoke to the examiner after the driving test as well as my customer, and lodged a complaint on behalf of my customer, supporting it with a few images of the actual situation.

My pupil then took another driving test much to her credit and passed it.  Some 2 weeks later, the DVSA got back to me to say that the Test Centre Manager agrees with the complaint and that it was an unreasonable request, and the test fee will be refunded.  It doesn’t take away the injustice of the original driving test (and the consequences in delayed time and pressure that were then added to my pupil on her second attempt), but at least my customer does receive a refund for the driving test fee.

This is just one example of how driving schools differ in their approach to customer service – as some driving instructors don’t give their customer any option of having their test observed preferring to sit and wait in the test centre for the duration of the test.”

 

 

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Pass with BIG TOM

 Abbie Scott-Brown from Ruskington, Sleaford passes her driving test

She had previously tried to pass the driving test 6 times with other driving schools over a  two year period.  But Abbie who had not driven for over 8 months contacted BIG TOM to book a 5-day intensive driving course and passed on her first attempt on Day 5 of her course at Grantham.

Her driving instructor Tom Ingram says:

“Abbie has done so well here. She requested to have a BIG TOM mock test on Day 3 of her course and that gave her really accurate feedback of her driving ability.  I believe this was the missing link with her other experiences. This demonstrates once more the quality of service that customers receive on their course and how BIG TOM can save people so much time and money.”

Abbie works in professional health care in the NHS working shifts and being mobile is very important for her work and to travel to see family.  She took 5 days off work to attend her course and can now get on with living her life how she would like.

Abbie said

“Before starting my 5 day intensive driving course with BIG TOM, I’d previously already had MANY hours of driving experience under my belt and had already gone and failed 6 TESTS. I would say that my confidence in myself and ability to actually drive was shot. I was really nervous about the whole thing, from meeting Tom and actually getting back on the road, as I’d not driven for around 8 months after failing the 6th test. 

Within half an hour of meeting BIG TOM, I felt really at ease and comfortable with him. Midway through the week, I was still having doubts after doing a mock test with Tom, which was truly awful. BIG TOM didn’t let me give up on myself and we had many pep talks which then gave me the confidence to keep going. By the end of the 5 day course, I’d finally PASSED MY TEST! Honestly, without BIG TOM’s supportive and open teaching style I don’t think I would ever have passed my test. Even when you make mistakes, BIG TOM remains very calm, cool and collected, which made the experience very comfortable for me as a pupil. 

I can’t thank BIG TOM enough and for someone like me, who has unpleasant experiences with driving/Instructors over the years, I couldn’t recommend BIG TOM enough!!”

 

 

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Driving test pass for Bourne resident

 Abby from Bourne passed her driving test in Grantham this morning

She really enjoyed her 5 day intensive driving course saying:

“During my week with Tom not only have I learnt about driving, I have grown in confidence and thought about things I have never considered previously.  I would recommend highly for any level of driver whether it’s a complete beginner or experienced”.

Her driving instructor Tom Ingram says:

“Abby has done really well this morning.  On her first attempt at the driving test, she was dealt a bad hand where the examiner asked her to do a reverse parallel park in a very awkward location which the test centre manager has since confirmed was unreasonable.  So for Abby to now bounce straight back from that experience with a pass is justice well deserved as the only reason for not passing her first attempt was due to this very odd manoeuvre.  It shows a great deal of character to not let that previous experience affect her and I’ve been very happy to formally complain to the DVSA on her behalf.” 

 

 

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St Neots pupil passes with Big Tom

 

Ramona Malkinska passes her driving test in Peterborough

Big congratulations go to Ramona for her success this morning in Peterborough.  She came up by train each day of her BIG TOM intensive driving course from St Neots.  She made full use of the flexible training session times that BIG TOM offers by doing some 7am starts due to her busy workload.

Her driving instructor Tom Ingram says:

“Ramona gave everyone at Peterborough driving test centre a bit of a wake up this morning when she heard she was successful on her driving test, there was lots of happy cheering!  I’m really pleased for her because I know how much this will improve her working life.  It just shows once again how the BIG TOM courses appeal to many customers from around the area. ” 

 

 

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Success from a cancelled driving test

 

Emily Ashcroft from Cranwell passes her driving test in Grantham

Emily has been successful in passing her driving test despite being on the receiving end of a very late cancelled test.  On the morning of her original driving test, Emily was called by the DVSA with just over an hour to go, saying that the examiner was unable to do the driving test.  Her driving instructor Tom Ingram was unimpressed (see below) but all credit to Emily for staying positive.  She now has a full driving licence and freedom to move on with her life.

Her driving instructor Tom Ingram says:

“I have to say how impressed I have been with Emily’s positive attitude. I give much credit to the support from her parents too. It was very unkind and bordering on unprofessional for a public service organisation to be cancelling a driving test at such short notice.  I know many pupils who can’t sleep well before a test and get very affected with pre-test nerves.  It seems cruel to me to not have provisions for dealing with such incidents when they occur.  Emily passed on her first attempt with just 2 minors recorded – what a star pupil.” 

Emily says:

” I would definitely recommend this course for anyone, whether that be learning to drive for the first time or practising techniques you’ve already learnt. Amazing experience!”

 

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Theory Test Pass Expiring

 

Stephanie Kwok from Bourne passed her driving test just in time

Steph was getting tight on time with her 2 year period for her theory coming to an end and used her BIG TOM intensive driving course to get her driving test pass in time.  She passed this morning at Peterborough on her first attempt having completed her 5 day course last week.

Her driving instructor Tom Ingram says:

“I’m very pleased for Steph.  She has uni coming up in Coventry and wanted to get her driving sorted all ready for her new academic year which she has now comfortably achieved.” 

Steph says of her experience with BIG TOM:

“The course made me realise how much I had forgot after not driving for 2 years.  I think the greatest thing I gained was confidence, because driving had never been something I liked and I usually found it stressful and scary” 

To view her full account of her BIG TOM experience just click HERE

 

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BIG TOM Continued Support

BIG TOM is committed to offering customers continued support post-intensive driving course

Abby from Bourne did her intensive course just over a week ago and is now taking some bolt-on sessions until she feels fully confident in her all-around driving.

This morning on a 2-hour bolt-on session she drove on A and B roads, as well as classified and unclassified roads. She drove for 20 minutes on the motorway, and she drove on dual-carriageways.

She managed to do 2 reverse parallel parks, pulling up on the right side of the road, practising operating controls within the car, e.g. windscreen washers, lights. She took a look under the bonnet at the main engine components.
She has now had 3 driving sessions with BIG TOM in the last 4 days, and she has planned in a mock test for Sunday morning; yes we work Sundays for our customers such is our commitment to help them achieve their goal.  We have also started work as early as 6 am before for customers who want to train prior to starting a working day.

BIG TOM is committed to the continued support of customers.  Deanne from Boston just completed her course and says: “Thanks tom had a wonderful week working with you, thank you for being very patient with me and explaining things in depth when I’ve needed it.  Also a great big thanks to being flexible with times and just generally putting up with me I now feel I am able to drive but not test ready just yet but hoping to work with you again in a couple of weeks to get me to that standard thanks once again”  Deanne 🙂

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Evening Intensive Driving Course

 

Alex Blades from Langtoft just passed his driving test at Peterborough after taking an evening intensive driving course with BIG TOM

Due to his commitments Alex needed an intensive course that would run in the evenings so he did 6-9pm Monday to Friday, finished the course off at the weekend and then passed his driving test the next day on his first attempt.  Alex said of his time spent with BIG TOM “Really great experience”.

His driving instructor Tom Ingram says:

“I’m really pleased for Alex as he was really keen to get his driving licence sooner rather than later and it makes me feel proud that BIG TOM was able to accommodate his needs outside our normal working hours.  If customers see this and there turns out to be some demand for an evening intensive driving course I would be very happy to incorporate it as a standard package option.  Do please  let me know!”

 

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Driving test pass in 4 days

 

Anthony Coe from Grantham has passed his driving test in 4 days

From the time of booking his BIG TOM intensive driving course to obtaining his driving licence was only 3 weeks and he received a tidy £30 discount due to his age.  His previous driving experience before the course was only 10 hours with friends/family.  He passed his driving test today in Grantham with just 4 faults recorded.

His driving instructor Tom Ingram says:

“An incredible achievement from Anthony.  To pass his driving test on his first attempt having had so little previous driving experience is a real credit to him.  I think this just proves how trusted and reliable the intensive course is for getting results for Anthony and my other customers.  I know that this quick result is life changing for his family and his work prospects.  He can now get on with his life with a full driving licence.” 

Anthony says of his experience with BIG TOM:

“Big Tom’s course is fantastic!”

 

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Passed driving test using own car

 

Olivia Ronson (17) from Surfleet passed her driving test in Boston using her own car

She took her BIG TOM 5 day intensive driving course in early March and then made use of the driving test booking service and continued training with her parents.  She used the BIG TOM mock test service a week before her driving test and then went on take her test yesterday which she passed comfortably with just 4 driving faults recorded.

Olivia said of her BIG TOM intensive driving course:

Using Big Tom has been a very good experience for me. It’s very handy that he can pick you up from your home address and also the videos are very helpful, they get you ready for your driving”

Her driving instructor Tom Ingram says:

“This is a wonderful achievement as Olivia came to BIG TOM with absolutely no previous driving experience at all and yet in the space of just 2 months she has passed her driving test on her first attempt.  On her intensive driving course she got experience of driving on the big Peterborough roundabouts, and in Spalding, Elton, Bourne as well as Boston.  This is particulalry pleasing to me as she and her parents had flagged up issues relating to anxiety when the course was booked; it just goes to show how the training can be adapted to suit all needs.”

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