BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Lynn Tedesco and her son Tyler went to Buffalo Small Claims Court, Tuesday, to get their money back from a commercial drivers training school, because the family suspected they would not get what they paid for.
Tyler signed up for a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) training course to operate heavy machinery, which he never got to take, from the Buffalo CDL Training school on Kenmore Ave.
The course was supposed to help Tyler launch a career operating big machines, “It has been kind of rough not being able to start my career,” said the younger Tedesco, after his family paid $4895 to William Thygesen, who owns and operates the Buffalo CDL Training school.
But the class never got underway, and Lynn Tedesco said it is frustrating for the whole family, “He never physically started any classes. He did give us paperwork which we offered him many times–he could have the paperwork back since classes did not start and he said, no I don’t want that back.”
Thygesen has refunded most of the Tedesco’s money, all but about $500, by writing a check with a notation suggesting it was payment in full. The Tedescos’ lawyer, Richard Nicotra, advised the family not to cash the check.
“They could not negotiate that check because he wrote on it ‘paid in full’ even he though he retained a 10% penalty for not completing the course–he never began the course.”
Thygesen had little to say after the hearing in small claims court, but when a reporter asked if he believes he is right to hold back some of the money, even though the course never got underway, he answered, “Yes I do.”
Six years ago, News 4 followed three other customers of Buffalo CDL Training, who had similar problems with Thygesen. Buffalo mother Meriya Harzynski won a judgment in small claims court–twice.
“I was very surprised,” Harzynski said after Thygesen paid her more than $400. When asked why she was surprised, she answered, “because he told me he would file bankruptcy before he would pay me.”
The judge in the Tedescos’ case is expected to mail out her ruling in the next few days. Attorney Nicotra said he will be back in court for another Buffalo CDL Training claim—with nearly identical circumstances–next week.