If the world worked the way we all hoped it would, we wouldn’t even need the word “promise” in our vocabulary because every person or business we dealt with would do exactly whatever they offered.
People would show up on time, meals would taste just as good as described and service would be delivered exactly the way it was written up.
Unfortunately, 21st century America is not that world.
There are people out there that are looking to make an easy buck, and one of the most effective and harmful ways to do that is by taking advantage of the trusting nature of someone else.
In other words, this means scamming people.
Things got even riskier with the move of so many services being offered on the Internet because even if you can easily spot shady people the moment you see their face and hear the tone of their voice, that doesn’t really exist online.
A website can look sharp, snappy, and totally legitimate and it can STILL be part of an elaborate scam designed to part people from their money.
This also applies to newer, online services like an online traffic school. As a potential student, you just want to make sure you put in the time to learn what you need to be able to drive safely, get your certificate and then start your life as a new driver on the roads.
When you pick the right online driving course, this is exactly what happens. But when you don’t, you may learn little or nothing at all, or you may find that all your hard work is not recognized by your state as a legitimate education.
So what can you do if you want to ensure that the school you’re signing up for will actually provide what you need?
Here are a few tips to do just that.
Stay Away From Resellers
There’s a thing called a 3rd party reseller. The easiest way to think of this is as a middle-man that isn’t particularly useful.
In the normal course of buying some product, or some service, a useful middle-man might be the store you buy your shoes or food at.
Sure, the store didn’t actually make the shoes or the food, but they’re the important point of contact between the people that NEED these products or services and the people that actually provide them.
A 3rd party reseller for online traffic schools, however, doesn’t need to be there at all. You can always go directly to a school to engage their services.
If you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to look around for a school, a reseller acts as the go-between that “hooks you up,” with the school. And this is not free.
This means that in going to a reseller, you end up paying more than you need to if you just went to the school directly.
This is especially sad in the age of the Internet where just doing a quick Google search can often put you in direct contact with the people you want to deal with.
Is it really worth paying a lot of extra money to save yourself a few minutes of working with a search engine online?
It’s a bit like having to tip a doorman every time you show up at a building. Sure, it might be nice that the doorman held the door open for you, but you could have done it yourself. For free.
Make Sure the School is Recognized By Your State
For some, forgetting to mention the little details is an honest mistake. For others, it’s a way to cheat people out of their money in a large legal way, and then blame it on the customer. This is one of those instances of the latter.
There are some general principles to an online driving course that is universal. Good defensive driving techniques can apply across the board no matter where you live.
However, some specific parts of traffic law are unique only to one state or another. And if a traffic school online doesn’t acknowledge these distinctions, then getting an education with said school may not be officially recognized by your state when it comes time to present a certificate proving you’ve paid your dues.
ALWAYS make sure to check that the service you’re looking at is certified as legitimate within your state. Getting all the driving tips for being a safe driver in California won’t do you any good if you live in Iowa and the department of motor vehicles there doesn’t care.
View Course Demo and Free Course Trial If Available
Most schools provide a course demo or allow a free course trial, you just have to be keen on finding the link (for the course demo) on their website (sometimes you’ll find it right before you register for a course).
This is important in checking the legitimacy of the school you want to enroll in.
If there’s a free course trial, you can rest assured that you’re signing up for the real thing – some schools even allow you to finish the course before you pay (terms and conditions will apply, so just check the course details before hitting that sign-up button).
Meanwhile, make sure to check the school’s branding on their demo video to make sure that the course is really offered by their school.
If neither is available, you’ll have to rely on other verification methods, but it doesn’t automatically mean that the school is a scam. Keep on reading for other tips.
Check BBB Ratings
The Better Business Bureau is a non-profit organization that aims to help consumers from the United States, Canada, and Mexico in finding reputable and trustworthy businesses and charities for their needs, including online education providers.
They even have a scam tracker that you can utilize to efficiently verify if the school you are currently looking into is a scam.
Schools that have received an A+ BBB rating, such as iDriveSafely, Aceable, and DriversEd, are guaranteed to be official and legitimate because a BBB accreditation is only given to an ethical and vetted business.
Before the Internet, scammers relied on geographical distance to operate in anonymity. Someone in New York got cheated, it was unlikely that anyone in San Francisco was going to find out about it.
Today, user reviews are just a search engine phrase away, and this is GREAT for people that want honest opinions. Thanks to social media and aggregate websites, when a company or business does a lousy job—accidentally or intentionally—people let the rest of the world know about it.
Of course, the other alternative is the one that you’re reading right now. We provide expert opinions on different online traffic schools.
However, we also go above and beyond, making sure that any school we review and recommend is also legitimate, has the track record to provide results, and clearly declares which states are the ones where the course is recognized. We’ve done all the evaluation and legwork so that you don’t have to.
As long as you follow these tips, your search for the right school should be fast, efficient, easy, and, most important of all, worth the money you put into it.