My experience at the CR England CDL School was like something right out of the “Grapes of Wrath” movie. Times are hard; and all of the people I met at the school (from all over the country) were clearly desperate. CR England is a big corrupt company with an operation in a small probably corrupted Texas town, exploiting the poorest and most desperate people; people who are just looking for honest work.
A few years back I was injured in an auto accident and was limited on my ability to walk. I thought that perhaps I could still drive for a living so I went to school at my local community college and got my CDL. However, I soon found that driving jobs are very hard to get into. After reviewing CR England’s professional looking web site, I applied for a job with their company. The web site said that you had the option of being a truck leasing operator or a second seat driver. Because I knew I needed some over the road experience and I applied to be a second seat driver. Soon after submitting my application a recruiter named Tony left a message on my voice mail saying my application had been approved and cheerfully said “WELCOME TO CR ENGLAND MY FRIEND”. When I called him back, he said that I just needed to come to Texas and go through a one week refresher course that would cost $50.00. Then, after a drug test I would be put to work as a “second seat driver”. He said that they would provide a bus ticket to Texas and a hotel room for me while I took the course. I was so happy; I really believed I had a job.
Upon arriving in Cedar Hill Texas, I learned that the “hotel” was used primarily by CR England and JB Hunt for their “training” program. The hotel was more like a boarding stable; very dirty (no towels/sheets) with 4 guys to one room. It is located in a VERY bad area (I witnessed a hold up first night), and people asking for money as you walked down the street; so you did not want to walk anywhere. The only restaurant in the hotel was VERY expensive and the food was horrible.
The next morning when I got to the school I was told I had to pay $100.00 instead of $50.00 for an “administration fee” immediately. I tried to explain to someone that I had just taken a CDL and I did not need to take their full course, only the refresher; but they made me pay the $100.00 and shuffled me aside as they began an interrogation program. The interrogators (reported to be some of the local police) were rude and abrasive and VERY intimidating. There assured us that they could tell if we were lying about anything by our body language and threaten to put us out on the street if they even PERCEIVED you were lying to them. During the interrogations they asked inappropriate, personal questions. The people who left were told they could not have their money back. Note: I had already passed a background test before I went to Texas.
After the interrogations, we were given forms to fill out that we did not get time to read; we were told that they were just compliance and schooling contracts and that if we did not sign them we would be made to leave immediately (everything was rush, rush). I again told them that I had just been through a CDL class (I paid $3, 000.00 for) and did not need to take their course, but was told I still needed to sign ALL the forms anyway. We barley got time to sign the papers when suddenly we were pounced upon by CRE high pressure salesmen who were pushing everyone to sign contracts to lease their trucks. They were very vague about the terms and did not seem to want to answer questions. I wanted to look over the contracts but was also told I could not take the contracts with me to read them later.
That night we were sent home with a HUGE test that we were told we had to have done by the next day. Four of us started on them immediately and worked on them until 1:00 AM but had to quit uncompleted because we had to be up the next morn at 4:00 am to get on the bus for school. Hungry sleep deprived, intimidated and pressured…classic break down techniques use in brain washing.
That morning as I was waiting to get on the bus, I noticed a guy with his bags packed and asked him why he was leaving. He said that he had completed the CDL program and was told that CR England would be sending a truck for him to be a second seat driver (HE DID NOT SIGN A TRUCK LEASE), but that after a week the truck never came for him. He said he had waited another week and called CR England over and over but they would not return his calls. Finally, after the third week of waiting, they told him that he was not even in their system and he needed to leave the hotel. He said this place is a total scam, get out while you can.
I quickly called a friend and asked her to do an I-net search on CR England under SCAM and sure enough she got MANY, MANY hits. She told me what people were saying…that it is a SCAM and to get out of there ASAP. It cost me $300.00 to get out of their, but thankfully I had the money to do so. I have heard that many who would not sign a lease, were just thrown out of the boarding stable onto the street in a very bad area with no place to go and no way to get back home. It has been reported that those who would NOT sign a lease were suddenly found to have a dirty drug test, often AFTER they had completed the course…four weeks later. However, the drug tests are done the first day and the results are available immediately; so CR England at least got their CDL MILL tuition and interest out of them. CRE has no intention of hiring very many as second seat drivers. They really just want you to sign a lease.
Thankfully I did not sign a lease for I have come to find that the CRE contracts bind you to a VERY LONG AND COSTLY FINANCIAL OBLIGATION. Their truck lease program is a trap. For space sake I won’t elaborate but Google CR England lease Scam and read the forums and MANY complaints. You will hear from the drivers who have been SEVERLY ripped off in numerous and unbelievable ways through their leasing program. Many have even been forced into bankruptcy by CR England. Bottom Line: DON”T DO IT!!!
CR England’s CDL MILL is just one of many SCAMS that they have fine tuned to con people. One poster put it very well “They know exactly what they are doing, and just how to attempt to blackmail you into servitude. They mind screw with people all day long. It's pathetic that this is the only way that they can keep people for any length of time…”
Now, after reading so many other complaints, I know that they just conned me down there for the CDL tuition and to see if they could get me to sign a truck lease.
CRE exploits the most desperate people…people who are just looking for honest work.
Now watch as the CR England damage control responders leap into action as they reply to my complaint…they often pose as former satisfied students and passionately dispute the claims; or they accuse the complainer of being bitter due to having had a dirty drug test, or that they were too wimpy, lazy, etc… They are a well oiled machine!