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Parents frustrated after OP driving school shuts down with no warning

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Posted at 6:50 PM, Dec 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-21 19:50:00-05

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — You get a ringtone and the operator saying the number is disconnected when you call Harder Performance Driving school.

Many student drivers were just about to finish driver's ed, ready to get their restricted license, when the phone stopped working and no one returned calls at the business.

"I was supposed to get picked up for my last drive, so I would have had my three two-hours done and I could have gone to the DMV to get my restricted but he just didn't show up," said Megan, a student driver.

Getting no response, some parents went straight to the business.

"The windows are papered up and there's nobody answering the phone or answering the door," said one parent Rachel Hagan.

Harder shut its doors without warning on Friday.

No one answered when 41 Action News knocked on the door.

The owner, Carol Harder, said they have no money.

The landlord at Harder's location at 10362 Mastin Street has been notified and the business will vacate by the end of the year.

Harder's attorney, Jeff Wagoner, told 41 Action News the owners are heartbroken this is happening, and are trying to schedule as many lessons as possible before their credentials expire Dec. 31. They are all booked up, so many students simply won't finish the course.

"And now we've paid all the money to get their permits and we don't get anything back for it, and a lot of time spent," said Kerri Yanes, another frustrated parent.

The course costs $450. Hagan said there were around 30 students in one class. That's $13,500.

Some families will not get a refund of any kind because Wagoner said the funds just are not there.

"Somebody needs to be responsible for this," said Hagan. "I mean, finish what you start. If you're getting to the point, then stop scheduling classes."

Wagoner said they are going to send letters to all the families explaining what happened.

Many families are trying to get classes booked at other companies.

"I was so sad, like I want my license cause I want to be able to drive to school and just have that extra bit of freedom, and now that's gone and I have to re-take everything," said Megan.

The DMV told 41 Action News they will honor any completed certificates from Harder until the end of the year.