I have both taken and taught sock classes. I have discovered from experience that the following can go wrong: ( this is not intended to be all inclusive)
1. The owner doesn't post the skills requisite to take the course. I have on more than one occasion had someone show up who did not know how to purl. SO a lot of distracting questions and tedious repetition can go into teaching someone how to do something fundamental thereby holding the whole class up. Alternately, a lot of complaining and demands for refund can go into refusing to teach someone who just shows up with few or no skills to speak of.
2 The shop owner did post a list and it was ignored.
3. People do expect handouts to remind them of how to do the techniques taught. Expert teachers still give them out- I took a class with Brooklyn Tweed and he had plenty.
4. The class has too many people in it. How many is too many? It depends on the level of student and what is being taught.
5. There are some students who are more interested in socializing than learning. This is ok for them but obviously not ok for the rest.
I could go on but your experience was one which is unfortunately not unusual but still not the standard