Tuesday, December 9, 2008

EZ (?) Pass Caper: Chapter 1

EZ Pass is an automated toll collection system used widely in the northeast (where they have a LOT of toll roads). A device on your windshield emits a low frequency signal to an antenna in the tollbooth. As I now live in Kentucky, I do not use my EZ Pass often but did take it with me in September for a vacation trip to NY, CT and PA. I did not “glue” it to the windshield of the Hertz car. I just had my co-pilot hold it up to the windshield as we went through tolls.

Yesterday I got an innocuous looking letter from a “Processing Center”. The envelope was not even sealed! The letter said that when I rented from Hertz I agreed to let this “Center” supply my information to any agency that had issued a CITATION for the car I rented. They enclosed an invoice for $30 for their services. Even worse, Hertz gave them my credit card number and the “Center” had already billed me.

Further investigation revealed that I had been issued four citations by the State of New Jersey for “Toll Violations”. I checked my EZ Pass statement. While five tolls had been charged during the rental period, the ones in question had not.

I believe that the four “Violations” were for tolls of $0.35 each.

I also think that they were not at tollbooths but rather toll collection stations that have a huge, tall “gantry” above the roadway. You drive through these gantries at a speed of up to 50 MPH. It appears that these devices did not receive the signal form my EZ Pass transponder.

I sent an email to the NJ Turnpike Authority last night, but suspect that I’ll need to wait until I get the citations in the mail before they can do anything.

So now the score is: Tolls not paid” $1.40; Expense "incurred” $30.

To be continued....


Robin said...

Those rat bastards....okay, here's the plan. You seem to be an educated guy worth, what? at least $17.00/hour, so spend four hours daily for the next two days with $8.00/hour employees to reduce your fine, which should never have been yours in the first place; so the only person who wins is the the obscure telephone company.

I spent two hours on the phone today with Texas D.O.T., I know the new damn law, but apparently their employee's had yet to be informed...after being on hold three times I finally got someone who knew. I saved $32.50 and wasted an hour of my time. (honestly, in the long run I save so much more...but today? I made about $. 35 an hour).

Okay, this is your blog! Less about me more about you! (The whole $17.00/hour was to keep it relative, don't flip out!)

Like I said in my last post: I'm not sticking my head in the sand; I'm exfoliating.

Robin said...

okay, after you win with them, sue and bill them back for the time you spent!

Junosmom said...

Ah, but it's the principle of the thing, isn't it? Constable Chuck can't let an injustice go. Get out your red cape, I mean constable hat and go after them!

pita-woman said...

Wow, how outrageous!
Does this mean in the future you'll opt for stopping to pay the .35cents or try to use the easy-pass again?

Robin said...

I loved your question on my blog and it inspired a new "educational" one! Thanks (I called you Chucky though, I can't believe I called a constable Chucky...I am so not driving through KY! But it kind of runs together, ya know? ChuckMcky?)!

I'm so linking you!