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Do they really expect me to pay this?

  1. Nov 6, 2011 #1
    So I got a letter in the mail yesterday (second notice apparently) from the EZ-Pass Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission stating that I performed some kind of toll violation and that I owe them money. Let me start off by saying that there is no way to realistically perform a toll violation as you can't go through the toll booth (unless you drive through it at ramming speed) without the operator lifting the gate after you paid the toll.

    It appears that what ever violation I performed (they didn't say) I now owe them a toll amount of $1.00. Keep in mind that the actual toll fee for me was nearly $10 when I used the turnpike. However, they are also charging me an administration fee of $25 along with an additional fee of $10. This brings the grand total to a $36 fee for an original toll of $1. So far, they've spent $0.88 on postage and probably more than 12 cents on the paper and envelope.

    There's all kinds of verbiage on this letter about failure to pay will result in forwarding the matter to a private agency or law firm for collection action and blah blah blah. This is obviously some kind of scam and these people wont get a dime from me, but I'm still thinking of calling them to find out if these people are either stupid, scam artists, or just insane. What do you think?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2011 #2
    Sometimes the ez-pass equipment fails. If you simply inform them that you have ez-pass, that alone should get you off the hook. I would refrain from giving them a choice of those 3 to pick from.
     
  4. Nov 6, 2011 #3
    Well thats just it Jimmy, I don't have ez-pass and I certainly didn't use the ez-pass lane.
     
  5. Nov 6, 2011 #4
    Yes, he should limit the choices to two, because that will be easier for them if they actually happen to be stupid or insane.
     
  6. Nov 6, 2011 #5
    So I did a quick google search for ezpass toll violations and I can't believe these guys are still in operation.

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/utilities/ez_pass.html

    They are basically robbing people by strong arming them into paying ridiculous fees for things that never happened. These guys are crooks and thieves and I can't believe they are still in operation. How is it that something like this is allowed to happen?

    I guess I need to give them a call tomorrow as some people stated that they have had collection agencies after them for toll fees of $1.50 which eventually amounted to over $500 after all of their administration fees.
     
  7. Nov 6, 2011 #6

    rhody

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    Had the same thing happen driving at night on Interstate 95 coming from Pennsylvania, 9:30 pm or so, they claim I ran the toll. I sent them copies of my EZ pass history and they dropped the fine, and I paid the toll, plus a small admin fee, it was less than three or four dollars. It cost them more to process it than it did in the fees collected, so I feel I came out on top. Call to confirm and use your EZ pass statement as proof. You should be good to go.

    Rhody...
     
  8. Nov 6, 2011 #7
    Rhody, I appreciate that post but you seem to be missing the point. I DON"T HAVE an E-ZPass account so I have no statement or history that I can show them. It appears that its just their word against mine.
     
  9. Nov 6, 2011 #8

    rhody

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    Sorry, that puts you at their mercy, they do have a camera log, though, I would suggest they show you their evidence, unless they already did in their correspondence to you. If it is far away, their hope is you pony up and just pay it. Most do, what state was this in BTW ?

    Rhody...
     
  10. Nov 6, 2011 #9
    I've actually had some agency continually trying to contact me for the past 8 years about some E-Z Pass violation that evidently happened in New Jersey sometime in 2003.

    Evidently the fine is now somewhere around $4000 or something insane ... I estimate that is how much money they've spent in man-hours, postage, and everything trying to collect on a $1 violation over the past 8 years.

    I've contacted them maybe two or three times over those years letting them know they had some sort of mixup ... considering in 2003 I was 17, living in Florida, and didn't own a car, let alone drive around running toll booths in Jersey, haha. In fact, I've never been to New Jersey my entire life ... maybe I flew over the actual state when I went to France because I connected at Dulles or BWI (kinda forget) while flying Lufthansa to Germany, then to Paris, but yeah, never even been to Jersey, lol.
     
  11. Nov 6, 2011 #10
    Basically, I'm saying good luck ... you may be faced with: pay it, or have some &*$@'ers send you collection stuff for the next 20 years, haha. I just shred it and recycle the paper as an attempt at minimizing their wastefulness.
     
  12. Nov 6, 2011 #11

    phinds

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    Are you really sure? Some places have ezpass express lanes with no barrier of any kind, just cameras and the detectors that interact w/ ezpass units. If you went through one of those by mistake, that could be it. I think rhody has it right ... you should ask them for their evidence; that should settle it one way or the other.
     
  13. Nov 6, 2011 #12

    DaveC426913

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    Topher, you can't call anybody names until you find out exactly what the violation was, real or otherwise.

    You do use the bridge, so it's not like they pulled your name out of their nether regions.

    It doesn't matter whether you're innocent; you need to straighten this out.
     
  14. Nov 6, 2011 #13

    dlgoff

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    Just pick a lawyers name out of the phone book and tell them to refer to him. I don't mean hire a lawyer, just pick one at random. If they are serious (a real violation), you'll hear from the lawyer. Then you can take action.
     
  15. Nov 6, 2011 #14
    In my state they mail you the actual picture of your plate as you drove through the sun/ez/toll pass. Some time ago my father went through one and paid, but the machine didn't take the quarters (after putting in 50% more than it wanted), and he drove off. They sent him collections notices and all of that, and he paid it!
     
  16. Nov 7, 2011 #15
    Couple of things. 1st, they found you because they got a photo of your vehicle tag. Request a copy. Second, not all tolls are obvious. I was driving through Dallas several years ago and they created a "new" stretch of 121 (no lights, etc.), the new stretch was toll with an EZ-Pass type system and there are NO toll booths, just roadway. I got a letter in the mail for $0.25 and $1 collection fee. I called and they admitted the signage was new and not finished, and fighting it was an option. However, coming from a family of lawyers, I was quickly told lawyers love people with morals and money; just pay the damn $1.25 and learn. On the other hand, my wife was driving through Tulsa, OK one night headed east and doing what the GPS said, including "stay left" before she saw the EZPass sign. I contacted the OK DMV, who very politely told me they don't ticket out-of-state 1st offenders, since not everyone is perfect and may not know the roads and lanes. They thanked me for contacting them and wished us well.
     
  17. Nov 7, 2011 #16
    It's off topic, but because I have ez-pass on my car, I went through an ez-pass lane in a rented car that did not have it. I contacted the port authority right away and they told me that it happens all the time. There's no penalty, they just send a bill for the fare to the rental company. The rental company pays it and sends a bill to the offender.
     
  18. Nov 7, 2011 #17
    No, I don't use the bridge, I've never used their bridge. I didn't drive anywhere near their bridge. I'll file a formal dispute to the violation and that's it. If they want to take it any further, I'll see them in court.

    I'll be requesting a photo of my vehicle tomorrow. I don't understand how a corporation can just bill you some fee without you even being aware they existed. If there's no signs and no indication of the fee you are about to incur, and you don't have any choice of agreeing to use their service then how can they legally fine you anything?

    This is exactly whats wrong with the world, too many lawyers. But its not $1.25, its $36 and by the time I get the third notice it will most likely be well over $100.
     
  19. Nov 7, 2011 #18

    DaveC426913

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    Sorry. My mistake. I assumed that, if you were nowhere near the bridge at any time, you would have mentioned that as a salient fact.

    When you said
    I assumed you had used the bridge, just not the EZ pass lane.
     
  20. Nov 8, 2011 #19
    Yea, everyone hates lawyers until they need one. Truth is the laws are written like crap, and they leave too many grey areas.

    Bottom line in my case was a situation that sucked. Doing the leg work myself would cost me much more than $1.25, and in my truck that wouldn't pay the gas to fill up the tank to make the drive back down to Dallas to fight it. Secondly, I missed some micro sized sign placed before the large normal signage was setup, so it would still be my fault.

    In your case, let us know what the picture shows. I'm curious. Perhaps someone mistook the TAG number or issuing state. Best of luck.
     
  21. Nov 8, 2011 #20
    Just send them the toll without the 'fine' or 'administrative fee' or whatever they call it. I have done this several times, each time stating that their equipment was in error, and that was the end of it.
     
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