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Thursday, January 04, 2007

E-ZPass not so easy

I really like E-ZPass for its convenience. But I don't like getting E-ZPass violation notices. Wednesday, I received two of them in the mail. I fully support the E-ZPass folks going after scofflaws. I'm not one of them. But they've entangled me in the telecommunications nightmare of trying to reach a real person to explain why I'm not at fault and therefore won't pay the 70-cent toll plus $25 administrative fee.

This applies to a notice for failing to pay at the Bergen toll plaza last month. When I saw that my E-ZPass didn't register with "paid'' that morning at both the Union and Bergen plazas, I stopped using it and called the following day to report the problem. The E-ZPass folks said my transponder had run out of juice and they sent a replacement within two days. They warned I might get a violation notice anyway and, sure enough, I have. Now to tell them that they're bothering an innocent motorist. They open at 7 a.m., but I didn't get around to calling until 7:40 today, when I entered a loop from one press-this-button to another without finding the right button or a person to help me. I'll be on the phone at 7 a.m. tomorrow.

Oh, the other notice? That was from the Port Authority E-ZPass folks about the Outerbridge Crossing Thanksgiving morning, probably when my transponder first started pooping out. But since they waive the $25 administrative fee, I'll just write them a check. Who has the time and patience to fight two E-ZPass agencies?


Anonymous loy said...

You should buy your EZ-pass out of state the fees are lower and no fees or surcharges I use MD ezpass PA has a 5.00 start up charge and free transponder no monthly charge at all I have sent a lot of my friends to MD

5:30 PM, January 04, 2007  
Blogger margaret said...

That's a very frustrating experience. I do feel for you, especially about calling and having to press a zillion buttons, still not getting a human being, or getting caught in a loop and being hung up on. I think we've all been there. What exactly is the point of those set ups? Obvioulsy not customer service!

8:32 AM, January 05, 2007  
Anonymous pappy said...

My E-Z Pass horror story: I went through a toll plaza on the GSP and the sign basically said "Call Our Office." I called and they told me that my transponder's battery was weak and that if I mailed the transponder back to them, they would send me a new one.

I mailed the transponder, along with a letter, in a Priority Mail envelope. I paid the extra 50 cents to have it sent with Delivery Confirmation. Delivery Confirmation lets you see online what time the post office received your package and when they delievered it. Suffice it to say, in between the time the post office received my package and the time they delivered it to E-Z Pass office, the post office truck(s) containing my package went through several Turnpike E-Z Pass toll plazas. Yup, you guessed it. My E-Z Pass account was charged for those tolls that the post office trucks went through.

Moral of the story: If you ever do mail your E-Z Pass transponder, be sure to seal it in that silver bag that they give to you when you first receive the transponder. It might save you a few dollars.

9:56 AM, January 05, 2007  

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