I passed through cashless E-ZPass booths several times between New Jersey and New York in December and January. I don't have a monthly pass, but I'm willing to pay the fees.

The issue is that I never received bills (from E-ZPass; MTA Bridges & Tunnels). This is obviously not a good situation to be in, so in March I called up customer support. They told me I had a $15 toll fee for early December, but absolutely nothing else. I paid it, but they said "nothing else (the latter toll fees) is showing up in the system."

In April I received a letter stating that I need to pay those toll fees, plus an additional $100 for each toll fee. This is ridiculous, because the original fees were $8.50 (listed in the letter).

I had no way of knowing since I didn't receive the bills, and customer support had said that they didn't have any information about them. I wasn't able to pay because there was no violation number to pay for. I contacted them again today and they simply told me to take it up with the postal office, who they blamed for not delivering my mail "reliably". I've had no problem with mail delivery, ever.

This sounds very fishy. I did some searching and found that there are many people in the same situation (https://www.consumeraffairs.com/utilities/ez_pass.html).

So if I don't surrender the fees (more than 1200% of the base toll fees!) they will disable my license.

Do I have any options other than paying all the additional fees?

  • 2
    There are two senses of the word "scam". One is an attempt by a fake person to get money they have no claim to. The other is a very unfair consumer situation with a legal basis. This seems to be the latter and paying the $200 fine is a lot cheaper than hiring a lawyer for even one hour to deal with it. – ohwilleke Apr 12 at 0:05
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Whatever your legal rights may be, the efficient solution is to pay the fines and get it behind you.

There is no obvious way to avoid paying the $200 fine, although you could try calling customer service and asking nicely, in a way that would not cost you more than $200 and put your license in peril.

Right or wrong, they have the upper hand here and your job is to get this problem behind you.

You are only promoting their scam when you have a viable alternative, and you really don't.

  • I think this is the sad truth... submitting to them feels terrible. There's no guarantee that the same thing won't happen again in the future. – Dave Apr 12 at 14:28

It is the operator's responsibility to notify you of any charges. You did make a reasonable effort to discover if there were any outstanding charges, and they told you that there were not.

Considering the gravity of the situation, it is not unreasonable to expect them to use registered mail for delivery of this extremely important document.

If you are able to appeal you should do so. If there is no mechanism for that, you will likely have to go to court and make your case. You are in a good position, they screwed up and you made a reasonable effort to contact them. However, you should hire a lawyer to defend you. In fact you should probably see one to get some proper legal advice right now.

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