So, this is my fourth blog about my misadventures with dealing with EZPass
. I accidentally went through an EZPass lane back in August
and, honestly, I've regretted it for the past four months because in that time I've gone through a yo-yo of mail
and phone calls
with EZPass and most recently now with a collections agency contracted by EZPass. All of this...for a $5.25 toll that I have already paid!
Since I've kind of been using my blogs as a type of record-keeping device (because God knows EZPass apparently is not keeping records on their side), I figured I would give an update.
After calling on Thanksgiving Eve and a few days later, I finally got a piece of mail with a short, two sentence message that I was hoping I did not fully understand.
It said the referenced case had now gone to collections and to refer to NCO
notifications about appealing or paying.
First off, I didn't get anything from NCO. And, as far as I know, I still have not gotten anything from NCO (it's been a good two weeks after -finally- receiving some kind of notification from EZPass about an update regarding my request that they either reimburse me the $5.25 I paid to someone else's account after they sent me the wrong account number OR transfer the money to appropriate account).
After a few days passed, I called the given number on the mailing and it was for NCO. I was directed to their EZPass division (yes, the collections agency apparently have a division just for EZPass) covered by a nice woman who answered my call twice that day.
The first time I was asking where my account stood exactly and I told her I planned to fight the collections. She advised me to fax a paragraph to NCO to her attention explaining my dispute. I ended up sending a page-long EZPass epic which had a Cliffs Notes section a paragraph long in the beginning (for those reading it who might not want to read the entire explanation) and an extended version after the summary for anyone who cared to read why I really refuse to pay - main reason being that this would all be over with now if EZPass had sent me the right account number to begin with AND/OR had got their s*$# together and transfered the money I have already paid.
The second time I called the NCO employee, I think her name was Laurie, I wanted to confirm they received my fax. Since it was the end of the day, she said she probably would not see it until the next day. She also informed me that she did not know what the outcome of this might be.
My opinion: after dealing with this for a few months, it's apparent that EZPass offers to waive the $25 admin fee and then asks that you only pay the toll owed. I paid it the first time and then I refused the second time because I had already paid it because it would have been paying double. But now, according to the collections agency, I owe $43.35 (the $25 admin fee plus $18.35 for the entire length of tolls on the state thruway, even though I was only coming from Albany and headed to Exit 15 near NYC).
Maybe I should have just paid the additional $5.25 (in hindsight, it would've been only a quarter of what the collections agency is asking now). But, really, it's the principle of this.
I continue to stick to my guns and, if this dispute is reviewed and given back to the collections agency, I'm going to another section of my arsenal - my connections as a reporter. (I didn't want it to have to come to that but....I'm not above showing my plight to friends directly associated with EZPass and the Thruway authority.)