NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — E-ZPass has revolutionized millions of commuters’ lives, allowing them to zip through tolls, saving time and money.
But for a growing number of motorists, this popular convenience is actually causing some costly problems, reports CBS 2′s Dana Tyler.
“I approached the gate of the Throgs Neck Bridge and it didn’t go up,” driver Jeff Frediani said.
“They’re charging me for a tractor trailer. I wasn’t driving a tractor trailer,” Charles Delgatto added.
“You mean to tell me they can’t fix something as simple as a machine that detects what type of vehicle is going through?” Ellie Sarama said.
Those are just a few unhappy E-ZPass customers, but there are a lot more out there who say E-ZPass just isn’t so easy.
“We’ve gotten, literally, thousands of complaints,” said Robert Sinclair of AAA New York.
The Automobile Association of America says it’s on-going.
“From technical problems to problems dealing with customer service being unresponsive to overcharging, overbilling,” Sinclair said.
“They overcharged me three times the amount that I’m expected to pay,” Delgatto said.
Delgatto said on more than one occasion E-ZPass charged him more than $16 to travel over the Verrazano Bridge. It should cost $5.76.
Delgatto said he called and complained right after receiving his bill and E-ZPass told him to expect a refund but nothing ever came. He continued to call and even went in person and again was told a refund was coming. But instead of a refund he eventually received a letter saying his dispute had exceeded the agency’s 180-day time limit.
“What difference does it make if it’s 180 days or 1,800 days? Since when is there a statute of limitations on doing the right thing?” Delgatto said.
All across the Internet hundreds of other angry E-ZPass customers complain about overcharging and other problems.
“They are really just trying to pick my pocket,” Michael J. Moore said.
“If you do have a problem with it and you try to rectify it, it’s difficult to even try and do that,” Frediani said.
While there’s no disputing E-ZPass has revolutionized commuting drivers like Sarama said the E-ZPass technology just doesn’t always work.
“They’re charging us tractor trailer prices,” Sarama said.
Sarama and her husband run a business transporting race horses from New Jersey to Delaware. It’s supposed to cost $12.50 round trip for her pick up and trailer, but Sarama has been charged as much as $30. Over the last three years, she said E-ZPass has overcharged her $2,800.
“They said it was our fault for not recognizing the fact that we were being overcharged,” Sarama said.
As a result, they’ve joined other motorists with trailers in a class action lawsuit against E-ZPass.
“I think it’s ridiculous what they’re doing. I think they’re imposing a burden on the people,” attorney Jeffrey Pocaro said of E-ZPass.
Part of the problem is different agencies oversee E-ZPass. It all depends on what road you happen to be driving on. In Delgatto’s case, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority handles the Verrazano Bridge.
On Monday the MTA apologized and agreed to finally refund his money.
The bottom line is read your statements carefully and take action on mistakes immediately.
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