E-ZPass malfunction suspected in Thruway overcharges


CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Chris Badura had just traded in his old Jeep Wrangler for a Chevy Silverado, and when he went to switch his E-ZPass tag over from the Jeep to the truck, did he get a shock when he went online to check into his account.

“Upon logging onto the website I had looked at a history of charges, and had noticed that there were several charges spanning 18 months, saying my vehicle had been at several locations that it had not been to.”

E-ZPass is a private company that is like a collection agency for the Thruway Authority in New York, and highway toll agencies in 15 other states, but Badura discovered when E-ZPass makes a mistake and takes too much money, it takes a lot of digging and a lot of patience to find a solution.

The Cheektowaga motorist suspected his E-ZPass transponder was not showing up on the tag readers at the State Thruway toll booths–as if he didn’t even have an account–although he was still getting billed.

Problem is, if your tag doesn’t show up at the toll barrier, E-ZPass bills you for the entire length of the Thruway you are on, from Ripley to Long Island, and Chris was overcharged big time, about $135. So he contacted Call 4 Action.

“Nearly every time I would drive through an E-ZPass, I would get the message ‘No tag, Call E-ZPass’–something along those lines. Within that 18-month span I had called E-ZPass three or four times. Each time they told me there were no violations on my account.”

Badura called E-ZPass and apprised them of the overcharges, and the customer service representatives told him to write a letter, with copies of the bills showing the overcharges.

Chris did, and got credit for about half of what he was owed on the credit card that is linked to his E-ZPass account, but his tolls only add up to a few cents a day, so Badura figures it will take a lot of driving to use up the credit.

He wants all the money back—in cash, “I would like a check back for the money that was, I believe, incorrectly taken.”

In a letter from E-ZPass, the company said it considers the matter closed, and if Chris wants the $70 he believes E-ZPass still owes him, he was advised he might have to hire a lawyer to subpoena their records, but few attorneys would take a case for a $70 claim.

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