EZ-Pass Ripoffs

Do you check your statements? In the past I usually didn’t, but then I noticed a $24 toll at the Delaware Memorial Bridge. It seems that the toll booths there are supposed to count your axles and figure out the total length of your vehicle, and charge accordingly. BUT, if another car is too close behind you when you go through the reader, it can make a very bad guess, which, in my case, resulted in a $21 overcharge. I eventually got a refund, but they will only go back 2 months, so it’s easy to get screwed.

Another thing to watch is, if someone is stopped at an EZ-Pass controlled gate, don’t come up too close to his rear, because the reader may pick up your tag and let HIM through (at your expense). This happened to me at a NYC crossing.

Lesson: Don’t crowd the car in front of you, or let another come up too close behind you, and always, always check your statements.

Thankfully, that isn’t how Florida’s Sunpass works. With Sunpass, you tell them how many axles your vehicle has, and you are not supposed to use it for other vehicles. If you hitch-up a trailer, you take the batteries out of the Sunpass and pay at the booth.

I fail to see this as a rip-off. Rather, it’s a system error, or a lack of due diligence on the customer’s part.

I have an EZ-pass issued in PA. I had to tell them what my vehicle is, so there should be no question about the number of axles.

I haven’t had any problems, but I do check my statement periodically, just to be sure.

It’s just like a bank statement; if you don’t check it you’re asking for trouble.

I don’t crowd the car in front of me.

I have no control over the car behind me.

If you think EZ-pass is ripping you off, close your account and pay the tolls in cash. Then you’ll know exactly how much you’re being charged. They’ll give you a receipt if you request one.

My cars are also listed on my NJ EZ-Pass, but license plates are not scanned and checked at the toll booths, but only photographed. The problems are the systems on the Delaware crossings. Because it’s not intentional, I’ll agree it’s not a “rip-off” but it IS like a pickpocket, except you might not realize it until many weeks after the fact. And it is NOT uncommon, as that news report showed.

Crowding the car in front of me (in NYC) was my own fault; I take care not to do that now, but that’s only an issue where there are actually gates.

Since we are now aware if this abuse, it might make sense to pay attention to how closely the guy behind follows as we approach the toll sensor. If he’s too close, we should slow down so that he can’t be counted on our toll. Maybe after slowing down, we could hit the gas as we get real close and leave a gap that the perp doesn’t expect. All this assumes that the follower is just trying to get a free toll, and I’m sure that it does happen.