Toll Violations

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Mar 18, 2019
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#41
Thanks, I did receive a response from the Elliott research team with the executive contact information. I'm drafting a letter with exactly the 3 Ps. Would it be ok if I shared with the group or private messaged you with the letter? Of course, I will redact all personal account information before posting. Thanks again!
If you are comfortable sharing it on the forum, please do! There are lots of people here that are happy to help you form a letter that we think will get you the best results. =)
 
Likes: jsn55

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#43
I am seeing a trend in consumerism that I think is taking many people unaware. We are "signing up" (or not) for all kinds of interactions directly with a computer, lots of automatic billing, many transactions that happen without our notice, at least until our credit card statement arrives. The days of getting help from the charging entity are gone in these cases. I think people are naive, they're aren't paying attention, and in many cases there's no way they can know what's going on. Hardly anyone sits around pondering the existence of a toll pass. You sign up for something, you use it, time goes by in a flash, your CC expires and you don't go in and update your profile, you cancel a card and forget about the automatic billings, and all kinds of things. Consumers are going to need a new mindset when it comes to running your fiscal life. We're all used to balancing our bank statements, most of us read our CC statements carefully ... but now we need to do more. We need to THINK about our connection with services we buy automatically. It's a new era I guess.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#44
To the OP:
I hear what you are saying, and I have mixed feelings about your case. On one had, I feel that the toll violations that you incurred are excessive, but I feel like your argument using the sunpass FAQ as justification for your actions to be asinine

The reality is that when you are driving on Georgia toll roads and using Peach pass or a compatible device, the Peach Pass rules apply, not Sunpass rules. In the Peach Pass rules, it clearly states in the TOS

"4.1. Account Balance. It is your responsibility to maintain a balance in your Account sufficient to cover any tolls, fees, and charges incurred. If you do not maintain a balance in your Account sufficient to pay tolls and any other charges incurred, you and the owner of the Vehicle will be responsible for a Toll Violation each time the Vehicle travels on or otherwise uses a Toll Facility"

The facts is : You traveled on a GA toll road using a transponder that did not have sufficient funds. What likely happened is that Sunpass rejected the charges, so Peach pass rejected the charges and thus a violation occurred.

You can argue all day that Sunpass never notified you, or you were unaware of the policy, etc. but it does not seem that you have taken ANY responsibility for your actions.

What to do?
1) If a Sunpass representative told you that Sunpass should have accepted the charges despite a negative balance, then go through Sunpass to ask them to accept the charges and ask Peach Pass to remove the violations.
2) If Sunpass is unwilling to do #1, then contact Peach Pass, admit your error, and ask if the tolls can be paid and the violations waived

To everyone else reading this...
Despite what is printed on the Sunpass FAQ, toll transponders are PREPAID. Sunpass may offer a grace period on negative balances, but my home state's EZ pass DOES NOT. You can link a credit card to your toll account, or just overfund your account. I keep a balance of no less than $150 on my account at any give time, as a single trip in the northeast can easily deplete significant funds!
I really don't think we want to accuse our OPs of being asinine. We didn't send you to school all those years to not learn a nice comprehensive vocabulary. Please use it.
 
Mar 18, 2019
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#45
I am seeing a trend in consumerism that I think is taking many people unaware. We are "signing up" (or not) for all kinds of interactions directly with a computer, lots of automatic billing, many transactions that happen without our notice, at least until our credit card statement arrives. The days of getting help from the charging entity are gone in these cases. I think people are naive, they're aren't paying attention, and in many cases there's no way they can know what's going on. Hardly anyone sits around pondering the existence of a toll pass. You sign up for something, you use it, time goes by in a flash, your CC expires and you don't go in and update your profile, you cancel a card and forget about the automatic billings, and all kinds of things. Consumers are going to need a new mindset when it comes to running your fiscal life. We're all used to balancing our bank statements, most of us read our CC statements carefully ... but now we need to do more. We need to THINK about our connection with services we buy automatically. It's a new era I guess.
There's probably some room in this brave new world for a service that helps us manage this... It's definitely too easy these days to be caught unawares...
 
Likes: jsn55

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,717
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#46
Thank you for your- This can be argued since as a Sunpass customer I have only agreed to the terms and service of Sunpass and not North Carolina EZ Pass, Georgia Peach Pass, NJ Pass, etc. I did not agree to other states individual terms of service when I signed up for Sunpass.
.
Then you should have bought a PeachPass. Georgia honors the Sunpass as a convenience to you. Or you should have paid cash for all your tolls. Since you didn’t do that then by your own words stating you didn’t sign up for terms in other states- you do owe the tolls and the penalties since you did not opt to pay cash.

You opted to use your Sunpass instead of buying a PeachPass or paying cash.

I urge you to pay the amount of tolls you owe and trying to negotiate the penalties down. You owe the money for the tolls- not having a valid credit card on fIle is not the fault of the Georgia DOT. They rant their tolls paid and the longer you argue about it the more penalties might be applied.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,717
18,384
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#47
From the Terms and Conditions- you do agree to using the Sunpass in accordance with other state rules:

External transponder (hereafter specifically referred to as “SunPass® External Transponder”), and the SunPass® Mini Transponder (hereafter specifically referred to as “SunPass® Mini Transponder”) (hereinafter collectively referred to as “Transponder(s)”) on toll roads, toll bridges, parking and other facilities within the State of Florida and within other states for which the toll operators have entered into agreement with FDOT for electronic toll collection interoperability and thereby accept SunPass® transponders for electronic payment (such other states hereafter referred to as "Interoperable States”).


User and/or the registered owner of the vehicle used on the toll facility is responsible and liable for any unpaid toll or Uniform Traffic Citation issued as a result of User’s transponder not being read by the receiving equipment in any toll facility. User shall not use this Agreement as a defense to a toll violation if the transponder is not read by the receiving equipment unless the supplemental lane transactions show a problem with the receiver in the lane at the time of the alleged violation. Defective transponders, malfunctioning transponders and the User not properly mounting the transponder do not relieve the User and/or the registered owner of the motor vehicle involved in an unpaid toll from liability under §316.1001, Florida Statutes or the applicable laws of an Interoperable State.

https://www.sunpass.com/en/support/custagreement.shtml
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#48
How can Sunpass say the debt is not valid? If a credit card expired the card is rejected. Georgia was not paid.

Sunpass seems to issue statements quarterly— it does not seem that they chase after people to tell them they are negative in balance — that is up to the account holder to keep track of the balance. Did you not receive any quarterly statements?

The not my fault argument does stretch credibility— once a new credit card is issued there are often reminders to update any automatic billing.

In order to continue receiving the benefits of the prepaid SunPass Program – including discounted toll rates and access to express lanes – it is important that the account has a positive balance.”

this is the section that is missed.

And to say well I never agreed to the terms of Peachpass only Sunpass — really? Then why did you drive in Georgia?

And Sunpass is pretty strict with insufficient balance according to terms and conditions:


17.4 If for any reason User’s Prepaid Account balance is insufficient for tolls or any other charges due or owing to FDOT, User shall remain liable to FDOT for such insufficiencies and all applicable charges.

17.5 Unpaid balances due to FDOT may be turned over to a collection agency for enforcement and collection activities.


this may be in the hands of the collection agency.
 
May 30, 2019
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#49
To other readers ... This isn't specific to Florida & Georgia.

For example, in the northeast, may states reciprocate EZ Pass. If you have an EZ issued in NY, you can use it in NJ, PA, MD, and other states that have reciprocation with NY. When you use a NY-issued EZ Pass in NY, your balance is checked real-time. If the balance is insufficient, the gate will not rise and you have to wait for a human toll collector to pay cash. However, if you use a NY-issued EZ Pass in the reciprocated states, the balance is not checked real-time. The deduction from the NY-based account takes 1-3 business days. If the credit card on file in NY is not valid, then the EZ Pass will not work in NY and the account could go into collections. (I realize my example assumes an old-fashioned toll barrier & many in NY are being replaced with EZ Pass-only toll collection.)
 
Dec 19, 2014
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#50
I really don't think we want to accuse our OPs of being asinine. We didn't send you to school all those years to not learn a nice comprehensive vocabulary. Please use it.
Never did call the OP asinine.

Facts:
1) The tolls are legitimate
2) Sunpass could not be billed by Peach Pass
3) Since Sunpass could not be billed, and since there is no Peach Pass, there is a legitimate violation
4) No CC was on file
5) OP did not receive e-mail or could not be contacted
6) OP did not check the account
7) Sufficient time had elapsed > 60 days

OP says he isn't in violation because of the Sunpass FAQ? That argument is asinine.

Yes, mistakes happen, but the above didn't develop overnight either.
 
Mar 23, 2015
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#52
I'm confused. You are under the impression that you are entitled to use the service without having a valid credit card on file; however the information that YOU copied in disputes that: "
"Can I still use toll facilities if my SunPass account balance is negative?
You are still able to use toll facilities and are responsible for any tolls incurred. Keep in mind that SunPass is a Prepaid Toll Program. In order to continue receiving the benefits of the prepaid SunPass Program – including discounted toll rates and access to express lanes – it is important that the account has a positive balance." You did not have a positive balance, therefore you were not entitled to the "benefits" of the SunPass program. At least that's how I read it. You need to contact the collections people and try to negotiate for a lowered amount of the penalties and fines. My pass is set to autofill when it gets below $25 and I get emails if there are issues with that (Your transaction was unable to complete, blah blah etc..) so it sounds like you also had an issue with the email on file. None of this was on SunPass. You need to throw yourself on the mercy of the court (so to speak) and ask for a reduction in penalties.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#53
What is surprising is that this bill went to collections already -- was there no attempt by GA or FL to contact the registered owner of the car about the tolls? Has the address changed from the DMV registration?

I am not thrilled out these plate tolls, I have heard of people getting contacted by collections after the car has been sold or fine has been paid. And the collection companies do add their own fees, which can be disproportionate -- ie $50 fee on a $2 toll.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,717
18,384
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#54
What is surprising is that this bill went to collections already -- was there no attempt by GA or FL to contact the registered owner of the car about the tolls? Has the address changed from the DMV registration?

I am not thrilled out these plate tolls, I have heard of people getting contacted by collections after the car has been sold or fine has been paid. And the collection companies do add their own fees, which can be disproportionate -- ie $50 fee on a $2 toll.
And that would be my argument to the collection agency to reduce the penalties. Had they contact the OP right away this could have been resolved without it going this far.
 
Likes: VoR61
Aug 19, 2019
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#55
Then you should have bought a PeachPass. Georgia honors the Sunpass as a convenience to you. Or you should have paid cash for all your tolls. Since you didn’t do that then by your own words stating you didn’t sign up for terms in other states- you do owe the tolls and the penalties since you did not opt to pay cash.

You opted to use your Sunpass instead of buying a PeachPass or paying cash.

I urge you to pay the amount of tolls you owe and trying to negotiate the penalties down. You owe the money for the tolls- not having a valid credit card on fIle is not the fault of the Georgia DOT. They rant their tolls paid and the longer you argue about it the more penalties might be applied.
Thanks for your reply. I have no problem paying any and all unpaid tolls. I did use the toll lanes and the toll charges are valid. The issue is the excessive amount of "administrative charges" $400+ when the toll charges were only $10-$15.

Regarding state interoperability rules, what if multiple states have different balance requirements?

Lets say I use the Sunpass which for Florida, has a minimum positive balance requirement of $1.00 and NC EZ pass has an arbitrary minimum balance requirement of $10. Is a Sunpass customer supposed to be aware and in compliance with the terms and conditions of multiple state toll agencies? Will I be charged with a toll violation if my account balance is $8 and I use the toll lanes in North Carolina? I certainly hope not. While it is easy for the toll agencies to state in writing that users must abide by each individual states' toll agency terms, how realistic is it for customers to read and understand each and every State's toll rules?

Also, Peachpass does not allow cash, otherwise I would have no problem paying cash.

I understand I'm at a fault for not having updated a payment method that was expired for 6 weeks. However, the penalties are excessive and furthermore, there was no notification from either Sunpass or Peachpass about a negative balance and toll violations before sending the account to collections. Maybe it is in their best financial interest to not inform customers of a negative balance so that they can earn "administrative fees". This reminds me of the old days when customers using cell phones would go over their minutes and be charged absurd usage fees. Of course, the customer is always responsible for monitoring the number of minutes they use, but pragmatically, it is difficult task to accomplish.
 
Aug 19, 2019
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#56
From the Terms and Conditions- you do agree to using the Sunpass in accordance with other state rules:

External transponder (hereafter specifically referred to as “SunPass® External Transponder”), and the SunPass® Mini Transponder (hereafter specifically referred to as “SunPass® Mini Transponder”) (hereinafter collectively referred to as “Transponder(s)”) on toll roads, toll bridges, parking and other facilities within the State of Florida and within other states for which the toll operators have entered into agreement with FDOT for electronic toll collection interoperability and thereby accept SunPass® transponders for electronic payment (such other states hereafter referred to as "Interoperable States”).


User and/or the registered owner of the vehicle used on the toll facility is responsible and liable for any unpaid toll or Uniform Traffic Citation issued as a result of User’s transponder not being read by the receiving equipment in any toll facility. User shall not use this Agreement as a defense to a toll violation if the transponder is not read by the receiving equipment unless the supplemental lane transactions show a problem with the receiver in the lane at the time of the alleged violation. Defective transponders, malfunctioning transponders and the User not properly mounting the transponder do not relieve the User and/or the registered owner of the motor vehicle involved in an unpaid toll from liability under §316.1001, Florida Statutes or the applicable laws of an Interoperable State.

https://www.sunpass.com/en/support/custagreement.shtml
Thanks, that is very helpful information! Of course, as a Sunpass customer, I signed the Sunpass user agreement, which inherently implies that I have signed the agreement of any other interoperable state - without actually having read each interoperable state's terms and conditions.
 
Aug 19, 2019
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#57
I'm confused. You are under the impression that you are entitled to use the service without having a valid credit card on file; however the information that YOU copied in disputes that: "
"Can I still use toll facilities if my SunPass account balance is negative?
You are still able to use toll facilities and are responsible for any tolls incurred. Keep in mind that SunPass is a Prepaid Toll Program. In order to continue receiving the benefits of the prepaid SunPass Program – including discounted toll rates and access to express lanes – it is important that the account has a positive balance." You did not have a positive balance, therefore you were not entitled to the "benefits" of the SunPass program. At least that's how I read it. You need to contact the collections people and try to negotiate for a lowered amount of the penalties and fines. My pass is set to autofill when it gets below $25 and I get emails if there are issues with that (Your transaction was unable to complete, blah blah etc..) so it sounds like you also had an issue with the email on file. None of this was on SunPass. You need to throw yourself on the mercy of the court (so to speak) and ask for a reduction in penalties.
Thanks for your reply. Yes, I think you might be right about the "mercy of the court" situation. The language specifically states that it is "important" but not mandatory to have a positive balance - at least that's how I've read it. Furthermore, as it states, even with a temporary negative account balance, "responsible for any tolls incurred" - I'm not circumventing my responsibility of paying tolls by any means - I owe the toll charges and am happy to pay those (even non-discounted tolls), however, the excessive administrative charges is what I have an issue with specifically since that written statement does not state that I will incur penalties for having a negative account balance.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#58
"the penalties are excessive"
"there was no notification from either Sunpass or Peachpass"
"pragmatically, it is difficult task to accomplish"
While my heart is with you 100%, I think your statements bear some scrutiny:
  • Each non-payment requires administrative action. $25 is far less than the $200 passengers are charged for changing a flight
  • I don't see that you have answered the questions here about validating your email address with Sunpass/Peachpass
  • We have accounts that auto-pay, and when our card expires, that is our "notice" to updated records for those accounts
I do think you bear more than a little responsibility here, but should appeal to the collection agency for some goodwill . . .
 
Aug 19, 2019
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#59
How can Sunpass say the debt is not valid? If a credit card expired the card is rejected. Georgia was not paid.

Sunpass seems to issue statements quarterly— it does not seem that they chase after people to tell them they are negative in balance — that is up to the account holder to keep track of the balance. Did you not receive any quarterly statements?

The not my fault argument does stretch credibility— once a new credit card is issued there are often reminders to update any automatic billing.

In order to continue receiving the benefits of the prepaid SunPass Program – including discounted toll rates and access to express lanes – it is important that the account has a positive balance.”

this is the section that is missed.

And to say well I never agreed to the terms of Peachpass only Sunpass — really? Then why did you drive in Georgia?

And Sunpass is pretty strict with insufficient balance according to terms and conditions:


17.4 If for any reason User’s Prepaid Account balance is insufficient for tolls or any other charges due or owing to FDOT, User shall remain liable to FDOT for such insufficiencies and all applicable charges.

17.5 Unpaid balances due to FDOT may be turned over to a collection agency for enforcement and collection activities.


this may be in the hands of the collection agency.
I totally agree that "was not aware" argument has no credibility. However, there was no account activity on my Sunpass account about toll violation charges - it was directly sent by Peachpass to collections without notifying sunpass or peachpass.

Thank you for providing the Sunpass rules about insufficient balance. However, section 17.4 is a bit contradictory to their FAQ statement which states that you are still able to use toll lanes with a temporary negative balance without incurring penalties. Sunpass customer service representative also confirmed this statement.

To clarify, Sunpass states that that Peachpass toll charges should have come through despite a temporary negative balance on the account. They do not state that the "debt is invalid". Hence peachpass should have sent the charges over to Sunpass but for some reason they were not sent to Sunpass and hence the toll "violations" occurred.

Thanks
 
Aug 19, 2019
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#60
And that would be my argument to the collection agency to reduce the penalties. Had they contact the OP right away this could have been resolved without it going this far.
I did contact the collection agency about the debt and disputed the amount. They have stated both on the phone and in writing, that I should directly contact PeachPass to change the debt amount and/or rescind the account from collections. However, upon contacting Peachpass, they state that once the account is in collections they are unable to help me. I'm feel as if I'm in a vicious circle of customer service hell.