Escapades of E-Z Pass

Posted: 2006-10-20 in General

I got my E-Z Pass statement in my email today, or more accurately, got the email telling me to go to their website to view my statement. I don't know why they don't just mail it directly – I guess it is a privacy thing, but that's a whole other topic.

Anyway, I log on to see whether my account has been closed yet like I requested earlier this month, and see a new charge…$4 for crossing the George Washington Bridge in New York…two days after I mailed the tag back to the E-Z Pass center.

Now, maybe you can figure out a way that I can mail back in my tags on the 11th and get charged for traveling across a bridge that is 400+ miles away on the 13th, but I certainly can't. So another lovely customer service call to the E-Z Pass center, which just so happens to be located in Staten Island, NY.

Turns out that the E-Z pass, while being shipped to NY in the back of a mail truck, were read by the E-Z pass tollreader as the truck went through the tolls on the bridge. I guess maybe there is something to all these warnings about RFID theft….if someone can read my tag when it's buried in a big bag of mail inside of a semi, who knows what they'll be able to do with a passport in my breast-pocket?

But anyway, I decide to ask about my wife's tag, which was set up on another account, and was mailed back in at the same time in a separate package. I want to make sure that it didn't also get read, forcing another credit to that account before they close it. They don't see any charges on it, but also notice that although the tag was returned, it was marked "no note", (i.e. no request to close out the account enclosed).

Now, I am positive that I wrote the request, had Dee sign it, and stuffed it in the envelope with the tag prior to mailing. So they obviously didn't see it when they tore open the envelope to record the receipt of the tag. Fine, I can spend another $0.40 for another letter to request to close out the account. But since I don't have the tag in my possession anymore, I need the customer service specialist to provide me with the account # or tag # to reference on the letter. Begin dialogue between me and the Customer Service Specialist (CSS):

[Me]: Could I have that account number to reference on 2nd letter to request closure of the account?

[CSS]: Oh, I'm sorry, I can't give that info to you.

[Me]: Why not? I need it to include in the letter to close out the account.

[CSS]: I can only give out the account # to you if you have the tag # and the PIN for the account.

[Me]: I know the PIN, but how am I supposed to have the tag # when I've already returned the tag?

[CSS]: Hold on, let me speak with my supervisor for a moment.

—-

[CSS]: Sir, do you have any statements for the account?

[Me]: No. E-Z Pass forces you to go to their webpage to view the statement, and they are only valid for 30 days. Plus you need the account # or tag # to log in, neither of which I have anymore.

[CSS]: I….Hold for one more moment.

—-

[CSS]: Sir? The account number you need is XXXXXXXX.

[Me]: Thank you very much….Now, did you find the note with my other tags I returned?

[CSS]: Let me check…it appears we have not received those tags, or if we have, it has not been processed yet.

[Me]: I have the USPS tracking confirmation right here that says it was delivered on the 18th.

[CSS]: Then it is still in processing. I don't have it in the system yet.

[Me]: Well, if you could pass processing a message, please ask them to keep their eyes peeled for the note that is in the package with the tags requesting the account closed.

[CSS]: Yes sir, anything else I can help you with today?

[Me]: (Wishing I had a beer in hand) No, thank you for your help today.

So…yeah. Go E-Z Pass!

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