I really don’t like to complain. But sometimes the universe just keeps dishing out crap that gets to me big-time.
Today’s mail contained a notification from EZ Pass, claiming that I still had an unpaid toll from last September. We were in the RV at the time and were exiting Rt. 1 where the toll is 25 cents. According to the Final Notice of Toll Violation, the offense was committed on Sept. 16, 2022. If I did not send some kind of response (my tag was stolen, my tag was sold, I was driving a leased or rented vehicle, I have a Delaware EZ Pass account, I have another toll authority’s EZ Pass account, I am sending grounds for an appeal not listed above, or pay the fines), I would be subject to additional fines and fees.
What are those additional fines and fees? Well, they’re detailed very clearly:
Administrative fee $25.00
House Bill State Fire Prevention Commission
Volunteer Ambulance Company Fund (I kid you not) 10.00
House Bill Fund to Combat Violent Crimes Fee 15.00
Civil Penalty 25.00
Civil Penalty Surcharge 12.50
For a grand total of $87.50!
Is it just me, or does this feel more like a scam to try to squeeze an exorbitant amount of money out of one quarter? (I know it’s not a scam – just saying that it could feel like one). When you consider the administrative costs involved simply in notifying me, they’ve spent many times more than that 25 cents. They’d be much better off to let it slide than to invest the cost of printing, filing, mailing, etc., to inform me of a toll that they apparently haven’t noticed I paid two months ago.
So, naturally, I opted to check “Grounds for Appeal Not Listed Above,” and moved immediately into following the instructions which state: “Please submit a detailed explanation advising the reason for your appeal. Submit any relevant supporting documentation. Appeal is subject to review and approval.” So, on the lines provided, I wrote, “This toll was paid on 12/9/2022 (see enclosed bank statement). As you know, it’s impossible to print out a copy of one’s account that shows the balances, but, as of 2/21/23, our account balance was $33.45.”
Backing up a bit: I was successful in locating my EZ Pass account statement online, so I thought it would be a piece of cake to print it out. The only problem is that the far-right column – the one with the balances after each transaction – does not display on the computer screen and, therefore, will not show on the printed sheet of paper. I tried copying and pasting it in MS Word (landscape format), but the same problem persisted. I thought that if I went with a smaller font, the right side of the box would be pulled back onto the page, but all that did was make the information smaller in the same size boxes. I think I’ll try to take a picture of the account info with my phone and print that out.
Then there was a problem retrieving my bank statement. Believe it or not, I actually paid that 25 cents by check so I’d have a record (so glad I did now). I went to my bank’s home page to log into my account, but they’ve decided that the password I’ve been using for the past two years is now wrong. I clicked the “Forgot Password?” link, entered a verification number they sent me to prove that I’m who I say I am, and awaited an email with further instructions. That email never came. Even when I clicked “Send Again,” it refused to show up. I decided to try another version of Google Chrome that I have and that one worked. I remembered that when you access your account online, the checks that you wrote can be viewed via a link next to the check in the statement. Well, what I wasn’t aware of is that you can only do that with the most recent checks written. I needed to see the 25-cent check I wrote in December, but, alas, that wasn’t possible, as the “View Check” link was not there. I still decided to print out that page, though, to show that my check in that amount was, in fact, cashed/deposited/whatever back in December.
I still want to try to take a picture of my EZ Pass account page showing the balances. Even though I’ve already sealed the envelope, I’d be willing to open it carefully again and slip the picture in with my other documentation.
When I ran all this past Evelyn, I said that I feel compelled to go to all this trouble, not so much to show that I paid a quarter, but to avoid having to pay eighty-seven big ones.