Eastern Electric Vehicle Club
The Consequences of Adding a Rental to an EZ-Pass Account
as told by Sam
The Tesla Service Center in Devon, PA provided a loaner Model S with the following details:
Trim - P90D
Color - Black
Plate - MFG(vertical small font size) 63277 12V (vertical small font size)
State - CA
In the past, I had issues with Model S and EZPass transponder. Due to some kind of metallic coating on the windshield the transponder sometimes fails to respond. Hence to be on the safe side, I decided to add this vehicle’s plate to my account as a rental car with a start date as 7/13 and end date as 7/20. Ignorant about the Vertical letters in the plate, I simply added 63277 as plate number and state as CA.
On 7/18, I saw the first plate(63277-CA) transaction from PA Trunpike agency for $0.90. I thought this might be from the previous user. Due to small amount, I just ignored it.
On 7/19, I saw four more transactions with total amounting $54.75. At this time, suspecting something wrong, I reached out to Tesla service center vie Email to inquire about the previous user of the car and if he/she can take the responsibility of these charges. They never replied to the email.
I also created a service request (2-7408349189) via web to NJ EZpass to dispute the transactions . The request was promptly denied.
Friday, July 20:
9:17AM- Called NJ EZPass 1-888-288-6865 - The service rep continuously insisted that she can not do anything. This is indeed my car even though I kept on saying I never traveled through those plazas. In one instance I explained how the PA Turnpike and PANJNY are charging tolls in 2 minutes apart. She did not have the answer. She told, the PANJNY is posting these tolls and they can only dispute these. NJ EZPass can not do anything. She gave me the customer service phone number and asked to call them.
9:46AM- Called NY Port authority 1 800 333-8655- The service rep did not have access to my account as it belongs to NJ EZpass. She said she cannot do anything as the account is owned by NJ EZpass. When asked about the photo of the license plate of the vehicle, she said she doesn't have it. She asked me to contact back again to NJ EZPass.
Following these conversations and feeling very hopeless, I created two more service requests(2-7413183967 and 2-7414905854) via web. The first one was cancelled by them later and the 2nd one was closed without any solution.
Saturday, July 21:
8:22AM- called NJ EZPass 1-888-288-6865- Trey (ID 41071) - Talked to Trey. She listened to my concern. She was more worried about the negative balance in the account rather than the actual issue. She kept on asking me to fund the account. I asked to retry the credit card processing (I had updated the card last month which somehow had disabled the auto replenishment). The credit card was charged for $255. Then she created a service request to credit the tolls accrued on plate 63277-CA between 7/14 and 7/19. The service request, SR# 2-7414465772, is still open although I don’t see the request in my account page.
By this time, around five EZPass Toll agencies kept posting transactions and the amount had reached $178.25.
I kept watching my account. With transactions coming in gradually from various agencies as well as plate tolls, I kept searching for ways to dispute and who to contact for hours.
Monday July 23:
Sometime around noon I called the PA EZPass to enquire about the tolls and to get a photo of the violating car’s plate. Not to my surprise, I was transferred three or four times and the concern was never heard or answered.
3:38PM-called NJ EZPass 1-888-288-6865 – Customer rep Vergann answered the call. All she can tell that a service request is in place and they will investigate. No assistance was offered to stop the transactions from coming in.
Feeling hopeless, I dropped a note through the Contact us form in www.njta.com. I received a meaningless reply from Edward Stominski, Deputy Mgr. Customer Service, 732-750-5300 ext. 8755. I again replied to the email emphasizing my issue.
After my reply, I got a call (which went to voice mail) from Gail Soroka, 732-750-5300, Ext 8757. She is a customer service supervisor. She asked me to wait for a week to see the outcome of the investigation. Again, neither any seriousness was shown nor any action was taken to stop the transactions from coming in. Also, she asked me to forward the copy of the rental agreement.
In the evening I obtained the copy of my rental agreement from Tesla service center and sent to Gail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, July 25:
3:25 AM – Credit card charge of $255 made as per auto replenishment.
9:12 AM – I called Gail and asked her to do something to stop the transactions from coming in. She said she will look into it and give me a call back.
11:31 AM – I created another service request (2-7438753397) to revoke the authorization to replenish the account using the credit card on file. The request was closed without any valuable answer.
12:04 PM – I called Bank of America and cancelled the credit cards which were on file with EZPass and requested new cards with new numbers.
1:49PM – I received a call from Gail that went to voice mail. She said that as long as the plate is taken off the account, the charges will not post. She said the team is looking into it and to let them do their job.
5:57 PM – I sent an email to Gail stating that the transactions are still posting and that the credit card is cancelled along with a list of the transactions.
Thursday, July 26:
Sometime in the morning – The account balance goes negative as more transactions post.
What Has Been Discovered
Decoding the plate number:
MFG(vertical/smaller font size) 63277 12V(vertical/smaller font size)
MFG – stands for manufacturer
63277 – the unique number assigned to Tesla
12V – Unique to the plate.
Most of the Tesla loaner vehicles sport manufacturer's plates.
‘MFG6327712V’ will be the plate number. Since I input only 63277, it is an invalid entry.
The EZPass’ plate scanning system when scanning the plate images, ignores the leading and trailing vertical letters resulting to 63277. Then the system finds this plate in my account and thus posts the charges. This is a known bug. In the past the impact was always between two parties.
As it stands right now I have 86 transactions from seven different toll agencies amounting $632.31 and still counting. The account might be revoked due to negative balance by tomorrow. I expect more backdated charges coming from DE,NC,MD,VA and MA and other states. I don't see any seriousness from EZPass in solving this matter. I have reached out to NJ.com news and have given the above story. Though they are looking into it, I don't think they are serious as well.
All these transactions are violations caused by Tesla loaner drivers and valid 'toll by plate' transactions between July 14 and July 19.
Any suggestions or any kind of help that will resolve the situation are appreciated and can be sent to the author through the Contact page.