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10/04/2022 06:24 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20210&cosponId=37257
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: April 25, 2022 04:59 PM
From: Senator Lindsey M. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: E-Z Pass V-toll Notification
 
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that will require the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to notify E-Z Pass customers via email if they are charged with a “v-toll”. V-tolls are issued to customers when their E-Z Pass transponder is not detected - either because the transponder is not mounted properly or, despite proper placement, the transponder malfunctions due to age. In 2021, over 200,000 Pennsylvanians have been charged with v-tolls, totaling millions of dollars.

Unfortunately, because E-Z Pass toll and fee charges are automatically withdrawn and because v-tolls have frequently been mislabeled on monthly statements, it has taken some customers months, or even years, to realize that they have been charged these fees. Customers may request an adjustment of their v-toll charges; however, the process can be difficult and adjustments are restricted to a period of 90 days, unless you can prove that the transponder malfunctioned. Currently, customers do not receive notifications that they are being charged a v-toll. Unless they are in the habit of regularly checking their E-Z Pass statement, these charges can go unnoticed and the 90-day adjustment window can be easily missed.

As an E-Z Pass user who regularly travels the Turnpike, I have received v-toll charges and had questions about what they were for or how to address them. The current system does not provide a transparent and reasonable way to notify users that they’re receiving extra charges, nor does it provide a clear explanation of how to dispute them.

The E-Z Pass system already contains notification thresholds that will automatically send an electronic notification to the customer if their account balance becomes low, if a payment is declined, or if their billing information needs to be updated. Expanding the existing system to send a notification to the consumer that a v-toll has been issued is an easy way to let the consumer know that the transponder is either faulty or has been improperly located. This simple safeguard would go a long way towards improving transparency and consumer confidence in our Turnpike tolling system.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation.