Tens of thousands of Marylanders have called for an investigation into the E-ZPass billing system, and now people in Northern Virginia have contacted FOX 5 with the same issues.
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E-ZPass is a way to pay tolls electronically, but some people rack up hundreds of dollars in fees without receiving any notice.
Arlington resident Joe spoke to FOX 5 saying he had a $650 fee.
“I think the E-ZPass technology could use some updating, especially how they handle our accounts,” he says. “I paid for it just to get it over with, but it frustrated me a bit, knowing that there are probably people out there who are suffering from the pandemic who probably can’t pay for it and their fines just keep going up. ‘accumulate and build and they have not had the opportunity to remedy their violations by receiving notice.
Last week, FOX 5 reported that E-ZPass users received 2020 and 2021 toll bills, charged late fees without receiving notice, and some say they are being charged more than once, according to a Change.org petition with over 20,000 signatures.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Maryland Drivers Demand E-ZPass Billing Investigation
Joe says he received four toll violations from 2020 and 2021 which were automatically slapped on his account without any warning.
He even called to ask if he had an outstanding balance and was told no. However, in January 2022, the same thing happened again and he received two more notices with late fees.
FOX 5 contacted the Virginia Department of Transportation who said people with concerns should contact E-ZPass directly.
A delegate from Virginia Beach tried to advance a bill at the General Assembly that would require VDOT to offer E-ZPass customers an opt-in and opt-out option to receive email notifications when they have a low balance or that the fees add up.
The proposal came to nothing, but Joe says it’s the kind of solution he’d like to see.
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“I think it would really help conserve the amount of fees you might owe for E-ZPass violations if you received a text or email or reminder saying, ‘Hey, you just went through a toll where you don’t have enough funds then replenish your account,” he says.
FOX 5 also contacted E-ZPass and Transurban, but did not hear back.