A long time ago in a galaxy far away there was a short story I read in the dark ages (1970s) of computers taking over the world. The plot, roughly, followed the increasingly bad computer generated responses to an attempt to correct an accounting error. It’s too bad that I can’t remember the title, nor the author, because clearly they were ahead of their time.
Today I wasted a couple of hours of my life attempting to update a credit card on my ez-pass NJ account. I had been periodically attempting to do this for several months now, since my credit card number got switched because of some unnamed breach of security. The brianiacs over in ez-pass land have a web site that gets stuck in an endless loop if your balance goes negative, which results in them rejecting payments and prohibiting new credit cards from being added to the account. Which can happen if you happen to drive through a toll on the day that your account balance is just below the amount of the toll.
After a few attempts at trying to make a one-time payment to the account with a new credit card, I gave up. My nest step was to email ez-pass NJ with the problem I was having on the web site. They emailed back a reply that they would call me. They called, left a message that I should go to the website and make a payment. I opted to call them since the web site was not processing the payment. We played phone tag for a week or so, and because I was traveling out of the country, I finally left a message with the customer service agent and my credit card number.
Needless to say that they did nothing. And so today, when it occurred to me to update my license plate info today, I logged in to find that my account got placed into collections, several new fees added, and it was closed. EZ pass NJ sent no email, no letter, nothing to indicate any of this of course. The peeps at the state collection agency informed me of this, since “Elvis” the supervisor at EZ pass NJ couldn’t do anything. It didn’t matter that I had emails and dates of how long I have attempted to resolve the issue, that their responses to update on the web site wasn’t working, and that I was more interested in alerting them to the bug in their system rather than just fix my dilemma. “Elvis” was really not in the building.
After a quick Google search to see how many frustrated people were out there, I discovered that many had experienced the fine zero service of ez-pass NJ. Some with exactly the same scenario, others with more convoluted issues involving perpetual low balances, adding coins to get through tolls and getting fined for not paying. My situation is now resolved. I paid a $25 fine for the privilege of being in collections, $7.06 in tolls and $40 for still having my ez-pass transponders when they closed my account. Supposedly I will get a check back when I send in my transponders. I somehow suspect that this won’t be the end of the story.