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E-ZPass service fee scam

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For those you who have E-ZPass (EZPass or EZ-Pass, I can never spell it right) tags, you'd better take a look at your recent statement. No, this is not about phantom charges for some bridge you never crossed. It's about a $1 service charge that was quietly added in july.

Generally, when I receive my E-ZPass statements in the mail, I just glance over the balance amount and if it seems in line, I toss it. For some strange reason, I actually reviewed my last statement to see what kind of charges they have on it, and that is when I discovered the mysterious $1 account service fee.

The next day, I asked one of my coworkers if he knew anything about this. No, he said. But then he checked his account online and sure enough he was also being charged. So finally I decided to call E-ZPass and see what was up. It turns out that the E-ZPass tags are assigned by various authorities in new york, including Port Authority, New York State Thruway, and MTA. Mine was issued by the MTA. The Port Authority had been charging its E-ZPass customers the $1 service fee for a while, and the MTA, apparently feeling left-out, decided to silently add the fee.

What a perfect scam, bait and switch, swindle, robbery. First they sucker you into getting one of these tags so they can save money on toll collectors, then they charge you a service fee for the privilege of charging you at the toll plazas. And on top of it all, they sneak the charge in, hoping people wouldn't notice. When Kozlowski taps Tyco's money, that's fraud and embezzlement, and he must be punished. But when the government steals (and these outfits are quasi-government sorts), I guess it's called legitimate practice.

Hey Spitzer, are you awake?

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