Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Harris County - a bigger thief than Winona Ryder

If you've ever bought a new car you know all the fees associated with it. If you've ever moved, you know all the addresses you have to update (magazine subscriptions, family members address books, utilities, bills, Post Office official change of address, health insurance, your work profile, and tons more). If you've ever been robbed, you know the drama and detail that goes into ensuring you've canceled your credit cards, changed the locks on your doors, contacted your bank, called the eye doctor for another prescription on contacts, called your insurance company and other things.

During the new car buying process, moving, and getting robbed who actually thinks about updating their EZ Tag?

Well you should, because I just dished out a $33 administrative fee and a $40 fine because this wasn't top of mind and Harris County wasn't responsible and proactive enough to contact me.

There is an automatic $33 admin fee when you get a new car OR a new license plate. I got a car 10 months ago and no one thought to tell me this. The entire time I drove through the tolls in MY NEW CAR WITH MY NEW LICENSE PLATE, Harris County had NO trouble pulling money out of my account. No problem whatsoever.

A few months later I was robbed (ironically enough in Harris County you bastards) and everything was stolen, including credit cards. Still, EZ Tag is no where on mind believe it or not...

Fast-forward to present tense: Yesterday I received a notice from Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP stating that I owed $78.50 to Harris County for my EZ Tag. First thing today I called assuming it was for tolls that my credit card didn't process because I had to cancel the card on file for automatic billing.

But this is what I found out when I called to pay: only $3.50 of that $78.50 was for tolls from 9/1/2010, 10/15/2010, and 1/20/2011. There was also a $33 administrative fee, and a $40 fine because I ignored the original invoice.

News FLASH Harris County and Linebarger and Co: if you actually sent an invoice, I would have paid. You claim to have sent ONE piece of paper ONE time, but yet you had my email, my phone number and the option to have people sign for mail - you chose none of those options.

But because I didn't get this one piece of paper you feel the need to fine me $40? You send one notice and immediately send it off to collections with a fee that is more than the actual invoice?

Oh, and not to mention, nowhere in that $78.50 does that pay for a new EZ Tag to be sent to me for my new car. That of course is an additional $15. Are you kidding me you crazy extortionists?

My favorite part of this experience and the 54 minute call to unsuccessfully get this resolved was from the Harris County Toll Road representative I spoke to:
Although we apply customer service principles to our calls, at the end of the day we don't need to. We apply county principles as that's what we are - a county agency.
So you admit to being an extortionist?

Just something else prompting a consideration to move out of Texas.



Bruce said...

These bastards raped me worse than they did you. I got a bill today for $37.50 (3 tolls plus $33 administrative fee). I wouldn't be so upset if I actually ran the tolls without being an EZ Tag customer, but I am an ez tag customer. I was fuming when I ran through my accounts and discovered two to the tolls they sent me the bill for were already charged to my account which I kept up to date and there was always enough in my account balance to cover for the tolls on any day. The third toll they billed me for was not taken from my account but I can only assume they stupid little scan didn't pick up my ez tag because it picked up another toll that was ten minutes earlier. I can't believe these monkeys had the audacity to even send me the bill and then demanded a $33 administrative fee. What they need to do is pay me the $33 for the time I am going to take off of work to go down to their store to point out their stupid mistake. I hate lawyers but if I could find one lawyer out there who would sue on my behalf, then I would give them all the money they collect from Harris County.