Auto-toll WTF


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    So I log in to ntta.org to pay my bill for the electronic tolls.  Under the section summarizing my current bill, it mentions a few other tolls too new to be on my bill.  I have the option to pay them now even tho they're not invoiced.

    What caught my eye, under that section, was this lovely text:
    "If you do not pay the Un-Invoiced transactions, you may be invoiced in the future and additional fees incurred."

    That's unfortunate phrasing, as it suggests that they may charge me extra for not pre-paying.



  • @FrostCat said:

    So I log in to ntta.org to pay my bill for the electronic tolls.  Under the section summarizing my current bill, it mentions a few other tolls too new to be on my bill.  I have the option to pay them now even tho they're not invoiced.

    What caught my eye, under that section, was this lovely text:
    "If you do not pay the Un-Invoiced transactions, you may be invoiced in the future and additional fees incurred."

    That's unfortunate phrasing, as it suggests that they may charge me extra for not pre-paying.

    Depends (I don't know that system).... Some systems add a surcharge for any month they have to process a bill that is a fixed amount over the charges they are processing. If one pre-pays AND incurs no additional charges, the result may be paying a single surcharge (for the current month) rather than paying the surcharge for each of the two months in which the charges actually become payable. 


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @TheCPUWizard said:

    Depends (I don't know that system).... Some systems add a surcharge for any month they have to process a bill that is a fixed amount over the charges they are processing. If one pre-pays AND incurs no additional charges, the result may be paying a single surcharge (for the current month) rather than paying the surcharge for each of the two months in which the charges actually become payable.
    I'm not sure that really cleared things up. Are they threatening to charge people late fees for failing to pay ahead of time for some toll which they have not yet been formally billed for? That would be WTFy (and possibly subject to legal challenge too, though I wouldn't be personally keen on pursuing that approach).



  • @dkf said:

    @TheCPUWizard said:
    Depends (I don't know that system).... Some systems add a surcharge for any month they have to process a bill that is a fixed amount over the charges they are processing. If one pre-pays AND incurs no additional charges, the result may be paying a single surcharge (for the current month) rather than paying the surcharge for each of the two months in which the charges actually become payable.
    I'm not sure that really cleared things up. Are they threatening to charge people late fees for failing to pay ahead of time for some toll which they have not yet been formally billed for? That would be WTFy (and possibly subject to legal challenge too, though I wouldn't be personally keen on pursuing that approach).

    Not "late charges" but avoiding a service fee.  Consider if each time you use the system you pay a $5 toll. Once a month you get billed if there are any charges and the bill includes a $2 service charge (regardless of the number of tolls on the bill). If you pay what is due, you will pay a service charge this months. Next month the newer items will be due and you will pay a service charge that month. If you pay all of the charges, and do not incur any more then you will not get a bill next month, so no $2 service charge.



  • Trwtf is paying a fee to pay a bill. The toll system here charges $1 to make a "manual" payment even if it is online or through the automated phone system.

    FTR my tolls are on auto-topup, so when my pre paid balance drops below $5 it takes $20 (imsmr). I haven't gone through a toll point in some time though.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @TheCPUWizard said:

    @FrostCat said:

    So I log in to ntta.org to pay my bill for the electronic tolls.  Under the section summarizing my current bill, it mentions a few other tolls too new to be on my bill.  I have the option to pay them now even tho they're not invoiced.

    What caught my eye, under that section, was this lovely text:
    "If you do not pay the Un-Invoiced transactions, you may be invoiced in the future and additional fees incurred."

    That's unfortunate phrasing, as it suggests that they may charge me extra for not pre-paying.

    Depends (I don't know that system).... Some systems add a surcharge for any month they have to process a bill that is a fixed amount over the charges they are processing. If one pre-pays AND incurs no additional charges, the result may be paying a single surcharge (for the current month) rather than paying the surcharge for each of the two months in which the charges actually become payable. 

    I've never heard of such a thing, but that's not the case here: the North Texas toll system charges you for the tolls you actually went through. Now if you don't use the toll roads regularly, like me, you won't get a bill from them more than every 2-3 months. I'm not sure if they have a minimum dollar amount or a minimum time or what. I think I got a bill once with a single toll for about a dollar and a couple of extra tolls from several months later. If you happen not to pay the bill when you get it, they charge an $8 late fee with the next bill, 30 days later. Don't pay THAT on time, and they hit you with another $8 late fee, plus an additional $8 for each and every toll on the bill. Keep not paying and it gets really ridiculous. (It's kind of a joke here; every once in a while they publish their list of top bill skippers; for a while, some woman owed $90,000.

    So the website showed a single total line for the tolls they'd already sent me a paper bill, and a detailed breakdown of tolls incurred since the bill was generated. If you pay your bill on time, there's no additional charges; there's no "service" fee or anything. That's the WTF here. The line states that they may charge you "you didn't pay early" fee. That would pretty much be unconscionable. Like I said, there are no fees except late and penalty fees. There's no processing fee (at least not that I have ever seen, including the one time I was a few days late past the initial 30 days and had to pay the $8 late fee) so this isn't a case of what you're talking about.

    It's probably just poor wording and means "if you don't pay up when you get an actual invoice you'll have to pay the typical late fees."

    Plus, their wording is pretty hostile, and pre-emptively treats you like a deadbeat. I already threw the bill away since I paid it the day I got it, but if I remember the next time I get one, I'll detail that. I assume that the guy writing the copy on the statements used to be a Mafia protection-money enforcer.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @dkf said:

    @TheCPUWizard said:
    Depends (I don't know that system).... Some systems add a surcharge for any month they have to process a bill that is a fixed amount over the charges they are processing. If one pre-pays AND incurs no additional charges, the result may be paying a single surcharge (for the current month) rather than paying the surcharge for each of the two months in which the charges actually become payable.
    I'm not sure that really cleared things up. Are they threatening to charge people late fees for failing to pay ahead of time for some toll which they have not yet been formally billed for? That would be WTFy (and possibly subject to legal challenge too, though I wouldn't be personally keen on pursuing that approach).

    This is the interpretation that seems most likely based on the wording of the bill, that is, that you may be charged a fee for not pre-paying something you for which you haven't been invoiced. I suspect that's not the intention, though.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @TheCPUWizard said:

    @dkf said:

    @TheCPUWizard said:
    Depends (I don't know that system).... Some systems add a surcharge for any month they have to process a bill that is a fixed amount over the charges they are processing. If one pre-pays AND incurs no additional charges, the result may be paying a single surcharge (for the current month) rather than paying the surcharge for each of the two months in which the charges actually become payable.
    I'm not sure that really cleared things up. Are they threatening to charge people late fees for failing to pay ahead of time for some toll which they have not yet been formally billed for? That would be WTFy (and possibly subject to legal challenge too, though I wouldn't be personally keen on pursuing that approach).

    Not "late charges" but avoiding a service fee.  Consider if each time you use the system you pay a $5 toll. Once a month you get billed if there are any charges and the bill includes a $2 service charge (regardless of the number of tolls on the bill). If you pay what is due, you will pay a service charge this months. Next month the newer items will be due and you will pay a service charge that month. If you pay all of the charges, and do not incur any more then you will not get a bill next month, so no $2 service charge.

    Right. That's not what's going on here, though. If you don't buy a tolltag (for those who haven't seen them, it's just an RFID box; you set up an account and give them an email and credit card number. They ding you for $40, which gives you a $40 credit. You pay a reduced rate of somewhere between 50 and 80% of the cash price, which is deducted from your credit when you go through a toll. When your credit goes below $10, they deduct another $40. So it amounts to a discount for pre-payment.)

    If you don't buy a tolltag and prepay, they take a picture of your license plate when you go through the toll, and charge you the higher rate. At some point, you get billed for all the tolls up to that point. I don't know what the batch point is; I've never gotten an invoice for under $8, or one with fewer than 4 or so line items on it. I've had bills that spanned 3 months or so; my most recent bill, that prompted this post, had, I think, one item from May and 7 or so from July. As I said, there's no explicit processing fee; it must be buried in the actual cost of the tolls.

    I may call them up just to satisfy my curiosity.


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