$1 for an email? Another way NJ’s E-ZPass is getting your money
There are 21 terms and conditions for people signing up for E-ZPass, so it can be easy to miss the fine print warning you about the fee to have a monthly statement emailed.
Under the "Schedule of Deposits/Fees" section of the application, E-ZPass notes that there is a $1 fee for customers to have their statements sent to them either through traditional or electronic mail. There is also a $1 monthly service fee to use E-ZPass.
E-ZPass says customers receive a "complimentary statement" every 30 days for the first six months and then "every 60 days thereafter by the method you have chosen for such deliveries." The company notes that after the first six months, customers "may choose to receive a monthly statement by mail or by email for an additional fee."
The fee caught at least one Reddit user off guard. In the post, the user noted that customers have the option to have the bills emailed bi-monthly, while the monthly mailing or email is $1.
E-ZPass fees are a constant thorn in the side of customers of the service, leading to complaints and even a lawsuit in federal district court. The lawsuit was filed by customers hit with an administrative fee because they did not keep their credit card on file up to date. The agency slaps a $50 administrative fee even if the missed toll was just 50 cents.
The complaint says the $50 fee violates both the 8th Amendment’s excessive fines clause and a state law mandating that E-ZPass fines can be no greater than what it actually costs to recover the unpaid toll. Litigants have accused authority officials of using inflated and misleading numbers to justify an “exorbitant” fee.
In May, a Bayville man shared video of him dropping coins into a Garden State Parkway toll basket but the payment sign does not acknowledge the toll payment. Joe Munger said he was slapped with hundreds of dollars in fines for supposedly missing tolls he paid. The Turnpike Authority disputed Munger's account, but other readers shared similar stories.
In a statement responding to the $1 email fee, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority said customers have options to avoid the charge, including not having statements sent and logging onto the E-ZPass website "at any hour of the day as often as you like" to get the most recent information." Customers can also pay $6 per year to have statements sent monthly.
Statements are not issued for months where there is no account activity.