Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Car Rental Programs and Ride Services > National | Emerald Club
Reload this Page >

National Squeezes More TollPass Money From Renters

National Squeezes More TollPass Money From Renters

Old Jan 1, 18, 9:35 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: U.S. East Coast
Programs: DL, AA, WN, B6, National, Choice, Marriott, IHG, Hyatt
Posts: 10
National Squeezes More TollPass Money From Renters

National has just listed a new master rental agreement on their website. National has decided to squeeze more tollpass money from renters to increase their profit and not care about "customer service". I rented a car last month in Florida where National had a notice that the tolling was done by license plate cameras and that they had an agreement with the tolling authority that renters would be charged the SunPass transponder,
i.e. the lowest, rate.

Now National will begin:
1) charging renters a fee for the tollpass service, either a transponder (where available) in their rented vehicle or to use the camera tolling facility
2) the rate charged for the actual toll will be the HIGHEST non-discounted rate applicable for that toll

"(5) The optional Tollpass service accepted by Renter provides for the daily rental of a toll collection transponder(Tollpass Transponder Service) or, in some statesor provinces, the use of video-monitored toll collection services (TollpassAutomatic Service, and together with the TollpassTransponder Service, collectively the Tollpass Service). In addition to the daily charge for theTollpass Service, Owner, its affiliate or a third party may separately charge Renterís credit or debit card(or bill Renter, as applicable, for cash rentals) for each toll (or other charge) incurred using the Tollpass Service during the Rental Period on covered roads within the Tollpass Service area at the higher of the applicable toll authorityís video toll rate, cash toll rate or highest undiscounted toll rate."
TWAflyer is offline  
Old Jan 2, 18, 8:19 am
  #2  
Moderator: National Car
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SE MI
Programs: Delta GM, National EE, Hertz PC, SPG Plat
Posts: 1,922
It's not news that there is a charge for the toll road itself in addition to a per-day fee if you access such roads using a rental car. In fact, I think the rate charged has always been the highest "non-discounted" rate (plus any fees), so I'm not sure where you got the information that you received some sort of preferential pricing before. For example, when using the ETR outside of Toronto, the actual toll paid by tollpass users in rental vehicles is the same as those users with a personal transponder, however, because tollpass relies on the cameras to run the billing, renters pay the toll charge plus the "camera fee" (which varies depending on what part of the road you're using).

Keyword here is, of course, "optional" so renters are always free to opt out of Tollpass/sunpass/etc. at the counter or exit booth.

Frankly I don't find this practice any more objectionable than some states charging a higher rate to out of state transponder users (i.e., using a non-NY EZPass in a NY EZPass location).

The easy solutions here are to 1) opt out, 2) find another route, 3) use your own transponder/tag (if possible), or 4) accept the fact that some states have monetized infrastructure in this way and tourists like you and me are footing the bill. You can always vote with your wallet and skip the Florida vacation next time
Closingracer, ginmqi and Xyzzy like this.
dwbf11 is offline  
Old Jan 2, 18, 9:34 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 671
Originally Posted by TWAflyer View Post
National has just listed a new master rental agreement on their website. National has decided to squeeze more tollpass money from renters to increase their profit and not care about "customer service". I rented a car last month in Florida where National had a notice that the tolling was done by license plate cameras and that they had an agreement with the tolling authority that renters would be charged the SunPass transponder,
i.e. the lowest, rate.

Now National will begin:
1) charging renters a fee for the tollpass service, either a transponder (where available) in their rented vehicle or to use the camera tolling facility
2) the rate charged for the actual toll will be the HIGHEST non-discounted rate applicable for that toll

"(5) The optional Tollpass service accepted by Renter provides for the daily rental of a toll collection transponder(Tollpass Transponder Service) or, in some statesor provinces, the use of video-monitored toll collection services (TollpassAutomatic Service, and together with the TollpassTransponder Service, collectively the Tollpass Service). In addition to the daily charge for theTollpass Service, Owner, its affiliate or a third party may separately charge Renterís credit or debit card(or bill Renter, as applicable, for cash rentals) for each toll (or other charge) incurred using the Tollpass Service during the Rental Period on covered roads within the Tollpass Service area at the higher of the applicable toll authorityís video toll rate, cash toll rate or highest undiscounted toll rate."
Am almost certain this is nothing new. In fact was one of the main reasons for getting an EZ-Pass on the go account. After returning a rental noticed was being billed full non-discount rate on NY/NJ tunnels, bridges and toll highways.
BugsyPal is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 7:38 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: JFK LGA PBI BOI
Posts: 577
Other majors do this as well, Avis brand (Budget etc) charges the full cash price of the toll plus a daily fee for each rental day on first use.
That is why not even owning a car I have my own EZpass account/tag. Wish Florida would finally accept it.
Closingracer likes this.
Brighton Line is offline  
Old Jan 4, 18, 9:44 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: U.S. East Coast
Programs: DL, AA, WN, B6, National, Choice, Marriott, IHG, Hyatt
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by dwbf11 View Post
It's not news that there is a charge for the toll road itself in addition to a per-day fee if you access such roads using a rental car. In fact, I think the rate charged has always been the highest "non-discounted" rate (plus any fees), so I'm not sure where you got the information that you received some sort of preferential pricing before. For example, when using the ETR outside of Toronto, the actual toll paid by tollpass users in rental vehicles is the same as those users with a personal transponder, however, because tollpass relies on the cameras to run the billing, renters pay the toll charge plus the "camera fee" (which varies depending on what part of the road you're using).
As I wrote in my post, when I rented from National in MCO in December, there was a notice in the glove compartment that though using the camera recording, I would be charged only the normal SunPass transponder rate.
TWAflyer is offline  
Old Jan 4, 18, 10:06 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: U.S. East Coast
Programs: DL, AA, WN, B6, National, Choice, Marriott, IHG, Hyatt
Posts: 10
I just called National. The Rep confirmed that I was charged the SunPass rate in MCO-MIA, not the higher rate. She also confirmed that as of Jan. 1st, this will no longer be what they will do, per the MRA I cited above.
TWAflyer is offline  
Old Jan 4, 18, 1:53 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 880
I was in Orlando back in late October and I was billed the full price similar to how if I didn't have an NY issued ez-pass in nyc tunnels and bridges.
Closingracer is offline  
Old Jan 6, 18, 3:06 pm
  #8  
Moderator, Alaska Airlines & FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: SGF
Programs: AS, AA, UA, AGR (ex-75K, GLD, 1K, and S+), Choice Diamond, HZ PC, Costco Exec, NPS Passport
Posts: 22,927
You can pick up one of the thin, adhesive SunPass toll tags at any number of retailers across Florida (Publix, drug stores, etc.) for $4.99. Despite all the documentation they provide saying it only works if you peel off the film and adhere it to the glass such that the glass works to conduct/amplify the signal (??? glass is an insulator...), it works perfectly fine if you firmly hold it up to the window as you pass under the toll gantry. Two well-placed pieces of Scotch tape work well, too. It then conveniently fits in a pocket or your wallet or whatever when you're done with the rental.

If you log in and tie your rental car's license plate to the account and the transponder does fail to read, then (unlike with E-ZPass) it will correctly associate the rental car's plate with your account (not the rental car company's) and will charge you the TTOL (transponder toll) rate rather than the ITOL (image toll) rate, at least on MCO-area toll roads.

You can also pay $20 for the plastic, portable, E-ZPass-style transponder, but I see no need to spend the extra money and carry along the extra bulk. I also see zero reason to pay the rental car companies to use their service when you can buy your own in three minutes for only a pinch more than paying the rental company for one day of a toll pass.

Source: three trips to Florida in the past year.
jackal is offline  
Old Jan 6, 18, 7:29 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SFO/MCI
Programs: DL GM 0.4MM, Hyatt Explorist, HHonors Gold, SPG Plat, Marriott Plat, Avis PC, National EE, Hertz PC
Posts: 1,516
If you need an EZ pass, I recommending getting one for free through MA. No monthly fee. You also do not need to be a resident of MA. No fee for the toll tag. They will ship it to you too.

I use this for all my rentals.
jackal likes this.
kxc262 is offline  
Old Jan 7, 18, 7:36 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 880
Originally Posted by kxc262 View Post
If you need an EZ pass, I recommending getting one for free through MA. No monthly fee. You also do not need to be a resident of MA. No fee for the toll tag. They will ship it to you too.

I use this for all my rentals.

NY ones is pretty much the same
Closingracer is offline  
Old Jan 13, 18, 3:01 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 671
Originally Posted by Closingracer View Post
NY ones is pretty much the same
If you are talking about the NYS EZ-Pass on the go, it isn't exactly "free" per se.

You buy the thing (if you can find a retailer) for $30. Then upon registration/activation that amount is in your account. You then have to set up your account for automatic replenishment or manual. Either way EZP sends reminders when you have a "low balance" (IIRC minimum threshold is $25).

Thus you have to leave a certain amount of money always in the account.
BugsyPal is offline  
Old Jan 13, 18, 3:41 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 880
Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
If you are talking about the NYS EZ-Pass on the go, it isn't exactly "free" per se.

You buy the thing (if you can find a retailer) for $30. Then upon registration/activation that amount is in your account. You then have to set up your account for automatic replenishment or manual. Either way EZP sends reminders when you have a "low balance" (IIRC minimum threshold is $25).

Thus you have to leave a certain amount of money always in the account.

Yeah and if you're going to get an ez-pass you're going to put money on it. And if you do a manual replenishment you don't need to keep a minimum of 25. If you know what's left you can go as low as you want
Closingracer is offline  
Old Jan 13, 18, 2:06 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,341
I think NY is just as free as MA. The only concern I have is leaving BOS lot via I-90W. A person at the counter was vaguely scaring me that my own NY device will not "work out" going immediately under I-90 readers. She was saying "you can no longer just slap your device on windshield, you must first call NY EZpass and add the rental's plate". Why I got scared to even drive out via I-90W: if my device somehow doesn't pay for less-than-a-buck overhead segments, each mailed bill may end up with rental co. - who turns around and charges like +$15 administrative charge for each bill?!
SinglePapa2 is offline  
Old Jan 13, 18, 2:34 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: GAI
Programs: TK *G, all statuses that come with Ritz, Amex Plat, Citi Prestige cards
Posts: 349
A person at the counter was vaguely scaring me that my own NY device will not "work out" going immediately under I-90 readers.
I use a NYS Thruway EZPass on a regular basis with rental cars in MA and have a success rate of about 99%. If there was some recent policy change it was not in effect last Sunday, as I just logged in and can already see a MassPike toll from January 7th on my account. I did have a bill for a single I-90 segment sent to the rental company's contractor last summer and they tried to bill me $1.25 plus a $24 service charge, but they (think it was ATS/Platepass, so probably a Hertz rental) quickly refunded it when I e-mailed them a screenshot of my NYS EZPass account showing that I had been using my own transponder that day.
Closingracer likes this.
lonelycrowd is offline  
Old Jan 13, 18, 3:03 pm
  #15  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 46,687
Bottom line is that nobody needs to use the National --- or other company --- device. It is a convenience for those who either can't be bothered or are billing the cost back to someone who can't be bothered.
jackal likes this.
Often1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: