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The cashless toll road trap: FL and others

The cashless toll road trap: FL and others

Old Mar 10, 16, 3:38 pm
  #76  
 
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Originally Posted by IAHtraveler View Post
Annoying to say the least. One way I've found to reduce the burden: grab a toll transponder. I have one for EZPass that never leaves my work bag.
Seconding this, but if you go this route keep records!

I had a long trip (22 days) which started and ended in Orlando. I knew I'd have at least a couple of days of running around to do near the end of the trip, and sod carrying rolls of quarters to pay all the tolls!

Checked out the cost of National's PlatePass ... $19.75 max per rental period plus tolls. Made more sense to me to spend the extra $0.25 and just buy a SunPass - the one that suctioncups to the inside of the windshield.

Left the airport, went to the nearest Walgreens and picked one up. Created and funded my account and attached the pass while sitting in the parking lot.

All went well.

Except for the ~$90 charge that appeared on my bill two months later from PlatePass.

The reason?
Per the PlatePass user agreement :
Originally Posted by Cunning Legal Minds
Participation is automatic.

Opt-in decision is made when the driver elects to use EXPRESS, SunPass ONLY, E-PASS ONLY or LeeWay ONLY lanes.
Lol those sneaky sons of b--!

A quick email to Amex detailing the purchasing and funding of the Sunpass device as well as the list of all the tolls paid by the device (including the one time I used a SunPass ONLY lane) whisked the charge away.

I have to wonder just how many other tourists are unknowingly shafted by this system...
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Old Mar 14, 16, 8:12 pm
  #77  
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Hmmmm...I sense a business opportunity here. Snap-on fake license plates.
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Old Nov 3, 16, 11:52 pm
  #78  
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I was shopping for a rental car in Florida this week and ran across this article explaining the problem: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/busi...e41835621.html and this page explaining the charges for different rental companies: https://www.sunpass.com/rentalcar

Thrifty, Dollar, and Fox are the worst offenders: $15 fee per toll.

My urgent recommendation is NEVER BUY AN OPAQUE CAR RENTAL for Florida! No Priceline bidding, no Hotwire Hot Rate. Know the company before you buy.
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Old Mar 6, 17, 7:40 pm
  #79  
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The cashless Golden Gate Bridge is another problem zone.

SF sues Hertz for "gouging" renters

The charges include a $4.95-a-day “convenience fee,” up to a maximum of $24.75, plus all incurred tolls, assessed at non-discounted rates. A single bridge crossing by Hertz customers triggers the convenience fee charges for the duration of the rental whether or not another toll is incurred.

Golden Gate Bridge officials are aware that its lack of toll collectors can confuse rental car drivers. The bridge district has pages on its websites explaining how car rental toll programs work and how drivers can pay tolls in advance or up to two days after crossing the span online, by phone or at cash payment locations. Paying that way avoids Plate Pass charges. But it’s up to drivers to discover that on their own.
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Old Mar 6, 17, 9:22 pm
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
The cashless Golden Gate Bridge is another problem zone.
I avoided that some time back by reading this thread from Post #9 on!
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Old Mar 8, 17, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
... this page explaining the charges for different rental companies: https://www.sunpass.com/rentalcar
Thanks for providing this link. I'm renting a car in FL in a few weeks, so this really helps ^
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Old Mar 21, 17, 7:55 pm
  #82  
 
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I hear of people bringing their EZ-Passes with them for use in rental cars. I assume in non-EZ-Pass compatible areas (Florida, California), this isn't an option to avoid the rental agency toll surcharges?
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Old Mar 22, 17, 6:05 am
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In Florida you can buy a Sunpass (sticker type) for $5 and pays for itself with one avoided fee. If you come often buy a $20 removable transponder and you can use anytime you come.

You can even buy them online in advance!
https://www.sunpass.com/purchase

Also - be sure to register your rental car tag number in the Sun Pass website before you drive out the lot, to avoid fees just in case the transponder does not work as expected (very unlikely)

Last edited by gabrielbf; Mar 22, 17 at 12:03 pm Reason: Updated info
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Old Mar 22, 17, 6:21 am
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Originally Posted by gabrielbf View Post
In Florida you can buy a Sunpass (sticker type) for $5 and pays for itself with one avoided fee. If you come often buy a $25 removable transponder and you can use anytime you come.
Likewise, it looks like you can pick up a FasTrak at Costco, Safeway, or Walgreens, so that should be doable in California.
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Old Apr 3, 17, 12:02 am
  #85  
 
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Originally Posted by IAHtraveler View Post
Annoying to say the least. One way I've found to reduce the burden: grab a toll transponder. I have one for EZPass that never leaves my work bag. When in FL last month, I also picked up one of their transponders at Publix for use in my trips there. Now if only everyone took EZPass! Or they had an app for that...
When I lived in FL in the early 2000s, the govt was super cool to people who were travelers, foreigners, newbees, etc. to the state. They would give you one or two passes (free) if you didn't have correct change or a transponder. If they did bill you later, there weren't any crazy fees attached.

As with everything, people abuse the system (along with lobbyists in Tallahassee) forced the changes.

Anyone in FL know if Sams Club or Costco sells them locally? When I lived there they had white boxes that showed you what the toll was (in $ amount), what was left as a balance on your account and the last 10 toll charges.
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Old Apr 3, 17, 12:11 am
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The Avis small print on rental contract states the following (BTW - even if you only have ONE single cashless transaction, you're opting into a $3.95/day convenience fee for each day of your rental). How would a person even override the installed transponder with the one the renter owns?

If you do not pay cash for tolls, you automatically opt into our e-Toll service, pursuant to which you agree to pay us or our toll program administrator, with whom we will share your credit card/debit information, for all tolls incurred during your rental and all related fees, charges and penalties. Under the e-Toll program, once you pass through an electronic toll, you will pay a convenience fee of $3.95 for each day of the entire rental period, including any days on which e-Toll is not used, up to a maximum of $19.75 per rental month, plus incurred tolls at the maximum prevailing rates posted by the toll authority. You can avoid the convenience fee and any other charges by paying the toll in cash, using your electronic toll device, or avoiding any cashless toll road or passage. Please be aware of roads that maybe "cashless tolls" and drivers on these roads are not able to pay cash once they have entered these roads. You automatically opt into our e-Toll service program and will be charged $3.95 for each day of the entire rental period, including any days on which e-Toll is not used, up to a maximum of $19.75 per rental month, plus incurred tolls at the maximum prevailing rates posted by the toll authority. The charges may take 4-8 weeks after the rental to be billed to your credit card/debit card on file.
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Old Apr 24, 17, 11:17 am
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[QUOTE=supermoto1;28121581]The Avis small print on rental contract states the following (BTW - even if you only have ONE single cashless transaction, you're opting into a $3.95/day convenience fee for each day of your rental). How would a person even override the installed transponder with the one the renter owns?

I detailed my experience at the top of this page.

I've had some cars in which the toll transponder is attached to the windshield in a (lockable) (closeable) metal box, but the majority of the cars I get are registered in the licence-plate based systems. Secondary charges generally don't appear as it seems that the plate lookup and charge system is only triggered if there's no toll payment via transponder. I do keep my records and on two occasions have used them to have the extraneous "convenience fee" removed.

I still have that Sunpass and have since added a portable EZ-Pass transponder to my go-bag. Most of my driving travel is along the east coast - Sunpass works from Florida through the Carolinas, EZPass for all points north.
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Old Apr 28, 17, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by everDraed View Post
I've had some cars in which the toll transponder is attached to the windshield in a (lockable) (closeable) metal box, but the majority of the cars I get are registered in the licence-plate based systems. Secondary charges generally don't appear as it seems that the plate lookup and charge system is only triggered if there's no toll payment via transponder. I do keep my records and on two occasions have used them to have the extraneous "convenience fee" removed.

I still have that Sunpass and have since added a portable EZ-Pass transponder to my go-bag. Most of my driving travel is along the east coast - Sunpass works from Florida through the Carolinas, EZPass for all points north.
Same experience here. I was in Florida a couple of months ago and both cars (with Hertz) I had while I was there did not have any transponders installed, despite having Florida plates. I bought one of the sticker tags for $5 and it actually worked fine just firmly holding it up to the windshield through the toll gantries--my experience, at least, is that you don't need to peel it off and permanently stick it, though most people do recommend getting the portable transponder (for $20) if you plan to use it in rental cars.

Cars in the Northeast usually have the lead-lined flip-open cases that you can shut if you want to use your own transponder (or pay cash).
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Old Apr 29, 17, 1:43 am
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Plus, when you register your sunpass account online, you should register your rentals license plate: if the transponder fails, then your sunpass account will get charged. The charges won't go to the rental company unless the transponder does not work AND the license plate cannot be matched to a valid sunpass account.


Originally Posted by jackal View Post
my experience, at least, is that you don't need to peel it off and permanently stick it, though most people do recommend getting the portable transponder (for $20) if you plan to use it in rental cars.
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Old Apr 29, 17, 7:19 pm
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Originally Posted by gabrielbf View Post
Plus, when you register your sunpass account online, you should register your rentals license plate: if the transponder fails, then your sunpass account will get charged. The charges won't go to the rental company unless the transponder does not work AND the license plate cannot be matched to a valid sunpass account.
Just make sure that you take it off again when you are done with rental. I rented a car and have an EZ pass, but I could not add it to my EZ Pass account because someone else had added it previously and didn't remove it.
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