It’s pretty convenient to not have to pay tolls when you’re renting a car. Bruce tells Consumerist that he rented a car from Hertz that was enrolled in PlatePass, a service that scans a rental car’s license plate and automatically charges the toll to the renter’s credit card–along with a $10 fee. This fee is probably more convenient and less infuriating if you rack up more than 75 cents in tolls during the course of your rental.
Bruce sent this letter off to the CEO of Hertz, but hasn’t received a response yet.
Mark P. Frissora
Chairman and CEO
225 Brae Blvd
Park Ridge, NJ 07656-0713
Dear Mr. Frissora:
For a $10 charge, you’ve alienated a 20-year Gold Card member. I rented out of Dulles Airport on July 28th, pulled up to a toll booth to pay my $0.75 cent toll, and got waved through by the attendant who told me I had an “EZ pass”. Only after that did I realize that I would be charged $10 for the “convenience” of not having to pay my toll in cash.
Sure enough, I now have a charge for $10.75 on my charge card from “WWWPlatePass.com.”
I’m sure there’s a clause in the fine print of the rental contract so the entire transaction is legal, and I probably should have read the entire contract before jumping in the car and pulling out of the airport with my family in tow. Rest assured, I’m not going to bother fighting the charge – I can afford the $10 and it’s not worth my time. I will, however, harbor bad feelings towards Hertz for a long time.
The rest of us can use Bruce’s story as a cautionary tale: a toll attendant’s assurance that you have EZ-Pass may not be what it seems on the surface. A $10 surcharge on a week’s worth of tolls may be a bargain if you’re pressed for time and cash while renting a car. Or not. Either way, be sure you know what you’re getting into.