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Carol Penny
 
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E-toll accounts automatically inflated by two hundred percent

07 January 2014, 13:24

Here's something that hasn't seemed to have got any publicity? This is daylight robbery and can't be legal.

I calculated that my use of the highway in December (from Gordon Road to Rivonia Road x 10 days) without an e-tag cost exactly R229.20.

There are two accounts available, one e-tag acount and another called a VPC (Violation Processing Centre) account. This already infuriates me - by implication, if you don't have an e-tag, you are violating ... what exactly?

I have received no invoices and decided to phone the call centre (what a performance, a recording that goes on forever) for my account number (yes, everyone has one, whether you know it or not!) and went to check my account online on the VPC website. The total owing was over R700.00. I looked at each individual transaction (they are recorded, one under the other, every time you go under a gantry) and found that, for example, a stretch from one gantry to another costing R5.51 (without an e-tag) was billed at R16!

So I phoned the call centre again. After many evasive answers, I finally got the correct one. If you haven't paid in seven days, and you are handed over to the VPC, your outstanding balance is automatically multiplied by two hundred percent. Yes, you read right. The correct balance (R229.20) is referred to as the "discounted balance". You are granted the favour of the "discounted balance" if you pay it by the end of the month. If you don't ....

This cannot be legal in any universe. 

  

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