ED Magedson – Founder
HCTRA2707 W Sam Houston Pkwy N. Houston, Texas USA
HCTRA Houston County Toll Road Association Experts at Extortion Houston Texas
In July 2013, I purchased a new vehicle. I currently have an EZ Tag account, so I signed on to put in the new vehicle and the temporary license number. It took five tries for their site to accept the temporary license number (kept saying it was not a State of TX temporary number) but on the fifth try, the site accepted the number. When the EZ tag came in, I signed back on to activate it. The temporary number was gone, so I put the license number back in and the tag number to activate it. Once again, it kept erroring out and after about an hour of trying to get the license number and tag number in to activate, the site accepted it. I put the tag on my windshield and all was good.
I used the toll road to go to work the next day and when I got to the gates, it wouldn't open. I called the customer service line and asked to make sure it was activated, and I was told it was probably where I'd put it on my windshield. So when I get home, I moved the tag. Still would not work on the gates, so I assumed it was where I had my sticker and used the EZ tag lanes without the gates. When I got my permanent license plates in, I went in to their website and updated for the new plates.
About two weeks ago I received a notice of unpaid tolls and charges amounting to $957.50 for the time I used the EZ tag with my temporary plates. If I did not pay immediately, they were taking me to court, additional fines and penalties, no registering my vehicle, etc. until it was paid.
I called Customer Service and asked what it was about, and I was told I'd never activated the tag with the temporary license plate. As I was explaining that I had activated it (which I and my roommate specifically remember because it was so frustrating and I'd asked him to help to see if he could do it), the woman kept talking over me and saying "you didn't activate your tag." I tried to tell her again that I had activated it and she talked over me and said "Let me see what I can do." She came back and said they would settle for $167, which is the $67 in toll fees and $100 penalty, for my not activating my tag. I tried once more to say that I'd activated it, and she talked over me saying that I had to pay it then or the next day or I would owe the entire $957.50.
At this point I realized that I was screwed - because their system has issues, they will tell you whatever they want and then threaten you until you either pay or keep accruing fees based on their own issues. So I wound up being a victim of $100 of extortion for supposedly failing to do something that I had done. I had no way to prove that I'd activated their tag - I assumed their website telling me that it was activated was enough.
Anyone dealing with HCTRA, make screen prints of everything, keep detailed records, and pray to God you don't fall victime to Harris County's extortion techniques. They use athe Houston law firm of Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson to threaten and extract as much money as they can from you. If you have ANY dealings with HCTRA, make certain you have support and CYA before they sue YA. Crooked like this runs deep into the organization from the top down, so don't assume you have someone who wants to help. They want money and they don't care how they get it.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/08/2014 10:09 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/HCTRA/Houston-Texas-77043/HCTRA-Houston-County-Toll-Road-Association-Experts-at-Extortion-Houston-Texas-1137209. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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