Report: #1490330

Complaint Review: Illinois Tollway scam - Illinois

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Thoughtful — Mt pleasant Michigan United States
  • Illinois Tollway scam Illinois United States

Illinois Tollway scam $80 fine for $6 toll charged, notice sent after 9 months of the first violation and refused my contest of their charges. Illenois

*Author of original report: Are you paid by the Toll agency?

*Consumer Suggestion: Excuses

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Sadly, I already knew before I contested Illinois Toll Way  ( ITW) that I would not win but still I did it to experience it myself before I wrote a complaint here. I have read numerous complaints about ITW and  I have not found a single person winning.

I  received one statement from ITW in October  2019 with 4 violations and $80  for $6 unpaid toll which occurred between January and  September 2019. Two violations occuring in September on the same date within 20 mins. 

First of all, may be  Illinois residents understand the Tollway system (Open road) very well and can avoid violations. I have traveled through other states but this was the first time I faced Open toll road and never really understood it. I am a Michigan resident and the only reason I go to Illinois is for Chicago airport.

Last year, I traveled to Chicago 3 times and randomly my GPS unit took me through Open Toll road. I had to catch a plane in January and I never even paid attention when I was on Open Tollway road and when my mind was registering the name of the road I was on, I thought at the end of the road, there will be a toll booth to pay the toll.

But it did not happen and I could not pay the toll. So, end of the open toll road does not have a toll booth to pay toll. I expected that they would send me a notice for toll violation within a month just like they sent notices to my friend's house from Ohio turn pike and to me from NY in the past. We just had to pay the unpaid toll.

I never got a notice and forgot about Open toll road completely as on my way back, I went through regular pay as you go toll booths . Then in April, I faced open toll road again and this time I thought that it could be something serious ( Open toll road).

I went online to research what it was all about and I landed on the page to pay unpaid toll if violation happened within 7 days. God knows I spent 30 mins online trying to pay the unpaid toll but I could not because I had to enter an entrance and exit point and I had no idea where that was since I am not familiar with Illinois or Chicago.

My eyes are just focused on driving safe on wintery roads.  Should they not have a way to pull up the unpaid tolls just by using license plates? But unfortunately, they never kept the easy way so that they can scam out of state drivers. In September, within 20 mins, I had two violations  on the same day while driving to the airport.

Surprisingly, there was no violation on the way back. So, in conclusion, why should I try to violate the rules only on the way to the airport and not coming back? That shows, how unfamiliar I am with the Toll system and toll roads. I just follow the GPS routing to be safe.

The first violation was in January and the last one in September and within that 8-9 month period, I was never contacted nor I ever received any violation notice to tell me that I was doing something wrong. After I called the tollway, when I requested the fine to be waived, it was suggested that if I had an IPASS membership, I would qualify for that.

Interesting, right? So, there is a loyalty thing and the system is not equal to all drivers. No, I did not have the IPASS membership because I don't have to travel to Chicago unless I have to pick up someone or someone is dropping me off there at O'hair. So, I decided to contest even after my research on the web suggested that nobody ever won contesting Illinois Tollway.

Everyone, always had to pay the tolls and hefty fines. Today, I have just received the decision and nothing changed. They will get your money bluntly telling you on the face that you can do nothing about how they communicate, how they charge and you have no choice really.

Why can it not be similar to Ohio Turn Pike, NY or NJ tollway? They send notice for the violation right away and there is no fine if paid on time.

My point here is that:

1. Why not sending the notice right after first violation? Why wait 9 months? Would I not learn from my first mistake or be aware if I was sent the violation notice right away?

2. Why do you charge fines without giving the option to pay it on time first? $20 fine / violation for $1.5 toll .  Is that fair? Why was I not given a chance to pay the toll without fine like other Toll system.?Why is ITW unique , unfair and so hungry for unfair profit?

3. How many people can access toll violation online and why do they not have an option for pulling the violation using license plate ? If driver thinks that he has unpaid tolls, he can try to pay within 7 days but how would we know how much if he does not know entry and exit points?

If ITW already knows the violation, they also know the entry and exit points. That makes it pretty easy to post it on their site. Why can your customer service not pull up violation just using license plate if we ever suspect that we had a violation and call the customer center?

Obviously, we can not provide a violation number without receiving a violation notice and you do not send violation notice before 9 months, when we have already piled up hefty fines without having a little clue. People repeatedly complained about this toll system but why  have they never corrected this old flaw or problem? Just because they want people's hard earned money in unfair way?

4. Why on my right mind, I would incur $40 fine for $3 toll within 20 mins if they have the toll system fairly clear and understandable?

I put some of my reasons for contests from above but there was no response to those questions. Just a notice saying that they reviewed my contest and evidences and I still have to pay the same fine and it would be 3 times more fine if not paid in a month. Obviously, their hearing is not done in a court because I wrote a formal contest just like we write to judges for traffic violations but obviously, ITW decisions are done by a hearing officer who never changes any decision in my opinion.

How can ITW run for so long with so many complaints without paying attention? It just feels like a cut throat system at this point to me and I believe that many other drivers feel the same way.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/13/2020 11:23 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/illinois-tollway-scam/illenois-fine-toll-charged-1490330. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#2 Author of original report

Are you paid by the Toll agency?

AUTHOR: Md - (United States)

POSTED: Sunday, January 19, 2020

You could not make such a comment unless you work for the toll system. Very insensitive. You could not write such a reply if you read some of  the complaints all so similar to mine in last 5-10 years.  You just had to comment trying to discredit something that has so much truth sharing similar sufferings by other drivers.

Why would someone decide not to pay toll when they already paid all other tolls on the same road on the same day and why would they choose to not pay $1.5 just to pay $20 in fines?  You are defending the toll agency saying that it was right for them to send a toll violation notice after 9 months?

Is that the same in California too ? And no, there is no option where anyone can pull up the due on the toll site using the license plate number.  If they know my unpaid toll, then why is it hard for them to post it there so that we can pay easier. But lets not forget, how many people actually know about toll sites or use internet to check toll online?

If I was making excuses, why would I even try to find the toll site or make phone calls or even waste my time and money on contesting knowing that the decision was never going to be changed? You suggested to pay the highest when one can not remember entry or exit points.  Why should someone pay more than they are supposed to?

Why would you compare with California and not like NY or NJ? You can not compare with a better or ideal system but suggest that I should feel graceful about something wrong ? It is like you are saying that I am lucky to have $20 in fine for each violation and not $60 or more? Drivers are not beggars here. We just want what is right.

What you are suggesting is a cut throat approach and you are the judge, jury and executioner . You decided your way and the drivers have to accept it.  NO Questions asked, right? And that is what I am trying to point out is that you are making us  accept the mob-style approach and you do not care what others say, what is right or wrong.  You do not want anyone contesting your wrong doing.

Yes, it could have been simple if toll system did what was right and if it was fair, efficient and just. I Please read carefully before you comment and not try blaming the drivers who are trying best to point out your (toll way) mistakes and wrong doing. After all drivers are complaining about the same problem for many years now! I just wrote in details.


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#1 Consumer Suggestion


AUTHOR: Flint - (Afghanistan)

POSTED: Saturday, January 18, 2020

Sounds like the story is much simpler.  You thought you didn't need to pay the tolls because you had an out-of-state plate and they didn't send you a letter right away.  If you look on the website, there is an option to pay by license plate. 

If you don't remember what entry and exit points you took, you can pay the maximum amount due.  If you bothered calling them, I'm sure they would have told you the same thing.  And I'm not really sure why you think they need to waive the toll violations. 

You admit that you were driving on a toll road, and that you didn't pay the tolls.  On what basis are you contesting the fines?

Also, $20 for a toll violation is very reasonable.  It's more like $60 in California.

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