E-ZPass Woes

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Menhir, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. Menhir

    Menhir Been here awhile

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    I wonder if anyone else has had any trouble with their E-Pass transponder...or a solution.

    I've been using an auto E-Zpass for years for my cars and motorcycle for years...Never a problem.
    Two years ago I ordered a dedicated EZ-Pass for the motorcycle alone. It worked fine up until about halfway through a return trip back home a few weeks ago.

    All at once and nothing first, it just. stopped. working.

    So there I was at a E-Z Pass toll gate with a bunch of impatient drivers lined up behind me and a lowered gate in front of me. I had to grab a ticket instead to open the gate. Luckily I wasn't in an E-ZPass Only lane. The pass didn't work for the next two gates, either. One was an E-ZPass only lane...I had to ride around the barrier.

    For the record, my account is fine, the transponder is in a dedicated E-ZPAss holder right behind the windscreen where it's been since I got it, and where it's worked fine up until now.

    So, the fun-with-bureaucracy call... A summary:

    Me: Told my story. Maybe internal battery might have had a early failure? I've heard of this happening.

    EZ Drone: I can't be the battery, the transponder is only two years old. The battery is good for ten years.

    Me: We'll it stopped working, what do you think is happening, then?

    EZ Drone: There can't be anything wrong with your transponder. It's not old enough to not be working.

    Me: :devildogWell, what do you suggest I do?

    EZ Drone: Well, you probably have it mounted incorrectly (I've since found that this is the E-ZPass default answer for everything.) Anyway, the system read your licence plate and the proper tolls were deducted. (I checked. It did and they were. Fine, but that doesn't solve the inconvenience of me being a roadblock at the toll gate.)

    Me: It's in a dedicated E-ZPass holder mounted right behind the windscreen as instructed, and has been there, working just fine all this time up until now...When it ain't. Anyway, If the transponder was working, you wouldn't have had to bill me by my license plate photo.

    EZ Drone: You can ship the transponder to us and have it checked out.

    So that's whut I done. At my expense.

    A week later the transponder comes back with a note:
    "There's nothing wrong with your transponder"...
    and a letter explaining the proper place to mount it properly. :hair

    So that's where I am.

    Any suggestions?
    #1
  2. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Same problem the other day. I guess I'll have to mount it differently.
    #2
  3. CPORet

    CPORet I Am Kirok!

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    I've had intermittent problems with my E-ZPass on both the bike and car. Some gates it works fine, others it won't. For a while, I would stick it on the top of my helmet with velcro just as I approached the gate so it would read.
    That did work, but it was a PITA taking it out/putting it in the tank bag. Stuck in on the inside of the windscreen at the top and it seems to work 90% of the time there. I know some gates you have to crawl through at 1 mph
    so it will read the transponder, and others you can rip through at 35 mph and it reads. I think the real problem is the sensor systems at the toll gates.
    #3
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  4. BUZZARD II

    BUZZARD II Old Geezer

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    I used a motorcycle ez pass for years mounted on a flat section of my dash. It worked great, until it didn't. I then would pull it off the dash and hold it in my hand aimed straight up at the sensor, that worked. A toll booth attendant told me to do this.

    I too think the sensors are going bad. A buddy has one mounted on the inside of his front trunk on his Can Am. It's worked so far.
    #4
  5. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    I've never had good luck with EZPass transponders on the bike. Usually keep them in the map pocket of my tank bag, and they rarely work. I don't remember ever being at an EZPass toll with a gate; if I encountered one I would just hold up the transponder and wave it around till the gate opens. But since none of the ones I ever seem to use are gated, I just roll through and let them read my plate. If they can't, or if the toll lane doesn't even notice me (which can apparently happen depending on your position in the lane), oh well, it's not my fault their tech doesn't work.

    --mark
    #5
  6. Menhir

    Menhir Been here awhile

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    I think I'm going to hang my E-ZPass on a fishing road and swing it in front of me as I approach the toll booth. :D

    One of the problems I had was that my transponder was tucked into an E-ZPass holder mounted to the windscreen. It would have taken me longer to remove the transponder and wave it around than to just squeeze around the gate. (I was in Ohio when it stopped working, rolling into Pennsylvania while it continued to stop working...All the booths I passed through had lift gates except the last one in PA, which was one of the no-stop E-ZPass speed lanes.) Still, I wonder why it's worked fine for the last two years in the same holder, up until now.

    Anyway, the letter I received when they returned my transponder had a phone number on it to call if I had any questions...

    I do. :-)

    If they give my any non-bureaucratic answers, I'l pass that info along.

    Otherwise, I'll ditch the EZ-Pass holder and do what many others are doing, just keep the transponder handy to wave and smile at the toll booth.
    #6
  7. Menhir

    Menhir Been here awhile

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    OK, I called them again and actually got a non-bureaucratic nice person to help me out this time.

    The first time I called after the event, I was told that the tolls were correct (they were) and the the system must have read my licence plate.
    This time, the nice lady actually did some checking and told my that my transponder was read properly at each booth.

    So, the transponder is working. Got it. But the gates weren't lifting to let me through.

    The only thing she could come up with is that, very coincidentally, the two consecutive gates themselves weren't working properly.
    I told they were working for the other vehicles that passed through before and after me but even then, it still seems to be the best reasonable explanation. It looks like I just may have been (un) lucky.
    I asked if, to keep from annoying the muggles impatiently waiting in their cars behind me, if there is going to be an issue if I end up repeatedly riding around the gates. She said no...as long as I was not trying to avoid paying the tolls and the transponder was working.

    If the first agent I dealt with had bothered to check and see if the transponder was read instead of telling me I was being billed based on license plate photos, assuming instead of actually checking, I would have been saved some aggravation and some shipping charges. Grrrrr.

    Even then, while searching on the interwebs about my issue, I've found other similar complaints. The truth may still be out there.


    I guess I'll find out on my next trip down the turnpike. It's wait and see time. :hmmmmm
    #7
  8. boatpuller

    boatpuller Long timer

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    Wonder if there is a weight/magnetic sensor in the pavement at the gate, and your motorcycle was too light/non magnetic to trigger it.
    #8
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  9. Menhir

    Menhir Been here awhile

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    I'm fairly sure there isn't anything to trigger the gate but the transponder. Even if so, that wouldn't explain why the pass worked effectively in the past.

    The mystery continues....
    #9
  10. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    How much would it cost to just buy a new transponder?
    #10
  11. Menhir

    Menhir Been here awhile

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    I think it's around $35 - $40.00

    They'll replace it for free if they determine the current one is not working.
    Since they determined mine was working, I'd still like to figure out why it isn't before I consider purchasing a replacement. :-l
    #11
  12. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    Maybe an "accident" is in order? Maybe let a five year old play with it?
    #12
  13. DocPFFP

    DocPFFP Adventurer

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    I got nailed bad a couple years ago at the Dulles Greenway - the spot where the toll road goes from expensive to usury.

    Approached the gate, no read. Waving the pass around. No read. Dude comes over and tells me the sensors are down, so I have to pay him cash. I told him to f' right off and hand read the EZPass since the problem is his sensors. He tells me no.

    At that point, I tell him he's got 2 options - open the gate and let the photo toll hit it, or I will have to shut off the bike and unsuit to get my wallet outta my pants pocket under my gear. He comes over, takes a cell phone photo of my bike and plate, opens the gate, and waves me through. All's well, yeah?

    Nope.

    Almost 2 months later I get a nasty letter from the Greenway people, cc'ed to the VA State Police, telling me I'm a toll evader and that they're charging me $50 for the honor on top of the $6 toll and that if I don't pay, they'll lock me up. I call the dudes, they give me some line of crap about transponder placement EVEN AFTER ADMITTING THE SENSOR WENT BAD. I call the VA State Trooper and tell him they're using him as a threat - he tells me to blow them off and that the sensors are crap on the Greenway. I call them back, pay them the $6 by credit card for the toll (no fines), and now I simply refuse to use their road.

    Yes, it's the sensors.
    #13