407 ETR – Regulating Plate Denial‏


Justice
The 407 Act has a built in deterrence from “toll evasion”.  It’s called “Plate Denial”.  In a nutshell, if you refuse to pay your bill, for lawful tolls, you will not be able to renew your sticker to drive your vehicle until you pay your bill.  Many would view this as a reasonable provision to act as a deterrence from “toll evasion”.  It’s been said by many, if you use the highway, you need to pay your bill.  I think we can all agree that’s reasonable.   
 
Unfortunately, because this company was allowed to set up as an Island on it’s own, with no oversight by the government, it is a provision this company has abused. The amount of interest and fees this company charges and the suspect circumstances surrounding how they charge the interest and fees is what makes a reasonable provision such as “Plate Denial” an unreasonable provision.  This company no longer deserves to exercise this provision until they fix their mistakes.  
 
Here’s the gotcha.  The toll highway is an open access highway.  There are no cash registers so the customer is reliant on the company to send them a bill.  That can be electronically or via snail mail, but it is the company’s responsibility to correctly bill for tolls someone makes.  So what happens when the company makes a mistake?  Should the customer be penalized and painted as a toll evader?  That would not be reasonable, however, that is exactly what is happening.
 
According to Kevin Sack, 407ETR’s VP of Communications, the company is in the business of collecting tolls, not interest and fees. So why is this company notorious for charging outrageous interest and fees?  Most people I have spoken to regarding their 407 bills, that are in “Plate Denial”, have said that if they knew what the actual tolls were, they would pay them.  They feel like they are being penalized for mistakes made by the company.
Many have received a bill that has no details on what makes up the charges the company claims you owe for.  I am sure you have heard the horror stories people have that received a bill out of the blue for thousands of dollars, with no details whatsoever about how the bill came to be thousands of dollars.  Trying to wrestle information out of the company on what the actual tolls are is no easy task.  
 
In my case, it took this company 5 years to give me an account, they were billing to someone else, for a plate that I already had an account on.  The company claimed I should have owned this account, they were sending to someone else, because I owned the plate.  Then, it took this company another 6 years before they gave me all the invoices that would show how they came up with the amount of money they were claiming I owed them.  Yes you are reading this correctly.  That’s 11 years!  I am in Plate Denial for an amount of money I don’t owe.  Under those circumstances, is it fair to be charged interest and fees? Absolutely not.  It is the company’s fault 100% as to why they did not bill their customer correctly.  Some customers were charged thousands and thousands of dollars in interest and fees on maybe $30 worth of tolls.

Was this the vision of “privatizing” the highway?   NO!  The group “Stop the 407ETR’s Abuse of Power”says that the Province should use provisions in the Concession Agreement to reset the agreement and properly regulate how Plate Denial is applied.  Members from the group are involved in a Class Action they hope will be moving forward soon.  Will there be light at the end of the tunnel for these issues?  Time will tell.
There are 2 petitions circulating.  One is to regulate the Plate Denial process http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/change-the-407act and the other calls on the Province to stop collecting on behalf of a private corporation http://www.change.org/petitions/kathleen-wynne-stop-enforcing-collections-for-the-privately-run-highway-407-etr-by-preventing-vehicle-plate-renewal between the 2 of these petitions lies some common ground the Province has to pay attention to.

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47 Responses to “407 ETR – Regulating Plate Denial‏”

  1. Justme says:

    What about the 15 year agreement? Is there anything that’s trying to be done about the lack of compliance with the 2 year statute of limitations?

    Where in the world and how in the world is it legal to enter someone into a 15 year agreement that they have no idea they are entering?

    Where is the law that gives the 407 rights overriding the statute of limitations act???

    • Tammy Flores says:

      I agree that there are some curious circumstances surrounding their claim that they have been given “permission” to ignore the Limitations Act. We have lawyers researching that issue currently. We will let you know when we know how we are dealing with that. In the meantime, you may find this article I wrote interesting http://407etr-abuseofpower.com/index.php/407etrs-information-regarding-your-bill-is-it-legal-travelling-the-407etr-enters-you-into-a-15-year-agreement/

      • Justme says:

        Hi Tammy, just wanted to say “thank you” for taking on this role, you are representing many, many people against a large monster. Kudos to you.

        I don’t think we have a problem with the 407 if they acted ethically and within the law, especially the Bankrupty and Statute of Limitations Acts. They are in force for a reason.

        Even though 26.82% interest is very high, it’s not criminal, only over 60% interest is criminal. Unless it’s combined with denying the 2 year statute of limitations… lets think about that. 26.82% interest compounding for 15 years, means a person’s debt DOUBLES every 2.7 years. After 15 years, that debt is 35 TIMES the original amount – a $1k debt would be $35k in 15 year – WHO gets this type of return and WHERE on earth?? THAT is what is criminal.

        The 2 year Limitation is meant to curb that criminality. There are two possible areas of criminality here: over 60% interest, or over 2 years of counting against. They pass on the interest, ridiculous as it is, but fail on the 2 years. If they limited it to 2 years per law, that $35k debt would be only $1.6k. The 2 year limitation is a protection for consumers from bankruptcy due to this type of criminality. Even at “legal” 60%, at 2 years the debt would be capped at $2560.

        So why do people I’ve seen on other forums have no problem with ignoring the 2 year limit? I agree the 407 can charge whatever it wants within the law for interest, and that those that don’t pay their bill must pay the interest. But combine that with criminal bill suppression, criminal 15 year time limits, legally unenforceable 15 year contracts of which anyone with any basic contract law backround will tell you is illegal?

        In order for a legal contract to occur, both parties must not only be legally capable of entering said contract (ie. not a minor, must have the mental capacity, language understanding, etc), but the parties must know the conditions and be aware of them before they agree either written or verbal. There is no way to know the terms and conditions of this “contract” until you receive the invoice, IF you receive the invoice, which with the known bill suppression, often doesn’t happen until years down the road with interest multiplying over a criminal period of time unbeknownst to the person affected.

        Then they have the government acting as a private debt collector as well?? How does the government get away with being in cahoots like this? What do they have to lose by not cowtowing to the 407? Are they surreptitiously going along, not because they are legally bound (Are they? How so?), but because they stand to lose tax revenues on the huge illegal sums??

        There are SO MANY things wrong with this, my mind is boggled. I assume the legal team is tackling all angles. Is the issue of an illegal contract entry being investigated as well? What about criminal bill suppression when they just “happen” to find your address after 12 years interest has mounted, but it wasn’t too important to find before?

        Thanks again Tammy – keep at it.

        • Tammy Flores says:

          Thanks so much for your words of encouragement… it’s a long road. I don’t have a problem with Plate Denial. The problem is with the many things you have listed that makes it unfair. The playing field needs some leveling for consumers. The legal team is already on the Bankruptcy issues. It’s before Supreme Court now. They are also investigating the Limitations Act. Weather that takes them to the whole contract issue is unknown at this time. What I can tell you that whatever the next step is, it will be the best step for the issue as a whole. Sorry I can’t provide more information at this point in time, but stay tuned. I am committed to keep writing until the issue is resolved once and for all.

  2. Jill says:

    if I buy a new car, will my bill with my other car prevent plates from being issued to the new car?

    • Tammy Flores says:

      Not only can you, not register a plate for your vehicle… but you can’t register a plate for a trailer, a motorcycle… any vehicle that requires a registered plate.

  3. Justin says:

    I am in plate denial for a very large sum. I am told 407 can only chase me for 15 years
    After this time has passed will I be able to get out of plate denial? It’s been 13 years already

  4. JM says:

    Hi Tammy,
    Thank you for your efforts in stopping the abusive behavior we are taking from the ON Gov, and the 407 ETR.

    I have noticed that the law suit says “discharged” Bankruptcy, and Consumer Proposal… How is that right? I am in a consumer proposal, can’t afford to pay to get my plates released, and wont be done my proposal for years to come. Is the solution really for me to wait until it is done to get my plates back?

    If I can’t drive, I lose my job, if I lose my job, I can’t pay my CP agreement… That’s not right.

    Please enlighten me on this as I am concerned that even if the CA lawsuit is won, it will still not address the base issue of plate denial.

    Am I missing something here?

    Please let me know.
    Thank you again for representing the population in the fight against corrupt Gov and businesses like the 407.

    Best Regards

    • Tammy Flores says:

      JM,

      There was a month between the Appeal Court’s decision and the Stay that was granted to the 407 while they appeal to Supreme Court that people should have been able to get their plates back if they were a discharged bankrupt. Unfortunately, the Province refused to release people unless the 407 gave them permission to do so and the 407 simply refused to saying that they preferred to wait and see if they would be granted a Stay while they appealed to Supreme Court. Unfortunately for us, the court granted them the Stay.

      It is unfortunate that the Province supported this corporation over the people during that one month period. Shameful conduct really. All we can do is appeal to the courts for intervention at this point because the Province has shown they have no interest in doing anything about this issue.

      We are also investigating how the company has been ignoring the Limitations Act. We won’t be moving forward with anything else until we see how the Supreme Court deals with this.

      We can reign this company in. The Province so far has refused to look into regulating the Plate Denial process. Instead the Province had favored the same investors by providing them with the build/design operations/maintenance for 30 years on the extension to Harmony Rd. They just released the RFP on the remaining part and you can be guaranteed that once again, the people will be thrown under the bus. Instead of negotiating with this company they are selling us up the river.

  5. Justme says:

    Hi Tammy, just wanted to say “thank you” for taking on this role, you are representing many, many people against a large monster. Kudos to you.

    I don’t think we have a problem with the 407 if they acted ethically and within the law, especially the Bankrupty and Statute of Limitations Acts. They are in force for a reason.

    Even though 26.82% interest is very high, it’s not criminal, only over 60% interest is criminal. Unless it’s combined with denying the 2 year statute of limitations… lets think about that. 26.82% interest compounding for 15 years, means a person’s debt DOUBLES every 2.7 years. After 15 years, that debt is 35 TIMES the original amount – a $1k debt would be $35k in 15 year – WHO gets this type of return and WHERE on earth?? THAT is what is criminal.

    The 2 year Limitation is meant to curb that criminality. There are two possible areas of criminality here: over 60% interest, or over 2 years of counting against. They pass on the interest, ridiculous as it is, but fail on the 2 years. If they limited it to 2 years per law, that $35k debt would be only $1.6k. The 2 year limitation is a protection for consumers from bankruptcy due to this type of criminality. Even at “legal” 60%, at 2 years the debt would be capped at $2560.

    So why do people I’ve seen on other forums have no problem with ignoring the 2 year limit? I agree the 407 can charge whatever it wants within the law for interest, and that those that don’t pay their bill must pay the interest. But combine that with criminal bill suppression, criminal 15 year time limits, legally unenforceable 15 year contracts of which anyone with any basic contract law backround will tell you is illegal?

    In order for a legal contract to occur, both parties must not only be legally capable of entering said contract (ie. not a minor, must have the mental capacity, language understanding, etc), but the parties must know the conditions and be aware of them before they agree either written or verbal. There is no way to know the terms and conditions of this “contract” until you receive the invoice, IF you receive the invoice, which with the known bill suppression, often doesn’t happen until years down the road with interest multiplying over a criminal period of time unbeknownst to the person affected.

    Then they have the government acting as a private debt collector as well?? How does the government get away with being in cahoots like this? What do they have to lose by not cowtowing to the 407? Are they surreptitiously going along, not because they are legally bound (Are they? How so?), but because they stand to lose tax revenues on the huge illegal sums??

    There are SO MANY things wrong with this, my mind is boggled. I assume the legal team is tackling all angles. Is the issue of an illegal contract entry being investigated as well? What about criminal bill suppression when they just “happen” to find your address after 12 years interest has mounted, but it wasn’t too important to find before?

    Thanks again Tammy – keep at it.

    • mike says:

      Great discussions, if I can offer some tips..THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVISE…FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES….I AM NOT A LAWYER…just think and question authority and always be humble as not all know the real science of this world more specifically CANADA…which is a CORPORATION RIGHT? section 32 of the CRF states all acts and statutes only apply to agents of the GOVERNMENT
      all legal persons are bankrupt as is Canada? refer to BIAct
      all bills appear with name in full capital letters as an artificial person and or corporation so the bills are not being sent to the live breathing human being or best one of the people…all bills have a number 96 on them as a remittance option
      simply follow bills of exchange act specifically consumer purchase section
      accept the bill for value sign the back and register mail it to them as they should accept it as payment, key word should but its a win win for all as you don;t use your rights which is the energy from your hard work via debt currency we call money …407 gets there money and they banks are allowed to monetize the statement or bill which if you clearly look at it now this will really make you think I am crazy but its a CHEQUE!…., wake up all your friends and family to the economic slavery we are all in via our birth certificates and SIN numbers….my final message to you don’t register anything!!!ESPECIALLY your kids, no vaccines, organic food and non fluoride water ..we are batteries this is why we are charged with battery lol also shown in what people think is a movie but many truths in the MATRIX, they are all called acts as they are the actors, we are loosing our common law courts as most courts are courts of equity, appellate courts and supreme courts know the truth, ONE LAST TIP YOU DONT NEED A DRIVERS LICENCE UNLESS YOUR DRIVING COMMERCIALLY … THE HIGHWAY TRAFFIC ACT…the word traffic means commerce…check blacks law dictionary…THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVISE…FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES….I AM NOT A LAWYER if you want one call them as they would love to steal all your money as the 407 is doing…is it unconstitutional to pay for the roads we the people own which was sold by the GOVERNMENT that supposedly works for us the people…if i can help anybody in anyway I would love to FREE of charge as I NEVER ever charge my fellow man or woman interest /USERY…

      THE GOVERNMENT, POLICE, HOSPITALS, SCHOOLS and CHURCH ARE NOT WHAT YOU THINK THEY ARE…..LIVE LONG and happy BY STAYING FAR FAR AWAY FROM ANY OF THESE CORPORATIONS AS THERE BLUE COMMERCIAL LAW OF THE SEA COLOUR WILL SHOW YOU THEY CARE ABOUT PROFIT ONLY…!!!nothing else…

      our BIRTH CERTIFICATE is not to be used as ID…any guess why? yes…its not you…lol
      what does the word shall mean?> future tense > check into it as its used often under most acts…

      PSS your birth certificate has very unique numbers on it…order your live birth and if your last name is underlined which in legal terms means aka needs to be changed I will win the lotto and donate kindly to all of you I PROMISE…as that is all we have is promises to pay ….check up the word DE-FACTO and section 15 of the criminal code of canada…goodnight to all my people….NOT PERSONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Peter says:

    It is bullshit this was our land and there was no vote to sell it to a private company that acts like the ss

  7. Greg Tuck says:

    Hi Tammy

    I had signed the petition some time ago keep up the fight. I started this fight over 10 years ago and tried many times to resolve with the 407. My bill went from a little over $200 to now about $3000. You can not get a hold of anyone to resovle issues other than what they call their PRESIDENT’s office which is clearly a powerless collections branch. I went to my local MPP and they even gave up and had the same problem.

    I had warned them I would either put equipment in company or an other name if they did not want to make some reasonable settlement which I did. They had their chance many times to do the right thing.

    I’m in business myself for many years and feel the provice should collect my receivables it would only be fair.

    This all is just WRONG with the 407

    • Tammy Flores says:

      Thanks Greg. What I like about the Province running the operations is that they will comply with consumer protection legislation without us having to start a war. A lot of people are very distrustful of the government, but at least they will comply with their own rules.

  8. Marilia says:

    Tammy

    I need your help
    I got into a bad car accident in 2010 had to stop working because of medical reasons and couldn’t pay my 407

    Just got a letter from a lawyer demanding payment or he will sue me on behalf of the 407 , is that possible since the limitation of 2 years already passed .
    Thanks

  9. Marilia says:

    Tammy

    I got into a bad car accident in 2010 had to stop working because of medical reasons and couldn’t pay my 407

    Just got a letter from a lawyer demanding payment or he will sue me on behalf of the 407 , is that possible since the limitation of 2 years already passed .
    Thanks

  10. Michele Davies says:

    I PLATED A VEHICLE FOR A “FRIEND”…that was my first mistake and I am aware that I am responsible for the ETR bill….he moved out suddenly and I was unaware he was even using the ETR until the bill came for $750…i reported the plates stolen at that time…i am living on ODSP/CPP Disability and am unable to pay the bill…..their HardshipProgram is a joke…paid them $30 fee to apply then was told I would have to make payments around $150 per month plus a downpayment of 30% up front! The bill is now $1643 because of interest that you can’t even get stopped due to financial circumstances…I have no hope in hell of paying this and now its on my credit rating…was trying to get OSAP to return to school…turned down because of this debt…so I’m left stuck on disability with a growing bill I will never be able to pay…no wonder I can’t get out of my depression….nothing more to look forward to….

  11. Sherry says:

    How do I get them to stop calling me with their “last chance” messages for someone I’ve never even heard of? I’ve been getting these calls almost every day for two years and I don’t drive nor know the person they’re naming.

  12. GREG says:

    IM INTO THEM FOR TWO VEHICLES FOR ABOUT $7000 OVER 12 YRS.THE 1ST PLATES WERE STOLEN AND I EVEN GAVE THE OCURANCE NUMBER 11-12 YRS AGO.

  13. Steve says:

    I was able to get their legal action thrown out because of the 2 year statute of limitations in October 2014.

    The precedent was used from earlier last year that sited 407 ETR contracts cannot supersede the consumer protection act which has a statute of limitations of 2 years for collections after initial plate denial.

    The bill up for collections was over $4500 after all the interest. All they were able to collect was $478 which occurred over the previous 2 years with the balance being thrown out.

    Email me if you have any further questions.

  14. Carlyflower says:

    Really Steve?! I hope that’s correct! I had plates transferred to my name in 2005, not knowing there were ETR fees connected to it. I got my very first notice from them in 2012, saying I owe over $2000!! My plates have been in denial for around 2 years now, and my balance is up to $3747.49! I will NOT pay this! I called and offered to pay the actual tolls from 2005, but none of the interest since I had no idea there were tolls to begin with, and it’s not my fault they took 7 years to send me a notice. They were willing to knock some interest off, but still wanted a big chunk. So I truly hope I can also apply the 2 yr statute of limitations in my case!

    • Tammy Flores says:

      I feel your pain with these guys. I chased the company for documentation since 2005 only to receive all the invoices requested in March of 2011. That’s 6 years just to received some documentation behind what they were charging me for. Oh did I mention that was after 4 supposed internal investigations, one MTO investigation of 16 months and countless communications. Hydro One’s billing problems at least can be addressed. 407 ETR’s remain hidden.

  15. Jake says:

    Here is something to add to the scamming 407. Just today I received a bill from Budget Rental for $27. My transponder went off and also billed my account. So over all I was billed $4 to the transponder and $27 from Budget. 407 advocate of the president gave a credit of $4 plus tax and said thats the way it goes. Great company.

    Here is another one for everyone who needs to take the bandits to court. There are signs posted this “No Transponder? Video Toll Charge Added” This sign was changed from broken english reading “No Transponder Video Toll Charge Added”. The question mark was added due to my complaint so if anyone needs the old picture of the sign without the question mark I can pass it on.

  16. Elliot says:

    Been in plate denial for 2 years. Is there anyway out of this.

  17. 2sev says:

    I have been in plate denial for roughly 4+ years and can’t get anywhere with the ETR over these 4 years. I have asked for some sort of plan on payment to stop the bills from showing up and it’s really annoying.
    I ended up buying a vehicle 2 years ago and putting it in my company name and paying an arm and a leg for insurance.

    At some point will I ever be able to get out from the plate denial? Or will it hover over me for ever? Or until I win LottoMax? My guess would be the ETR would still screw the bill up even after its was all paid off if I won the Lotto.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

  18. Charles Zee says:

    A friend owes money to ETR because of someones else. They can’t work (medical)right now and can’t pay it. Plate has gone into denial. Can they sell car to a family member and have them plate the car? Does the plate denial also mean the drivers license is also affected? Thoughts?

    • Jackie says:

      I know the answer to this, no your license is not affected it is only the plates, if the car is in someone else’s name you definitely can get plates as long as they don’t have any issues with the 407.

  19. Jackie says:

    How can I get involved with this petition I am having an issue with the 407 and plate denial my original bill was $1200 it is now $14000 and somehow I have a new bill coming in I need help with this issue.
    Please if anyone has any advice I would greatly appreciate it. I have no problem paying the original $1200 it’s the interest I’m not paying, they are like Loan sharks.

  20. D.C. McAlpine says:

    I returned from 9 years in China and applied for my drivers license. When I left Canada I owed no fees but I had my old car towed to a wreaking yard while I was in hospital with a heart attack. Frankly forgot about the transponder.

    That is what has accumulated to the $1200 mark!
    I called they said they would reduce it to $367 but refused to send me a invoice.

    I am working with my MPP to resolve this issue but they refuse to give a reduction in the billing in writing.
    Regards
    D.C. McAlpine

  21. Cameron says:

    I am in plate denial status in Ontario, what happens if I move to another province? Will I be unable to plate and a new car?

  22. Michele says:

    I recently started getting calls from a Christian Law Firm re this 407 ( no letter received , he read off a very old address) I advised him I do not owe them anything. They are calling my cell & work. He advised I am in plate denial. I believe it was 2008 when I was trying to get a new vehicle I got letter from 407 that I was in plate Denial. I tried calling MTO to confirm when my plates actually went into Denial and she could not tell me when only that my file was updated on Feb 2016 ? Updated what does that mean ? Do I give these people my correct address and send me documents? Are they really lawyers? I have been fighting them for years as they billed us twice for truck & trailer in 2003 and then fight the interest as I refused to pay any bill till it was sorted. In 2010 they sent me again another bill for the trailer again !! They don’t care that the truck was pulling the trailer it did not move by itself !!! Years ago it was listed on my credit bureau and went off. Can they put it back onto my credit bureau ?
    Please help in directing me in right direction.

  23. TC says:

    Tammy. What was the result of this? What was the outcome/ruling?

    Tammy Flores says:
    June 16, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Hi Kerri, we are before the courts re: Statute of Limitations. NEWMARKET COURT FILE NO.: CV-13-115006 Steve has not provided his case number and I can’t verify what he is saying.
    Reply

    Cameron says:
    March 14, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Any update on the 2 year statute of limitations?
    Reply
    Tammy Flores says:
    March 14, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    It went to Appeal Court Feb. 29th, 2016. Waiting on their decision. We are hopeful there will be clarity.

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