407 ETR Sends Out A “Discretionary Interest Adjustment”


I got home from work last week to open an invoice from 407 ETR for one of the 3 accounts the company opened in my name that showed the previous balance of $7,240.12 had been reduced by $5,610.40. The invoice gave no explanation why other than to say, that it was to “assist” me in settling my account. It’s called a “discretionary interest adjustment” and the company claims on the invoice that no further interest will be added.

So I called 407 ETR right away to see what it was all about. I was told in 2012 that there was nobody that could assist me in settling my account because I had exhausted 407 ETR’s dispute process. Fast forward to 2016 and now, after 16 years of mismanaging my accounts, 407 ETR says they want to help me settle my accounts.

After a 40 minute conversation with CSR Curtis, someone pointed out that this new provision was on their website. I soon realized that what was said on the invoice was not the true intent of the company.  This is what it says on their website:

“In 2016, 407 ETR introduced a discretionary interest suspension practice for delinquent account balances of qualifying customers. Specifically, on qualifying accounts, interest is no longer being charged on unpaid amounts invoiced more than five years ago.

407 ETR determines the eligibility criteria for interest suspension and may change the eligibility criteria at any time in its sole discretion.

At any time, 407 ETR reserves the right to stop interest suspension and resume charging interest going forward on all amounts owing.

Amounts which are eligible for interest suspension will not incur further interest charges, but will remain outstanding until paid in full and are subject to licence plate denial and all collection remedies available to 407 ETR.

Any amounts not qualifying for interest suspension will continue to be charged interest. Any new usage or charges will also be subject to interest.

407 ETR payment allocation rules apply to all accounts, including accounts which benefit from interest suspension. Specifically, any payments will be applied against the oldest amounts owing until the balance is paid in full. https://new.407etr.com/en/help/general/faq-howbillswork/faq59.html

407 ETR is like a bully on the playground nobody likes. The company doesn’t say what qualifies for this “adjustment” but goes on to say that the eligibility can change at any time they want it to, even stopping the interest suspension and resume charging interest going forward on all amounts owing.

Here’s the 40 minute call I had with them. It’s in Google Drive so you have to be logged into your Google account and use google player to hear the conversation. The conversation is very frustrating because they just keep saying you owe because it says so on the screen. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4Ev5DuapM5dRnVaNnYwREttYzg/view?ts=571a4157

CSR Curtis denies the company made any mistakes. He goes as far as to say he would be on my side 100% if he had the facts, but when I told him I could send him the facts, he didn’t want them because the company would accuse me of doctoring the invoices.

I showed him how I accused the company of doctoring invoices in a letter from 407 ETR’s very own Ombudsman. The letter said that the company didn’t doctor the invoices, but merely updated the account. Curtis said he didn’t believe me and didn’t have that particular letter… convenient eh? He went on to say that the company didn’t make any mistakes and I own all the mistakes. After 16 years, they still cannot provide me with all the photographic evidence that tolls occurred, but I still somehow owe them money for undocumented tolls and cannot legally license a vehicle in the Province of Ontario.

CSR Curtis is an unbeliever. He does not believe what I had been saying about 407 ETR all these years. At minute mark 31:34 he actually said that if what I was telling him was true, they should be in jail. He’s right; they should be in jail for what they have done to me and so many other people.

While this new provision of a “discretionary interest adjustment” may appear to be that the company is learning from their mistakes and trying to play fair, when you look beneath the surface it’s the same old song, just put to a different tune. Will the Province ever do their job and act for what’s in the best interest of consumers? Don’t hold your breath waiting.

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11 Responses to “407 ETR Sends Out A “Discretionary Interest Adjustment””

  1. d murph says:

    Hey I received 2 invoices for discretionary interest reduction too.
    However, I “DO NOT” owe the MTO or Government of Ontario or the 407 ETR a single penny.
    These parasites have had a hold on my right to drive in Ontario for 8 years now.
    It is my right and all others, as Canadian’s to travel in this Country by what ever means I/we choose in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms Act!!!
    Considering, that NO Offences have been committed under the POA or the Highway Traffic Act and there is NO fine owed to the Courts of Ontario.
    Why, hasn’t the Province of Ontario intervened?
    I wish the court of “Appeal Judges” would reach a decision to protect the consumers from these thieves.
    We are all waiting !!!!

  2. Josh says:

    Hello

    I need some advise on this. I receiver an invoice April 2016 for a $9000 bill that was reduced to $2990 as per the discretionary interest reduction. This outstanding debt is over 8 years old. I am in the process of buying a house and dont want this to show up on my credit. I have no problem paying this however if i pay will they send this to the credit bureau. Its isnt on the credit bureau now. Ive been receiving phone calls from a so called lawyers office asking me to settle for a fraction of the debt. What do i do? if i dont pay this new invoice will it eventually show on my credit report? If i do pay it will it show up? Please help?

    THanks

  3. DJ says:

    is it possible that 407 accepted snc lav.. into their game to open up contacts for possible bribes and illegal activity? snc was found guilty of such 1/2 billion in fines so is it a stretch to imagine?

  4. Brian Gagne says:

    It’s all like a bad dream.
    Back in 2001/02 I was doing business in the Toronto /Hamilton area that required a lot of travelling .I used the 407 because time is money and I gladly paid. Only when I left the area and after working in another area I received a final bill which threatened to revoke my right to renew my plate sticker. My sticker was coming yp for renewal and so I paid the bill. However a while later when I went to get my new plate sticker I was told I had an outstanding debt. It was the same one I ha paid. I happen to have the receipt in my glove box…don’t ask. I had been running the highways out west. anyway I showed the receipt, but they still denied me saying that “As long as it was on their computer screen I was denied unless I pd it right there. They said the company would refund me if it was already paid. I felt like I was being blackmailed, but what choice did I have? I paid it again. It was around $150 or $250. I don’t remember the exact amount now. A few weeks later I get a billing from the “407” with a credit in the amount I had pd. I called them and said a credit is no good to me I live several hundred miles away, had sent back their transponder and am no longer working in that area. They simply said they don’t give refunds and that was the end of it. I wrote it off. I had no time to chase down gov. crooks. Years go by and I get a bill for something like $600. It showed the original amount, which had been a credit only it was now back to a debit and the rest was interest and transponder charges. I called them to try to straighten it out to no avail. I have tried a few times the last time was a few years ago when someone said they now have an ombudsman or similar and that they were impartial, yeah, right! I gave up. At no time did I ever get to really talk to someone in charge. I believe they were all from the telemarketing warehouses that all large corps. use. I still get bills every couple years. the last couple discounted the bill saying that “no further interest” crap How about the money the owe me? Oh by the way that credit is now a bill I owe that is over $1500 and I’ll bet it will keep growing. I have heard worse horror stories,If anybody has a solution, I would sure like to hear it email me. the people who have been ripped off need someone to coordinate a class action suit.
    Brian.

  5. Tina Mallier says:

    l read the above stories and thank god l am not alone but l need help l have a large balance owing and most of it is interest, l want to pay what l owe but how do l stop these inetest charges call after call with no help and this bill is getting bigger and bigger l need help advice anyone

    • Tammy Flores says:

      What they have been telling people is that they are doing this for random people with bills over 5 years old. I would call them and see what you can work out.

  6. Sean says:

    Hello

    I was cleaning out a closet and found a box with papers in it.

    One of the papers was a plate denial letter from Feb 2008 saying I owed the 407 money but not how much.

    There was another paper in that box, a 407 bill dated May 2008 stating I owed them $3500.
    Back at that time, I did not have a car and still do not to this day. My partner has a car that I share with her and I also have use of a company car when I need one for work.

    Because I had the account number on the May 2008 bill, I was able to go on to the 407 ETR website and set myself up on their online web account successfully.

    It said on the summary page that my balance is $0:00. That sounds great but when I pulled the last statement dated Aug 5 2015 showed a balance forward of $19200 with an offsetting credit of the same amount bringing it to zero.

    I would like to think that everything is OK but I have a feeling that if I try to get a new plate at the MOT they will deny me. Have not tried yet as I do not need to right now. A little worried about what the future might hold.

    I downloaded all the monthly statements from Jan 2010 to Aug 2015 and there are absolutely no toll charges, just balance forward and interest.

    There are been something around $15700 in interest that has accumulated in that time period.

    There are no statements available online prior to Jan 2010 so I ended up sending them an email disputing the bill and asking them to send me all the statements prior to 2010 so I can see the toll charges I am being told I owe for. It’s been so long since I owned a car that I cannot even remember what my license plate number used to be.

    Has anyone heard of a similar situation where they just reversed the charges suddenly out of the blue?

    • Tammy Flores says:

      Yes I have heard of this. That’s what the article you are commenting on is about. For my personal case, the company claimed I should have owned an account in the year 2000, but only informed me of this in the year 2005, when I already had an account on the license plate in question. They did not link the plates to my account and it was their fault 100% that the mistake occurred. They wanted over a thousand dollars with no details as to what the charges were they were claiming against me. It took me requesting documentation from 2005 to finally received the back dated invoices in 2011… so we are talking 11 years after the fact. What they did was give me my ex husband’s account. I told them I owed them nothing, but they kept me in plate denial anyway. This company can claim whatever they want and never have to prove anything. Nobody is holding them to account for their accounting practices. It’s really disgusting.

      • Sean says:

        Wow that’s harsh. I’m in for a fight I see. I might need a lawyer. In my case they put an adjustment and it says zero balance.
        When I think back, the last time I sort of remember driving down the 407 in my own car would have been in 2001. I moved around that time then got into an accident not long after I moved.I moved a lot between 2001 and 2004; lived in 4 different addresses in that time. I would agree that it is possible that I drove on the 407 in 2001 and never received a bill because of the circumstances.In fact I do remember being on the 407 the day of 911. The bill may have been $100 or something like that. I should not have to pay $20K! That is completely ridiculous.

        I want to see exactly how much of this bill is “principal” and how much is interest because if its 90% interest,it sounds illegal and I wonder if the government could be sued for acting as a collection agent for an illegal business practice?

        I started taking the transit after the 2002 accident and have not owned a car since. It’s a good thing I am not in a position right now where I need to put a car in my name, otherwise I would be seriously screwed right now!

        • Tammy Flores says:

          They won’t tell you how much is principal or how much is interest. They will tell you how many total trips you took on the highway and make it sound like you never paid for any of them. The way their billing system is, everything just accumulates and they don’t differentiate between the tolls and their fees and interest. Even if you paid something, they wouldn’t put it on the tolls, but the whole amount. That’s why I say I owe them nothing. Every time my ex husband brought me a bill, that was in his name, I paid it. It was their mistake they weren’t billing me so I don’t think they are owed any fee or interest for the time they were billing my husband for tolls that should have been billed to me. Or any fee or interest after the fact because they never fixed their mistake satisfactorily. If anything, they owe me big time for keeping me in Plate Denial all these years for their mistakes.

          There is a court case on the Limitations Act before the Supreme Court of Canada. I am waiting on that decision to see if there is another possibility for a Class Action. That still wouldn’t cover what they did to me, but it will help a bit considering they are still saying I owe for something from the year 2000… they say it’s 2002… but it is the year 2000 they should have been billing me, but waited until 2005 to give me my ex’s account.

          • Sean says:

            I found the docket to that Supreme Court case you speak of. It looks like Ira Day decided to appeal after the Ontario Court ruling. good to hear. docket # 37317. I will follow this too and would gladly take part in any future class action. Thanks

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