Pat Foran CTV News Investigates 407 ETR’s “Bill Gate”‏


Every time Pat Foran does a story on Highway 407, I write to him.  This time around I wasn’t going to bother because sometimes I feel mainstream media wants to remain nice nice with 407 ETR.  Kevin Sack has a lot of friends in the media and for a no name like myself, it hasn’t been easy getting support behind our movement to get the Province to regulate 407 ETR’s business practices.  You can go to Pat Foran’s Consumer Alert on CTV News to see the report he did.
I have been writing for the Toronto Caribbean on 407 ETR matters since the paper started.  Every 2 weeks, I come up with something for people to read to keep the topic alive.  I post those topics to a blog.  We have a petition on change.org http://www.change.org/p/change-the-407act A Class Action was filed against the company and that topic is now at the Supreme Court level. The Limitations issue is also at the lower court level as reported in the Globe and Mail.  All of these initiatives are very important to reign in this company’s atrocious customer service issues, but we need more main stream media sharing your stories.  Although we are doing a documentary and I will still plug away here at the Toronto Caribbean, I am asking you to reach out to the mainstream media.
I really do appreciate seeing your stories in the mainstream media because I feel it helps us get one step closer to reigning this company in.  One thing that bothers me though is how this company tries to control the message.  As in the case of Pat’s most recent investigative report, the company wants to paint the picture that they are doing their customers a favor by “forgiving” their debt.  That attitude makes my blood boil.  This company agreed to follow all the laws in Ontario and Canada while operating their business, when they signed the concessions agreement.  They have been skirting consumer protection laws for far too long and just because a thief wears a suit, I am not OK with them being in my house.
There are thousands of people out there that have been victimized by this company’s invoice suppression scam.  This company bought a highway without a gate.  Part of their chosen business model was to be able to access our private information with the Ministry of Transportation’s database.  We have Kevin Sack, 407 ETR’s VP of Communications, on record admitting that up until they changed their policies in 2010 they simply choose not to access that database to make sure they were sending the correct bill to the correct customer.  Why does this company like to make it sound like we are responsible for their business operations?  We can’t pay tolls unless the company tells us what the tolls are.  Now that everything is online it helps alleviate some of these billings issues, but it doesn’t change the past or the fact that we are still affected by the company’s behavior.  They have made some positive changes, but more are needed.  For example, people should be able to purchase their transponder and prepay their tolls.  This will help with the problems the company seems to be having “lending” their services to people.
The company is responsible to operate their business correctly. It is NOT up to us to do their job for them.  Their business model is to access MTO’s database to bill us. If they can’t do that we should NOT be penalized for their shortcomings.  There are many customers that have tried to wrangle out of this company what the actual tolls were when the company finally “found” them with a whopper of a bill.  These bills have absolutely no details whatsoever as to what the tolls are. The company has not been forth coming. They like to say they are entitled to their fees and interest without ever demonstrating what the actual tolls are.  I’m sorry but I’m not a sucker.  I’m NOT paying for their mistakes and neither should anyone else.  Least of all they shouldn’t feel like the company did them a huge favor by “forgiving” their debt.  A debt that is probably NOT legal to begin with.
Most of the people that the company likes to paint as a toll evader are merely victims of this company’s shady business practices and it’s time for the company to make it right for everyone, NOT just the odd person that happens to hit the radar of mainstream media.
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