Stop the 407 ETR’s Abuse of Power’s visit to the 407 ETR’s Offices January 12th, 2012

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I want to start by thanking Mr. Kevin Sack, VP of Communications and Government Relations for the 407 ETR for meeting with our group. I know that Mr. Sack did his job well. He put out the message of the 407 ETR. That’s what he was paid to do. I believe though… if he had more power, he would do something to stop the madness because I saw him shake his head when we showed him our documentation. But he had strict marching orders on the message the 407 ETR wanted spun. I think he realized that I was not going to let him to control the message.

Mr.Sack begged us to sign release forms so he could speak to the media about our cases. We refused because we did not want the spin out there any more. Jack Lakey from the Toronto Star confirmed that if we are all present with him discussing our cases… he is free to discuss our cases. Mr. Sack still refused to discuss our cases.

Also, I want to thank the members of our group that came. Without them, I would not have been able to stay calm as we listened to Mr. Sack tell us this company doesn’t want to collect interest charges and fees but that they were in the business of collecting tolls. Dealing with this corporation is a very frustrating process.

I told them that I was going to handle things publicly and this is just a start. The 407 ETR is no longer going to control the message to the public.

Based on this meeting I asked these 8 questions. I was supposed to get an answer today, but it didn’t come so I am posting the meeting for public scrutiny.

1) When speaking about the process of invoice suppression, you noted that it only takes effect on inactive accounts after 3 months worth of billing. Then you said you send out a section 16 notice and 90-100 days later you send out a section 22 notice, which is sent by registered mail or bonded courier. Then you talk about the Automated Early Collections system. When was the Automated Early Collections system implemented?

2) You mentioned that you always were able to access the Ministry of Transportation’s information for your customer’s. Most importantly I am referring to your customer’s address. You said this was a free service, however, you never accessed it regularly until 2008. Then from that point, if you received a returned invoice, you would access the Ministry of Transportation every month to update your customer’s information. Then you mentioned other cases that in order to access the customer’s information you had to pay the Ministry. Can you give me some examples of cases whereby the Ministry would require you to pay to access your customer’s information?

3) Out of the 10% of people you say don’t pay their bills, you have a 97% collection rate. That’s almost a perfect record. Unheard of for a private company. What would make that other 3% noncollectable?

4) We showed you evidence, in the form of invoices, that showed faults within your electronic tolling system. I am referring more specifically, the charges on invoices that show a person got from Pine Valley to Markham road in 2 minutes. What would cause your system to record information like that?

5) When we discussed roles and responsibilities, you acknowledged that if a customer gets an inaccurate bill, that it is your responsibility to make it right. You do so by way of giving the customer free kilometers as a form of an apology and crediting the account. We came in with all our documentation, do you acknowledge that there are times when your company does not fix inaccurate bills? What is your company willing to do for those customers that have not had their inaccurate bill issues fix?

6) What is the percentage of the returned to sender mailings you receive?

7) We asked for clarification on Corporate Bankruptcy’s vrs. Personal Bankruptcy’s. Is it so that the 407 ETR will discharge a Corporation from Bankruptcy, but not a Personal Bankruptcy?

8) If I understood our conversation correctly, you mentioned that the recent changes in your policy’s were all in an effort to not just collect revenue, but also because interest is incurring on an account and that you wanted to try and get a hold of customers to make sure as little interest as possible incurs because your company does not want customers to incur all sorts of interest. You said that’s not how you operate… you were there to collect tolls not interest. You even went on to say that if a customer calls you and says that they receive a bill after a long period of times and its got interest and fees that your staff are authorized to speak with your customers & try to help them pay their bill. When I press a little more on the how do you help, you said your company waves the interest and fees. When I again pointed out to you that we predate you customer service changes and went through your entire process but never got that treatment… I think this is what you were trying to say to us… was that you can not help us because your company has no provision to deal with us in the same way they would if this happened brand new. Did I understand that correctly? If that was not the understanding… can you tell me what your company’s reason is for not fixing our billing issues that happened through no fault of our own?

What we didn’t ask and want answers on is why when a client has an amount that should be settled in Small Claims court does the 407 ETR have their lawyers strong arm people by placing them in Superior Court? And even when the customer fights back and there are agreements to take the matter to Small Claims Court why does the 407 ETR Lawyers go to the Superior Court and get a judgment, without the customers knowledge anyway?

The information in the description will change as we go along. Stay tuned.

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3 Responses to “Stop the 407 ETR’s Abuse of Power’s visit to the 407 ETR’s Offices January 12th, 2012”

  1. Annie MacGregor says:

    I just called them about a long unpaid bill because I can’t pay it and the girl basically laughed in my face when I asked about reducing the interest. They don’t care and they never will. I think it should be illegal for them to continue to rack up the interest charges after it’s gone to collections. I’ve, unfortunately, been to collections a couple times and the account is typically frozen once it hits that stage so that you can actually pay it. This makes it almost impossible to pay your bill because your payment will just be eaten up with the next month’s interest! When I asked about disputing it, I received a lecture instead of assistance and was told to have a nice day.

    • Tammy Flores says:

      Annie, I would suggest you call back and mention that the company made policy changes in 2010 on how it handles suppressed invoices. Sometimes you have to educate them because they are just CSR’s.

      The VP assured us that the CSR’s are authorized to deal with these issues. After you call back let me know what they said. If they do not deal with you according to what we were told in the meeting that we had here Then your case can be added to what we are taking to MTO on the 9th.

      • Annie MacGregor says:


        I am at a loss for how to deal with this and would love some guidance. Can we please chat about this, maybe tonight or tomorrow? I just want this cleared and out of my life. It was one trip that cost a few dollars that has increased to over $600. I feel sick about this right now! I did mention the meeting with Mr. Sack and the girl told me that I’ve been refusing to pay for years and to just pay up. You can use my email to contact me privately. I’d really appreciate it!!


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