Wednesday 24 May 2017
By: Tom McIntosh
The peak body for Financial Counsellors in Victoria, the Financial and Consumer Rights Council (FCRC), and Money Magazine are calling on Transurban to change their out-dated and unfair toll enforcement system.
Last financial year, Victoria’s toll road operators referred 1.2 million unpaid tolls to Victoria Police for infringement notices to be issued to Victorians.
If drivers use two private toll roads in a day (Citylink and Eastlink), two letters follow. Within five days Victorians may receive 10 letters, all with separate admin fees. This changes a $25 toll for the week to over $200.
It is not acceptable in 2017 for Citylink to have its hardship policy hidden in its website with no contact telephone number and only an email address to submit requests. In addition, the available hardship arrangements are limited and completely out of step with those in other industries.
“The fact that 1.2 million toll road infringement notices went out last financial year shows that the toll enforcement system is completely unfair and needing a complete overhaul.”
“The toll road operators must take responsibility for collecting their own debts and applying standard industry hardship policies, instead of referring unpaid tolls to the infringement system, which slugs customers with hugely inflated fees.”
“Phone providers don’t send a different bill for every phone call, Banks don’t issue an invoice for every swipe of a credit card, why do we tolerate our road operators doing this.”
“This can happen to any Victorian motorist, it is in all of our interests this business model is stopped.”
Financial counsellors provide information, support and advocacy to people in financial difficulty.