What’s worse than getting a bill for a $54 late fee when you accidentally entered the toll road without paying?
Getting one for $110, knowing the toll was only $1.50, had you paid it.
This is exactly what happened to me a few days ago when I opened my mailbox and found a letter from the toll roads, informing me I had evaded the toll penalty and was subject to a registration lien.
While trying to make sense of a road split in front of me, split seconds decided the fate that would follow soon after I made the wrong choice. You see, I had just moved to a new town and went out to find my local Trader Joe’s location. Despite receiving guidance from a GPS device, I managed to get lost when I encountered a confusing road detour.
Ughhh … detours!
An extra two miles and one headache later I got to my destination. One and a half months later I would receive my first and only notice from the toll roads.
As you can imagine I became very upset to the point of almost crying. Spewing every cuss word imaginable, I hastily google’d for similar incidents to see if there was an easy resolution. Yelp yielded nothing but 1-star reviews from people who were ready to rip the toll roads a new one. Take a look for yourself:
The toll roads website provided an area where I could pay the violation or start a dispute. As soon as I saw a link for disputes, a post by Jason Steele at PT Money flashed in my memory. Jason detailed accounts of getting various desired results such as reduced fees and application reconsideration just by talking to the credit card companies directly.
Keeping in mind his personal experiences, I figured maybe if I explained everything that happened in a nice manner, a human being on the other end would undo the error of goofing up the first violation notice. More so, if I’m lucky enough, maybe even erase the fee entirely! Needless to say I filled out the form and waited.
The next day to my surprise an email arrived in my inbox stating that the fee has been reduced from $110 to $31!
I guess my decision to ask before acting really paid off. Even though the violation fee was not removed completely, I managed to get the error removed and even reduced the original fee down to $31. I know some of you would disagree that this is not a perfectly favorable outcome. However, it felt like a huge boulder was lifted off my shoulders, and the idea of not wasting an extra $79 made me really happy.
Jason was perfectly right, if you just reach out and ask, good things will come.