Why I think E-ZPass is Useless

Back in July 2020, my wife and I finally decided to get an E-ZPass. We do frequent trips where we cross bridges, tunnels, and roads that utilize it and with the world wide condition, we were thinking it would be faster, easier, and cheaper just to get an E-ZPass for all of our future travels.

To make a very long story short, it really did not do what we thought it would. When we pulled up to booth after booth, the device would not register. At one point, we stopped at an E-ZPass station in Delaware, and they said that while they felt bad for me, they could not help me because they can only assist customers with a Delaware issued E-ZPass. Mine was Virginia issued. I was absolutely livid.

Upon returning home, I decided to look into a tip my brother in-law shared with me during our travels. He remembered reading somewhere that certain vehicles, and more specifically, my 2003 Buick Rendezvous has been known to have a windshield that does not work well, or at all, with E-ZPass. I researched into that more and in fact found that to be true. There is a list of vehicles that I found on a document from the E-ZPass website that listed the Buick Rendezvous as a “Special Vehicle.”

There is apparently something in the windshield of a Buick Rendezvous that prevents the E-ZPass transponder from being read by the booths. That is really weird, because I do believe before I owned the Rendezvous, my dad replaced the windshield. I guess even replacement windshields have that same issue?

My biggest beef with all of this is the following. When I walked into the E-ZPass store (I didn’t buy online), WHY DID THEY NOT TELL ME MY CAR WAS ON THE SPECIAL VEHCILES LIST? They knew what vehicle I had because they manually entered it into the computer. The system should have red flagged that immediately. It is very frustrating.

To add insult to injury, the E-ZPass rate for the Cheasapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, which we travel across frequently, is no cheaper than if you were to pay by cash or card at the booth. Yes, they take card. But the rates are all the same. The only advantage to E-ZPass is you don’t have to stop for the length of time to exchange money. Not much of a real time saving if I’m honest. I do find it humorous that on the CBBT website they use the silhouette of a Nissan GT-R as the reference vehicle and they show it can apparently tow a three axle trailer.

Overall, I do like when we use our Ford Focus to go on trips. The E-ZPass makes traveling in that car a breeze. But, 50% is a fail. E-ZPass, you really should let people know.

Thankfully, most of the time the booths just run the plate and charge me through the E-ZPass that way, so I still get the possible discounts, if applicable. Which leads to a whole new point. Why is the device needed at all? Just scan plates and bill. And at that point, E-ZPass is just the middle man. Stupid E-ZPass. Absolutely useless.

2 thoughts on “Why I think E-ZPass is Useless

  1. We have an E-Z pass and find that it makes the trip much smoother as there are fewer stops, we don’t have to worry about having the correct cash, and/or don’t have to worry about when the bill will come in the mail. With the mail being so slow, one may not know when the bill will come. Usually using the E-Z pass brings a discount. It would be a discouragement if there is no discount but the ease of using the pass should help counter. Having a vehicle which the E-Z pass does not work is discouraging. Can the pass be held out a window for activation? I would not agree that it is absolutely useless. Even though there are some problems, nothing is going to work perfectly.

    1. I see your point. But if the goal is to make travel EZ, it is not doing that. All the rules say not to hold the EZ pass out the window. I tried doing that at one of the booths and got yelled at. Just an FYI, only in the STATE THAT YOUR EZ PASS WAS ISSUED can you show a booth attendant your pass and they can SCAN it manually. If you are in ANY OTHER STATE, you have to just blow through the station and get the shaming “TOLL UNPAID” light shown at you. I tried showing the EZ pass to an attendant in NJ, and they were like, you can’t do that. So I started to drive forward on accident because my foot wasn’t holding the brake hard enough and she started yelling at me “YOU DIDN”T PAY THE TOLL” I had to give her cash. Come to find out that my EZ Pass was charged for that later. So I PAID TWICE. Talk about highway robbery. Talk about useless piece of crap. I was NOT a happy camper and STILL THINK EZ PASS IS USELESS.

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