North Texas Tollway Authority Bill 15 Months Late

I got a couple of love letters in the mail to day from the North Texas Tollway Authority. It seems I dared to use one of their roads which used to be free back in 2008 and now I owe them money. I have until the end of the month to pay up or be subject to a $250 fine plus court costs, tolls, and fines. Naturally I’m going to pay. Doesn’t it seem odd that they had 15 months to send me a bill for the $1.71 and 65¢ tolls, but I only get 24 days to make my payment — or else?

It’s not like I can dispute the charge. I vaguely remember driving on that road that night. I specifically avoid that road nowadays. When I drove on the road I saw the signs warning me to pay the tolls or else but there are no toll booths. I remember thinking, oh no, I must have missed the toll booths — all of them.

When I got home I tried to find a web site to gather more information. The number one hit on Google takes you to an Oracle App Server page (https://csc.ntta.org). Its convenient of them to display their administrative username right on the web site like that. It is a real help to hackers. It is also helpful to know exactly what release of the Oracle Application 10g Release 3 they are running: 10.1.3 with J2EE 1.4. Nice. I wonder if CSC is involved in this project. Actually CSC means Customer Service Center. But come on guys, put a redirect link or a static page in the root of your web server.

So I thought I had the right domain but the wrong host so I dropped the csc host part of the URL and went straight to https://ntta.org. I failed to notice the s in the protocol. This caused an invalid SSL certificate warning to pop-up. The certificate is for help.ntta.org. I click Ok on this error because now I’m just curious and it takes me to a familiar .NET Configuration Error page. Now we know what OS that machine is running, what version of .NET and even the path on their E drive to the CMS Web Application called cmswebapplication — such an original name. For the uninitiated, there’s a setting in .NET to prevent the user from seeing such an error message if this were actually a production system. Just for grins, I tried http://help.ntta.org and 404 Error. At least the certificate is valid. There actually is some valid content on that host. It only comes into play if you click on one of the links for Privacy Policy or Supported Web Browsers. Once again, no root web page.

Eventually I made it to http://ntta.org and found their web site. On the invoice I received in the mail it told me how much money I could have saved if I had a TollTag. Curious I wanted to see if I could get a TollTag and save some money. To tell the truth I actually got two invoices in the mail today. The other one was for my wife’s car for committing the same infractions of driving to Lewisville. We’ve learned our lessons. So I am looking for a simple way to pay these fines and perhaps get my own transmitter beacon to aid the NTTA to more easily charge my credit card. From what I can tell there are three problems with my plan: 1) you cannot use a new TollTag to pay a past transgression 2) The TollTags are prepaid you hopefully you have an idea how much you are going to spend — I’m not sure how long those prepaid credits last. And 3) The TollTags are not transferrable from vehicle to vehicle. So I would have to buy 2-3 of these.

Bottom line is it makes no sense for me to buy a TollTag. I have paid my debt to the private corporation that now controls the taxpayer-built State Highway. I do not plan to use that road again (unless there is traffic on every other road). And I would think really long and hard about doing any financial transactions on a web site configured so poorly. Then again, it would be easy to verify that the system versions were current.

7 Replies to “North Texas Tollway Authority Bill 15 Months Late”

  1. You moron. A tolltag is free. The only reason that you wouldn’t get one is that you are stupid and like to pay too much money.


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    1. Thank you for that eloquent retort.

      Tolltags are not free. You are required to maintain a minimum balance on each one. The expense for the hardware is factored into the toll price. I’m sure that the system is a huge money savings over having people employed in booths or maintaining the equipment.

      Toll roads are a fact of life. When traveling on a stretch of toll road I expect to have to pay. If I had a regular commute on this road the tolltag would make sense. Am I supposed to get a tag for each of the systems in each city where I might drive? What about rental cars? My complaints are with the technical implementation of a system that does not allow you to pay at the time of service. I’m supposed to pay $40 per vehicle into an escrow fund in order to pay for future transgressions or be subject to higher rates much later under the threat of additional penalties.

  2. i have travelled the toll way several times but have not recieved a bill i
    have moved and am concerned that i am not getting my bill. my plate # is
    **deleted by administrator**.

  3. The North Texas Tollway Authority is committed to providing motorists outstanding customer service, both on and off the road. With this in mind, the NTTA established a pilot Ombudsman program to review customer concerns in an unbiased and impartial manner.

    The NTTA Ombudsman ensures fairness and consistency by reviewing disputed invoices that are unable to be resolved in its Customer Service Department. Separate from the collections process, the program is carried out by the Internal Audit Department, which reports directly to the NTTA Board of Directors. The Ombudsman will address customer concerns, review the escalation and dispute resolution process to ensure NTTA followed its established business rules, and determine whether the issue was handled appropriately and equitably.


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  4. I finally broke down and created a toll-tag account because I need to get reimbursed for a local charge. I entered my vehicle information. It did not find my trip on the tollway from last month. I still do not know how much that will cost or when the bill will show up. I did have an “Un-Invoiced Violation” on my account from July 2004. Why was this not billed in 2008?

  5. I’ve been using my toll tag this month. I used it to go on S.H. 161 and on George Bush Tollway. I got charged 46¢ and 78¢. I also used it at the airport. When I look at my account I see that I have been hit with a $3 Statement Fee. There is no description of what this fee is for. There FAQ page makes no mention of a Statement Fee or any other administrative account fees. “Accounts can be opened with a $40 pre-paid balance when you submit your TollTag application (cash, check or credit card). The $40 balance is good for up to three TollTags, and there is no monthly fee. NTTA deducts the exact toll amounts from your account each time your TollTag passes through an operating toll lane.”

    http://www.ntta.org/AboutUs/TollRates/Toll+Rate+FAQ

    The words “Statement Fee” appear only twice on all of NTTA’s web site. The first time is in an August 2006 posting about State Highway 121, “Drivers without TollTags…toll rates are one-third more… Also, a $1 statement fee will be applied to each monthly bill”. The other reference to “statement fee” on their web site is from am April 2008 letter, “North Texas motorists will benefit from this agreement, which eliminates customer confusion. In addition, because the NTTA does not charge an initial statement fee and includes several transactions on each invoice, some customers can expect an up-front savings”.

    http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=%22Statement+Fee%22+site%3Antta.org

    So base on this information NTTA does not change a Statement Fee but when it does the fee is just $1 for “Drivers without TollTags”. We’ll that sure explains why I have a $3 charge.

    1. Dear Patron,
      Thank you for contacting us. The Statement fee for 1-3 tags is $1.50 per month and the Statement fee for 4-6 tags is $3.00 per month. Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance. We appreciate your business.
      NTTA Customer Service Center

      NTTA’s ZipCash invoices and violation notices now feature a new, user-friendly design that highlights each step in the payment and collections process. Learn more about the invoices and the NTTA’s three-step collection process at http://www.NTTA.org.

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