The Electronic Toll Collection company (ETC) has hit back at Outa and the JPSA for their statements on the recent SMS threats motorists received regarding their unpaid e-tolls.
“Continued distortion of the facts and bluster by entities purporting to be all-knowing is starting to wear thin,” said ETC chief operations officer Mark Ridgway.
SMS messages started going out earlier this year, listing motorists’ outstanding e-toll balance and discounted bill, with the following warning:
Failure to settle outstanding e-tolls will result in a loss of this discount, vehicle listing, and collection action being commenced against you for the full amount due.
This was later followed up with:
We have noted your refusal to pay your outstanding e-toll balance. Your vehicle details are being submitted for listing, and legal action will commence with costs incurred.
Outa said these messages were illegal, and revealed that calls to the numbers listed in the SMS were routed to private debt collectors.
We will collect: ETC
Ridgway said Sanral has stated that the recovery of public money will be ongoing and that there will be consequences for non-payment.
“In line with the new dispensation, a discount of 60% was offered to road users who settled their outstanding debt incurred prior to 1 September 2015.”
“The time left to ensure this discount is taken advantage of is fast running out. Those road users that have not responded will be subjected to ongoing collection activity, listing of their vehicles, and civil action.”
He said the current debt resulting from non-payment of e-tolls was legally owing and needs to be collected, and confirmed that experts have been engaged to ensure that efforts are made in collecting the money.
“A task force has been established and given that the holiday period is over, efforts around these collections are being amplified.”
“ITC Business Administrators has been contracted to provide outsourced additional resource infrastructure to support the taskforce operation and debt recovery exercise.”
Ridgway said that despite Outa’s statement, it is standard practice of an outsourced company to represent their client.
You must pay your tolls: ETC
“It is an offence to not pay tolls. As such, non-paying road users must be prepared for vehicle listing, ongoing and substantial collection activity, and legal action,” said Ridgway.
“Those who refuse to pay or who do not respond will have to face the consequences and loss of a substantial discount.”