Many users reported that they received very high bills when they only used the toll roads once or twice. Others reported that they received e-toll bills without ever using Gauteng’s roads.
Last week Beeld reported that a man who has been dead since October 2012 received an SMS warning that he had overdue e-toll fees of R612.21.
Twitter user Florah-M said that Sanral had contacted her mother via SMS to tell her she owed R380 — this despite the fact that her mother lives in Limpopo and does not own a car.
“My dad stays in Limpopo but received an SMS from Sanral as well for R1,023,” said Neal Collins, football columnist for The New Age.
Former Financial Mail editor Barney Mthombothi was less diplomatic, asking “Can Sanral be trusted to tell the truth? How do you trust a thief?”.
E-tolling SMS, e-mail warning
The Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) said that they cannot fathom why Sanral and TMT Services has chosen to put the cart before the horse by accusing people of being “violators” before they have sent them an invoice.
JPSA said that the SMS and e-mail demands are not legitimate demands for payment, but are in fact an attempt to short-circuit the e-road regulations and force people to pay as quickly as possible without due processes and legislation being followed.
JPSA warned that Internet scammers will quickly catch onto the dubious practices of Sanral and TMT Services, and use SMSes and e-mails to scam users.
“Sanral and TMT Services have provided them with all of the tools they need to commit this kind of fraud,” the JPSA said.
“It is therefore our recommendation that you treat suspicious e-mails with extreme caution and refrain from clicking on links provided in them or making payment to banking accounts stated thereon.”
JPSA chairman Howard Dembovsky advised users who receive an SMS or e-mail from Sanral to take note of it, and then assign it to the exact same “drawer” that you would an SMS or e-mail which said you won the European Lotto.
Crime Line head and Safact chairman Yusuf Abramjee called for action, saying that there needs to be an urgent intervention to stop Sanral’s e-tolls payment demands and threats.