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Toll violation - Alamo said the car had a device

Bedfordshire...
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Toll violation - Alamo said the car had a device

I am British, living in the UK. I recently drove from San Fran to LA in an Alamo rental car on a one way rental. I've never hired a vehicle in the US before so asked at the hire car desk how the California tolls worked. I was told the vehicle had a device that allowed me to pass through the automatic toll gates, and Alamo would bill my credit card after the event (with a small admin fee).

Instead I have arrived home to a toll violation notice direct from the toll company. Despite what it says on the website, Alamo citations department will only communicate by telephone (I've tried email and the contact form several times). I do need to call them back and wondered if anyone has experienced this and knows where I stand? Do I just pay and put this down to experience?

I have also contacted the toll company to buy a little time, explaining the situation and asking if they would waive the penalty element of the fee.

Park City, Utah
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1. Re: Toll violation - Alamo said the car had a device

How much is the citation fee? There's a chance it might be less than what you would have paid the rental car company as they would have charged you a service fee for every day of the rental. On most rental car vehicles that have transponders, you need to turn the transponder out of a protective case or it won't be read.

While this won't help you now, using rental car toll transponders is very, very expensive and is best avoided - either by paying tolls in cash where possible or avoiding toll roads.

Sorry you had the hassle.

Altamonte Springs...
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2. Re: Toll violation - Alamo said the car had a device

Social media (Facebook & Twitter) are the best (IMO) way to grab corporate attention. Use "@alamocares" for a Twitter direct message.

Fortaleza, CE
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3. Re: Toll violation - Alamo said the car had a device

What toll roads/bridges did you use going from SF to LA? Did Alamo rep say you didn't need to activate the transponder in any way? How much was the fee from "the" toll company?

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Toll violation - Alamo said the car had a device

if you need us to comment on things, you do need to provide details of what did occur and where the infraction was. We have done that drive from SF to LA more times than we can remember and there is no toll road or bridge going say toward I5 or 101 or 1 all the way into LA.

Now you could have use an express lane in the Southland. But you if you stay generic in your post, we can only speculate

Bedfordshire...
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5. Re: Toll violation - Alamo said the car had a device

Thanks to all for your responses so far.

The citation fee is $63 and the location given is "Catalina View South Lane 13". Looks like this would have been the day we drove to San Diego from Marina Del Ray. I can only remember one toll, perhaps two on the entire trip. We (think) we were careful to stay out of express lanes.

I honestly can't remember the specific details of our route. We drove from SF to Yosemite, then across to the Pacific Coast Highway which we took to San Diego. Then San Diego to Palm Springs and back to LA. I know we were also on the 101 and the 5 at some point. I realise there could be more citations to come.

The Alamo rep said nothing about activating a device. Thinking about this further, "device" is my word from my subsequent research. He actually said something like, the vehicles are all registered for automatic toll payments in California, so you can drive through the FasTrack and Alamo will charge your card with a $3 admin fee each time. I had no reason to doubt this information and it seemed very straightforward.

Los Angeles...
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6. Re: Toll violation - Alamo said the car had a device

It sounds like the 73 toll road in Orange County. Alamo should take responsibility for this.

Thousand Oaks...
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7. Re: Toll violation - Alamo said the car had a device

Yep..This is the 73 Southbound. You went throught the one and only toll booth on your trip. Congrats.

Without knowing exactly what Alamo provided you in writing it is hard to discern who has responsibility here. You may want to re-read your contract and possibly write them a certified letter to dispute it.

Good luck.

Dr. Z

Bedfordshire...
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8. Re: Toll violation - Alamo said the car had a device

Thanks everyone. I am reassured to hear that I am not likely to receive many (or any) more of these violations.

Unfortunately, there is nothing in writing on any of my paperwork, so it looks like my word against theirs. I'll give it one more try with Alamo, but suspect I'll end up paying it for an easy life. My last telephone conversation with one of their very bored sounding operators wasn't the easiest!

Lesson learned. For this to be the only mishap on an otherwise fabulous, self-organised three week trip, we probably did ok :0)

Los Angeles...
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9. Re: Toll violation - Alamo said the car had a device

The signs on the 405 say 73 south to San Diego, so I'm not at all surprised that a driver who is unfamiliar with the area could make the same mistake. I hope all works out well. Sounds like you had a wonderful time otherwise.

Fray Bentos
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10. Re: Toll violation - Alamo said the car had a device

I received today a similar violation. I drove from LA (Santa Monica) to San Diego and now I received a violation in the location "Catalina View South Lane 11". I really don't remember when I passed though a toll payment box. I am from Uruguay and I really don't know how it Works. Now I have to pay this violation ($63) and the $18 that Alamo charges for the administration of the fee.