June 17, 2007

Huh? The Risk Of Using a 407 ETR Transponder In A Rental

Q: What do you get when you cross a lawyer with the Godfather?

A: An offer you can't understand.
Huh?!? Sometimes a well-meaning message raises more questions than it answers. Here's an example.

The 407 Express Toll Route in the Toronto area can be a fast(er) way to get around ... for a price. I got a transponder to avoid the $7.10 video toll charges added to each round trip plus a monthly fee of $2.35 (see charges). The insert with this month's bill has an importance notice to help car renters save money.
"We do not recommend using your transponder in rental vehicles as tolls, video toll charges and administrative fees will be billed to the rental company if your transponder is not read.

If you choose to use your transponder in a rental vehicle, any tolls, video toll charges and administrative fees charged by the rental company as the responsibility of the renter."
What Does It Mean?
This well intentioned message is creating anxiety. Why wouldn't the transponder work in any vehicle? We have two vehicles and one transponder. I thought we could move the transponder between them, if required.

Here's the unanswered question: What should you do when renting a vehicle?

Without a transponder, won't you face the surcharges for for video toll and administration? Is there a special arrangement for rental companies? Maybe rental cars come with transponders already? Won't the rental company warn you if there's a better solution? Maybe they'll rent you a transponder?

I'm sure there are answers somewhere, but why not in the important notice itself?

The overall result is increased anxiety. Messages from other companies have the same unfortunate effect.

I hope I don't need to rent a car anytime soon.

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