ECC Austria receives a lot of claims regarding tolls on Italian highways.
Many consumer report that they - after having used an Italian highway years ago - now receive bills of an Austrian debt collecting agency.
The consumers remember that they payed the toll with creditcard or bank card directly at the ticket vending machine. They received a ticket and the gate opened. At the same time, the highway operator took a photo of their car because they apparently didn't pay the toll.
A debt collecting agency was hired to collect the outstandig amount. As the agency makes a driver survey and requests overdue fees, the claimed amount is higher than the actual toll.
Despite non-payment, gate opens
Research has shown that even if the payment via creditcard or bank card didn't work, the gates open in order to avoid traffic jams. The consumers get a receipt.
"R" - Toll not paid
On the receipt, under the point "Modalità di Pagamento" (Italian for "terms of payment") stands the letter "R". This "R" means "pedaggio non corrisposto" (toll not paid). The consumers therefore didn't know that they didn't pay the toll.
Telepass machine - also with non-Italian bank account
It is possible for non-Italian consumers to get a Telepass machine. You need a bank account at the Italian Post Office or at a bank that has an an aggreement with Telepass.
Telepass machine - creditcard from Italy
Italian consumers can get a Telepass machine with their creditcard; forein consumers can do this if they have a creditcard that was issued in Italy.
Tips of the European Consumer Centre
- Carefully check the receipt you get after paying the toll with your creditcard or bank card. Did the payment really work?
- Immediately check if the letter "R" stands on your ticket. If the payment didn't work ("Mancato Pagamento"), turn to the next person in charge or to the nearest toll station (Punto Blu) in order to pay the toll. You can also pay the toll online within 15 days without further expenses.
- In Italy, unpaid tolls only expire after ten years.
- In order to avoid problems beforehand, make sure to drive to the right counter at the toll station.
- Counters with the sign "Telepass" are only for automatic debit of the toll with a "Telepass machine".