dr_taverner (dr_taverner) wrote,

407 can go to hell

I am posting this draft of my letter to the 407 ETR in the hopes of getting feedback before sending it off.

TO: 407 ETR
CC: IQOR Canada
CC: The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Transportation Ontario
CC: Hon Monique M. Smith, MPP (Nipissing)

RE: Account #xxxxxxxx

As per our conversation on August 17, 2010 I am providing the details and subsequent demands concerning this account.

My initial bill for using the 407-ETR was $25.10 and was invoiced in November 2001. I accidentally paid only $24.86 which they received on November 29th, 2001. At that time I did not realize that I was short by 24 cents ($0.24). They charged me a $30 late payment fee on that amount and then continual interest on that $30.
When the issue was identified I immediately mailed them a quarter but have refused to pay them the several thousand percent interest on that measly amount.

CBCL contacted me in 2002 demanding an amount of $67.62 which had been levied and accumulated against my $0.24 underpayment. I wrote them on 08/15/2002 and the company dropped the account as unfair.

CBCL received the account again and all the documentation that I was able to accumulate was sent to their office on April 24, 2003. At this point the company dropped the matter once more recognizing that the amounts they required of me over the issue of $0.24 were unrealistic and can be considered 'usury' under current laws.
Since that letter of April 24, 3003 I have heard nothing concerning this account until now.

The matter came to CBCL once again in 2008 and was immediately dropped upon receipt of my letter explaining the situation. In fact I had totally forgotten about this incident as it was resolved so quickly and I believed the matter finally laid to rest.

It is now 2010 and IQOR Canada is claiming that I owe the 407ETR over $300.

I'd like to try to put this in perspective since it is apparently impossible for anyone to understand my refusal to pay money that I do not owe.

Imagine that I own a shop and you have come in and purchased a CD. The CD costs $25.10, you reach into your pockets and pay me. You happen to be busy and somehow you mistakenly only pay $24.86. A few months later I send you a letter stating that you only paid $24.86 and still owed me $0.24 and because of that twenty four cents I charged you a late fee of $30, more than the original price of the CD in question. I then started charging interest on the $30.24 and am demanding that you pay me $67.62 EXTRA for the CD which originally cost at $25.10. The CD's price has suddenly jumped to $92.72.

Let's say that you're a fair minded person and agree that, yes, you were short by $0.24. You drop by the store and give me a quarter ($0.25) and call it square. You have now paid the original bill in full.
Some more time goes by and I send you to collections. This time I want well over $100. You tell the collections company what had happened and they drop the account. Time and again I come back and demand more and more money and you write the collections company explaining the situation and giving them documentation and, time and time again, the account is dropped.

Nine years later I'm demanding over $300 for a $25 CD for which you have long since paid. How would you react to the bogus claim that you owe me that money? I have a feeling that, had this happened in a retail environment you'd have told me to go to hell.

But this is not a retail environment. This is a rather nebulous situation wherein someone driving my car (it wasn't even myself) used a service which I paid for and because of an accident was short by $0.24 which I rectified as soon as I was made aware of the mistake.

The fact is, I have no intention of paying this account, ever. I do not agree that I owe this money, nor do I accept that any company should be charging twelve thousand percent late fees on amounts less than a dollar. Let me reiterate that: The penalty on being accidentally short by $0.24 was 12,500% and currently stands at over 132,500% of the original late amount, an amount that was PAID as soon as I was aware of its existence.
Now I've done business in Canada, and specifically in Ontario and am finding it difficult to understand how exactly this is considered a fair penalty for, well, anything to be honest.

I'd rather not drag this out into a long legal battle or make it into a huge media issue. But I will if I must. I do not know whether I still have originals of all documentation related to this situation but I must expect that the company in question has not destroyed their old records if they continue to claim that I owe them money but I do have copies of the letters I wrote and in them I have the details listed above.

I therefore give you one more chance to drop this bogus charge before I take legal and/or media action. If I must I'll ensure every newspaper in Ontario gets an article outlining the years of harassment and unethical business practices to which I have been subjected over the last decade.

I expect a prompt response informing me that this account has finally been put to rest and a formal apology for your company's harassment over the last ten years.

Greg Wotton
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