Antoinette Slabbert
2 minute read
5 Jun 2014
6:00 am

E-toll prosecution ‘imminent’ – ETC

Antoinette Slabbert

CEO of e-toll operator Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) Jamie Surkont has vowed to treat his customers better – but only those who want to engage with him and his team.

Image courtesy stock.xchnge

If you tell them to take a hike and slam the phone down, you should expect to be profiled by ETC and to be by-passed when friendly reminders are sent of outstanding e-toll fees. If that is how you want to play it, ETC will stick strictly to the legislated process. If you don’t pay you will be prosecuted. Finish en klaar.

Surkont says ETC has realised that many of its customers who have landed in the dreaded “Violations Processing Centre” (VPC) want to be compliant and ETC will help them to do what is necessary.

The e-toll system has been designed to handle a customer in either the Transaction Clearing House (TCH) or the VPC and the training approach was the same, says Surkont.

The TCH is the normal e-toll account where transactions within the seven-day grace period are recorded. After seven days without payment, the transaction is transferred to another account in the VPC and costs escalate. They may escalate to almost six times the amount charged for the same transaction in the TCH.

Surkont says registered users who landed in the VPC should be treated differently from those who elected to be in violation. They shouldn’t get the same correspondence and the approach should be softer.

“The last thing I want to do is treat this (registered) customer in the same way I would the VPC-profiled customer, and risk upsetting him, because he actually took the time to interact with us.”

ETC has therefore changed the processes and will contact registered users with outstanding amounts in the VPC to make them aware of the need to take action. These customers will be spared the SMSes and letters about being handed over for collection.

Soon Sanral will have to prosecute, says Surkont. As a precursor to that ETC will send out a final statement. This is imminent, he says. Those who don’t react to that will be handed over to the justice department for prosecution.