Q: My FasTrak statement tracks numerous commute fees coming from Southern California. I am 450 miles north in California. They have misappropriated over $50.
I called FasTrak and the robot said unusual activity, call later in the week. Same robot, same comment two days later. The next day, the wait time was 55 minutes. I decided to wait on hold. “Please have your information handy,” the robot said.
The message repeated every minute with countdown, “to expedite your wait, please have your information handy” — 54 minutes, 53 minutes, 52 minutes. Someone said I should contact FasTrak via email.
Every minute the robot on the phone repeats, “To expedite your wait, please have your information handy.”
My FasTrak call was answered after an hour. The woman who finally answered asked what the problem was and put me on hold. Five minutes into the hold, a survey intervened in the call. I answer the survey questions.
“How is our service?”“Did we solve your problem/?“Would you recommend FasTrak to friends?”
Steve Banich, Menlo Park
A: I think I know what your reply might be, especially after you were automatically disconnected and I began fielding dozens of similar comments.
Q: I tried three times to reach FasTrak, but they said they could not take my call and directed me to their website. Is their system so poorly designed that there is no way to just pay my friggin’ toll?
A: FasTrak, you have a problem that is unacceptable. Conduent, Inc., the firm the bridge board uses to oversee the customer service center, is experiencing a tremendous volume of calls and that is having a widespread ripple effect. They know the problems customers are having, and have been working on solutions to clear the current backlog but also prevent such cases from piling up in the future.
Remembering well the difficulties around the Golden Gate Bridge’s 2013 transition to all-electronic tolling, the Bay Area Transportation Authority and Conduent both anticipated some bumps in the road following the Jan. 1 transition to an all-electronic tolling system at state-owned toll bridges. These bridges together handle a vastly greater volume of traffic than does the Golden Gate.
These challenges no doubt have been magnified by the big increase in bridge traffic that began last year. In December, daily Bay Bridge traffic during the work week were routinely running at 90-95 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
John-The-MTC-Guy says they are working with Conduent to “build a more resilient and higher-capacity system for all of the thousands of other customers who deserve and expect better and more responsive service than they have been receiving recently.”
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Author: Gary Richards