Re "FasTrak computer may not be so swift," Column, March 5
Modern digital systems and their associated sensors can be troublesome occasionally. The automated toll collector FasTrak is such a system.
I have been a FasTrak user since it was initiated on the 91 Express Lane between Orange and Riverside counties. After I bought a new car, I started getting violation notices. I called the Orange County Transportation Authority to resolve the problem, which turned out to be the result of an old transponder, the sensors on my car and the placement of the transponder in my car. The violations were removed from my record, I paid no fines and I've sorted out the transponder placement.
That is what I call customer service. David Lazarus did a disservice by failing to note that such problems can be quickly and easily solved over the phone in a few minutes.
I have been a certified public accountant for more than 30 years, and I can tell you that similar to the FasTrak billing system, the IRS and California's Franchise Tax Board have been sending out bogus computer-generated notices for years. Often, if the amount due is small enough, a taxpayer pays it thinking it's some kind of small math error.
I always ask my clients to send me any such notices so I can review them for accuracy. Almost always, the tax agency has made a "mistake."
Penny M. Fox
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