The HIDDEN Cost of Loyalty Tags
Toll tags like E-ZPass are great, but there's a hidden agenda.
Toll tags are being used like poker chips in a casino, they keep you from thinking of them as money, which is why politicians love them so much. It makes it easier for you to forget how much you pay each time you go through a toll.
People in casinos bet more when they use poker chips than they would if they had to take cash out of their pockets for each bet. That's the magic of tokenizing money. We don't think of it the same as we would with cash. Credit cards have the same effect on people, which is why stores love them.
How does this relate to toll tags like E-ZPass?
Ever since the introduction of toll collection systems, customers are less and less aware of increasing prices of tolls. Making matters worse, drivers are encouraged to use Paperless Statements, and use automatic payments, so they often have no idea what they are paying for each toll, and that's exactly what the politicians want.
I wouldn't mind as much if toll booths at least showed you the prices as you pass through the booth, but they go out of their way to hide that too.
When you pay with cash, toll booths display a 3 line message like:
But when you pay with your tag, the message says something like:
What? No amount... and while we're at it... No "THANK YOU"?
Why not simply standardize the messages to always show the amount, then the type of payment? Like this:
Naturally, what I'm writing about here only applies to regular toll lanes, not lanes where traffic travels at as much as 50 MPH.
Joe Crescenzi, Founder
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