Paying toll on passing a bridge.--From a paint...Image via Wikipedia

There are a couple of things I don’t understand about the new eFlow Barrier-Free system that is due to come into effect from the 30th of August…

  1. How can eFlow and the National Roads Authority get away with their advertising campaign of deceit?
  2. Why as a nation, do we put up with this stealth tax?

The eFlow advertising campaign is based around the idea that by registering now, we will somehow avail of a cheaper option for using the toll. From the outset it actually looks like you do save money. If you are registered with eFlow, your passage through the m50 toll bridge will cost just €2, whereas if you are unregistered the fee will actually be €3 a go.

That all sounds great until you read the terms and conditions…

To open an eFlow account, it costs €40!!***
It costs €1 per month for them to administer the account (whatever that means..).
On top of this, there is a minimum account balance of €12. Once your account hits this amount they will automatically top you up (by charging your credit card) at the minimum top up rate of €30.

For your fist year driving through the M50 toll, it will cost you a minimum of €40. If you go through more than 14 times in the year, your minimum cost will be €70. So in the time it takes you to spend €70 at the moment you will get through the toll 35 times compared to just 14 in the first year with the eFlow system.

Now, lets say you are someone like me who rarely uses the M50 toll bridge, at most I use it about 10 times a year. There doesn’t seem to be much point in me registering for eFlow. But I face a 50% increase in price for not being registered.

Add that to the inconvenience of it all. God forbid if I had a chance to go on holidays, I would have to go through the M50 toll to get to the airport. Well unless I get to the airport, check-in, find my departure gate and get to an Internet connection to pay my toll for coming to the airport (which has to be paid within 24 hours) I will return to a lovely bill of €46 from my two week holiday.

Why aren’t eFlow forced to show these terms and conditions in their adverts?

***Note: You can register for a video account for free – works much the same as not registering, but is €0.50 cheaper.

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