• Website charging Florida drivers ‘crazy service fees' agrees to make changes after investigation

    By: Jenna Bourne , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    A Florida company accused of charging drivers unnecessary fees has now agreed to make changes after a state investigation.

    Action News Jax first reported in February about complaints that ETags.com was charging Florida drivers extra fees to renew their vehicle registrations.

    Since then, ETags has entered into an agreement with the Florida Office of the Attorney General.

    “It wasn’t right,” said St. Augustine driver Judy Stupalsky, one of the consumers who said she reported ETags to the attorney general’s office.

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    Stupalsky said she clicked the first link that came up when it was time to renew her St. Johns County tag.

    “Google sent me straight to their website, not the county website,” said Stupalsky.

    On ETags.com, she wound up paying $106 for a two-year vehicle registration that should have cost about $70.

    In February, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles spokesperson Beth Frady said ETags misleads customers who are in a hurry and don’t realize they’ve clicked on the wrong website.

    “It was late at night, and I thought, I’ll go ahead and take care of this now,” said Stupalsky.

    Stupalsky and many other Floridians got charged what Frady called “crazy service fees.”

    They’re fees that the state doesn’t charge for the same transaction.

    According to the voluntary agreement between ETags and the attorney general’s office, the company must refund certain consumers who mistakenly believed they were using a government website.

    Officials with ETags agreed to clearly disclose that its “fees are in addition to the cost of registration renewal charged by the State of Florida.”

    Officials also agreed to clearly disclose it’s not affiliated with the government.

    It must also itemize all fees and charges.

    “Well, I’m glad they’re changing. I wish they were gone,” said Stupalsky.

    The agreement required ETags to pay the attorney general's office $20,000 for attorneys' fees and costs for its investigation.

    The agreement states ETags entered into the agreement “without any admission that it has violated the law.”

    ETags’ legal department did not respond to Action News Jax’s request for an interview Thursday.

    Frady said any Florida customers who want to renew online can use GoRenew.com or download the MyFlorida app.

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