In this new monthly column, afpop, Portugal’s largest foreign residents’ association, aims to answer some of the most frequently-asked questions by members.
Question: My Via Verde device no longer gives a sound when passing on the electronic motorway. How can I get it tested/exchanged?
afpop Answers: On some toll roads, for example the A22 in the Algarve, the device will emit a short beep as it passes through the beam on the toll road, but of course there is no sound when using the device in the Via Verde lanes on the main motorways. Instead, a green light shines as you pass through the toll station at the end of the journey and the amount charged is indicated on the display next to the light.
If the machine is faulty, the beep won’t sound on the toll roads* and an amber light will display on the booth as you pass through a Via Verde station, with no amount to pay displayed. (*Sometimes there is no beep sounding when passing under a particular gantry and this doesn’t mean that the machine you have is faulty.
If it never beeps when passing under toll gantries though, you should consider checking if it is working correctly)
You can check if there is an alert message on the Via Verde website by logging in and, underneath your name, click on ‘Dados de Conta’ and then on ‘Centro de Mensagens’ and see if there are any messages there for you. Alternatively, you can click on the tab ‘Apoio ao Cliente’ and there will be a message there if they have an amber light (luz amarela) notification for you.
If you think that the device is faulty, you should go to the Via Verde office near you (in the Algarve this is in Faro at the Loja de Cidadão in the indoor market and in Cascais it is in Cascais Shopping) and speak to the staff there. They will check your device and, if it is faulty, will issue you with a new one, which is already activated and you simply place in the vehicle. Be aware that there will be a charge for the new device if it outside its warranty period (two years), but that charge is automatically added to your account and will be paid in your usual method.
For more information about the benefits of membership of afpop, the largest association for foreign residents in Portugal, you can visit their website www.afpop.com; email them direct on firstname.lastname@example.org or call the afpop office on 282 458 509 or 938 252 100). Please remember to quote the Algarve Resident when contacting them.