SunPass driver frustrated with late bill

Posted at 3:35 PM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-14 19:42:54-05

Another wave of bills are going out to SunPass users and this time drivers say they are getting massive bills with only about 40 days to pay the invoice.

In October, the Florida Department of Transportation announced it would be offering Flex-Pay, giving customers who were getting late bills for TOLL-BY-PLATE a chance to pay by February 28, 2019 without any fees or penalties. Customers are still getting bills and the deadline to pay without fines is now March 31 for everyone.

A system-wide failure by the company 'Conduent',contracted by the DOT to run SunPass, overcharged drivers and backlogged invoices.

A South Florida woman received a bill for more than $800 two days ago for SunPass charges that started in June. Some time last summer Valerie Conlin switched cars for her every day commutes. "I usually take the Turnpike half the time and take I-95 half of the time," she said.

But in the midst of SunPass system chaos, she forgot to add her new license plate to her transponder and was actually being charged TOLL-BY-PLATE when she was traveling through the SunPass Go lane.

"I would have been on it immediately. I just assumed it was replenishing automatically," said Conlin. "To my surprise, I receive an invoice totaling eight months-worth of the entire ticket charge from pretty much Osceola to Lantana," she said.

Conlin said because she never got a SunPass ticket at the booth, she says a representative of SunPass told her she could not prove where she got on so she was being charged the maximum distance from her exit. And that's not all. She was told there's another bill coming to her for her other car.

"They gave me till March 31 to pay pretty much $1,300 or they'll send it to collections," she said.

The Department of Transportation says the invoices without fines or fees are due by March 31. We asked what happens if the amount is not paid in full by then and are waiting on a reply. The DOT said customers can also make partial payments and be reminded of their balance.

Conlin said she hopes Conduent makes this right for drivers who depend on the Turnpike for travel. "If not, [I hope] that the FDOT will drop the company and realize this is not fair," she added.

Conlin said she was told she paid her bill in full over the phone she could get 20 percent off the charge. She says she plans to file a dispute and look into consulting with a lawyer.