LAKE WORTH, Fla. — With countless calls to SunPass customer service, and wait times well over 30 minutes, Vicki Tate wasn't going to stand for a $1,500 toll-by-plate bill.
"We will pay what we owe, we're certainly not going to pay $1,500," said Tate.
In February she received the bill with a March 31st due date and asked why? She said her son's car was the one with the license plate charged through toll-by-plate and he has a transponder in it.
"They charged us as if he was going from Lake Worth to Orlando, it was crazy," said Tate.
Tate said after SunPass only offered a small discount if she paid in full, she called the governor's office and complained.
"They have a whole department to deal with consumer complaints. They took all my information and sent that information to our local DOT [Department of Transportation] here in Palm Beach County," she said.
Tate said DOT representatives told her they could run the license plate through the system and back-date the transactions billed for the highest toll and distance amount.
"That took the huge charges that were $16 and $17, what should have been 44 cents or $1.28, or whatever the small amount was," said Tate.
Her advice to other SunPass users:
"Just to be your own advocate because there's nobody else that's going to fight for you," she added.
The Communications Director of the Florida Department of Transportation South declined a request to interview District Four Secretary Gerry O'Reilly who has made presentations to senators on the infrastructure and security committee about the status of Conduent's system, the company that took over SunPass.
The communications director said SunPass users can file a dispute online at SunPass.com using the 'unpaid tolls' link and said 4 million invoices have gone out since January of this year so the customer service line is working at a much higher volume and longer wait times are expected.