5 On Your Side

Problems with toll road bill not so quick to resolve

Posted August 21, 2012

Motorist Jerry Hester fought an erroneous bill for eight months until 5 On Your Side stepped in to help. The bill, for a Triangle Expressway toll for a car he never owned, compounded from 77 cents to more than $55.
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— Fighting a bill that's not yours is bad enough, but fighting it for eight months, some would call ridiculous. Especially when month after month, you're told it's taken care of, only to see another bill arrive in the mail.

It's the frustrating situation a Raleigh man emailed 5 On Your Side's Monica Laliberte about.

Jerry Hester received the first bill for the Triangle Expressway toll in January.

The problem: It wasn't his car and wasn't his license plate.

Hester immediately called NC Quick Pass to get the problem resolved.

"They said we'll take care of the bill, it's gone we'll send the bill to the right person," Hester said. "And probably the next month, I received another bill in the mail."

The problem? One letter was off on the license plate.

The bill's plate started with PVN. Hester used to own a similar license plate, but his started with PVM.

QuickPass error not so quickly resolved QuickPass error not so quickly resolved

He turned in his tag to the Department of Motor Vehicles in 2004. He told us he's made many calls to NC Quick Pass.

"They said, `Well if you don't pay the bill, they will add fines and fees and things like that onto it,'" Hester told us. "I said, 'But it's not my bill,why should I pay it?'"

Because of the mess, Hester got a letter from the DMV proving the car and tag are not his. He says NC Quick Pass staff then gave promise after promise the situation would be handled.

"So they told me it was taken care of then, and I think that time was in February," Hester said.

But the bills kept coming and coming. With penalties adding up, in eight months the original 77-cent bill increased to $55.77.

5 On Your Side called NC Quick Pass.

We were told clearly, human error is to blame for misreading the license plate.
As for the promises that it was taken care of month after month, Quick Pass is following up.

But after our call, Hester's charges are finally cleared.

He told us he went online and his account now shows a zero balance. He's thrilled but still has a suggestion for NC Quick Pass on how to keep others from getting erroneous bills.

"I said maybe you guys should change it to where there are people at the toll booth that take the money instead of taking photos and relying on people to get it right."

A spokesman for NC Quick Pass told us they added a review process. All license plates now get read twice.

43 Comments

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  • Lynn1201 Aug 24, 2012

    No whining here, I just don't use the road at all, works for me. there are too many other ways to go then to have to pay that silly toll. I pay my dues already .

  • pay toll to the troll Aug 24, 2012

    amen my brother or sister!!!

  • whatelseisnew Aug 24, 2012

    "First it was the very idea of tolls, now it's whining over how they are collected. Every time people are asked to part with a few miserable pennies it is the same old rant. Well let me tell all of you a thing or two. We need an infrastructure. That infrastructure is falling apart. We all will pay whatever is necessary to keep it up and those who do not like it are just plain out of luck. So whine away, you will change nothing and you will pay, like it or not."

    And we pay far too much because people like yourself will not push back on Government. We have paid for 540 far an above what its completed cost will be. In addition now to the TOLL we are still paying the extra 6 Cents per gallon fuel tax that was put in place in 1989. The Governors and the members of the legislature that stole money from the Highway Trust Fund should all be in PRISON for committing fraud.

  • pay toll to the troll Aug 24, 2012

    name calling is really not arguing...its what people do when they dont have any facts to back up their position.

  • pay toll to the troll Aug 24, 2012

    and the list of prejudices just keeps growing, whinny, cheap, fussing and now dead beats...

  • pay toll to the troll Aug 24, 2012

    good move

  • piene2 Aug 24, 2012

    "Looks to me that only one person is whinning and fussing and not paying. This is yet another expose on a PRIVATE company that has a license to steal and very ineffiecient. IF you think that the tolls are used for NC infrastructure you better think again. This story is about a person that received a bill that was not his and the side effects are outrageous fees, negative credit rating, and a block on his registration. This is a story about a .77 toll bill that took 8 months to clear. "

    To heck with it. I am not going to spend any more time arguing with a bunch of whiny deadbeats over seventy five cents. As far as I am concerned, the topic is closed.

  • pay toll to the troll Aug 24, 2012

    Looks to me that only one person is whinning and fussing and not paying. This is yet another expose on a PRIVATE company that has a license to steal and very ineffiecient. IF you think that the tolls are used for NC infrastructure you better think again. This story is about a person that received a bill that was not his and the side effects are outrageous fees, negative credit rating, and a block on his registration. This is a story about a .77 toll bill that took 8 months to clear.

    How can prejudge that everyone is cheap and whinny and not willing to pay their fair share. Do your self a favor before you comment, google NC Quickpass. You may amaze your self with all of the cheap and whinny people that have had it with this company. In the mean time, you need to stop prejudging people, stop whinning at victims, and learn to PAY ATTENTION AS WELL AS YOUR FAIR SHARE...I bet you think our founding fathers were cheap and whinny too because they would not pay tax to England.

  • piene2 Aug 23, 2012

    "I pay through my gas tax, and you can bet your last few miserable pennies that I wouldnt be driving that road. I think you work for them..its the only reason for your defense of them, I am amazed by your inability to see the ineffeicency of this process.
    tmicale"

    Sorry, none of the above. I have never had any financial interest in the process in any way aside from not being too cheap to pay my due without whining and fussing.

  • pay toll to the troll Aug 23, 2012

    either you must work for them or have stock in the private company.

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