Credit card error costs Westpark Tollway driver hundreds in EZ tag tolls

More than $600 in tolls, fees and extra charges -- that's what a one toll road user faced after a mix-up on toll road account
April 3, 2014 7:37:45 AM PDT
We love to hate the toll road, and one Harris County woman says she has a good reason. She was charged hundreds of dollars for not paying the tolls, even though she has a TxTag.

More than $600 in tolls, fees and extra charges -- that's what a one toll road user faced after a mix-up involving her credit card and her toll road account.

Cat Hardy is no stranger to the Westpark Tollway.

"I take the toll road at least three of four times a week," Hardy said.

Hardy says she was caught off guard when violations and fines totaling more than $1,000 came rolling in, so she called TxTag.

"The first answer I got was, 'We don't know why your card disappeared,'" she said.

Hardy says she was then told her card had expired, but that answer only confused her more. "I made sure to put my credit card and all my information on it," Hardy said.

Hardy says she eventually learned her current credit card information was not fully recorded. That meant her account was suspended for 10 days while she traveled the toll road and the fees from the Harris County Toll Road Authority piled up quickly.

"Every time they mail you something it's like $11 and then on top once it goes to collections, it is another $14 on top of that, and there was nothing they could do for me," Hardy said.

Hardy takes part of the blame. Her toll tag mailing address was still listed as her father's residence in Austin, and because of that, she did not get the notices warning of trouble.

After we explained Hardy's situation to HCTRA, the agency told us, "If the customer calls in to update their account, in most cases we are able to waive all of those HCTRA violation fees, requiring the customer to only pay the missed tolls. We extended this courtesy to Ms. Hardy."

Toll road officials went on to say situations like this one occur when road users do not respond to violation invoices, allowing months to lapse after first receiving notification. So be sure the addresses are correct on your accounts.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13


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