Use TX-Tag on Grand Parkway? Check your bill for overcharges

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- If you use toll roads in the Houston area, you might want to check your statements.

TxDOT says an error in its system has resulted in erroneous fines for drivers.

Like many Houstonians, Jovannah Martinez-Torres spends a lot of time in her car.

She takes the Grand Parkway at least twice a day, but lately her bill has been a lot higher than usual.

"You're telling me one of those little toll flashing things is $5.44? That's crazy," said Martinez-Torres.

Martinez-Torres has a toll tag that charges straight to her checking account.

"You keep going, $5, $5," said Martinez-Torres.

"So every time you used your toll tag, you paid $5?" asked ABC13 reporter Pooja Lodhia.

"Yep," said Martinez-Torres.

The TX-Tag has charged her an extra $5 every time she used the tollway. She's also been billed extra by the Harris County Toll Road Authority.

Every single time she went through a toll, she paid an extra $11.

"Tell me why I'm being violated. The violation fees, it doesn't say for what," said Martinez-Torres.

Could you be charged extra, too? Maybe.

If you believe you have been overcharged, click here to file a complaint.

ABC13 reached out to the TxDOT, who is in charge of tolls over the Grand Parkway.

Representatives there said the problem is high priority and they are working to figure out the root of the problem.

The Harris County Toll Road Authority has also received complaints and officials there are looking into the issue.

"Absolutely no reason, it makes no sense. Imagine how many people are also on the toll tag, also being charged," said Martinez-Torres.

TxDOT released the following statement:

"We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience our toll customers are experiencing at this time. EZTag, TxTag and TollTag (Houston, Austin and Dallas toll authorities) have been working together to allow their toll tags to work seamlessly with Kansas and other states so that Texas toll tag users can drive on other states' toll roads using their same tags. During this time, the transfer of account information between the partnering toll authorities was delayed and, as a result, some customers were issued a Pay By Mail invoice and violations in error. Due to this issue, we are receiving a high volume of calls and customers are experiencing long wait times."

Message to Customers:
"Please call the agency with which you established your TxTag, TollTag or EZTag account with to dispute Pay By Mail invoices or violations you might have received in error from other toll agencies. Your home tag agency will file a dispute on your behalf to resolve these bill issues with the other agencies. There is no need for you to call both toll agencies. We appreciate your patience as we work with our partner tolling agencies to resolve the situation."

UPDATE (WEDNESDAY, JULY 19): Viewer Sandra Boeringa told Eyewitness News when she contacted EZTag, she was told she had to contact TxTag to dispute her fees. EZTag reportedly told her if you get a busy signal while calling TxTag to keep calling.

From Harris County Toll Road Authority:
Thank you for reaching out to us. We are currently working with our partner agencies throughout the Texas region to fully understand any potential discrepancies in the interoperability process. We are looking into the matter to further understand and identify what, if any, issues may exist with the transfer of account information between the various agencies.

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