Local

Send Ben: ‘Check your statements:’ Driver fueled with dismay after $32 SunPass toll

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax Ben Becker got results for a local driver who hit a speed bump when trying to pay his SunPass bill from a toll road.

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“I was in part of town I was not super familiar with,” said Tim Kelly. “I always have my GPS to avoid tolls.”

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Thousands of drivers like Kelly use hundreds of miles of toll roads and express lanes in Florida, but it’s not always a smooth experience.

Kelly made an unexpected detour in Orange Park, and he ended up going through an I295 express lane and received an invoice.

Since Kelly doesn’t use a SunPass, he was charged $1.90 for using the Toll-By-Plate option, plus another $2.50 administrative fee. Not too be a deal for the grand total of $4.40.

READ: SunPass vs E-PASS: What you need to know about Jacksonville’s tolls

Problem is, Kelly said the invoice showed an old account would be billed for the payment so he called SunPass to update his payment info to a debit card and was assured everything would be fine, but it wasn’t.

“A week or two later I see a pending charge on the account number I gave them for $31.90,” said Kelly. “That doesn’t sound right, it was $4.40.”

Turns out, Kelly was slapped with a $25 non-sufficient funds fee bringing the total to that $31.90 figure.

Action News Jax has reported for years about various SunPass billing issues but nothing like this.

SunPass said its license plate readers process 200 million tags every year, and they said the readers are accurate more than 99.95% of the time – but that’s still 100,000 mistakes annually.

READ: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announces break for motorists on SunPass toll bills

Kelly filed an appeal but was stuck in park.

I paid it, said Kelly. “Then I disputed it. They rejected the dispute, so I called you.”

So, Becker got to work to get Kelly past his roadblock.

Becker emailed the Florida Department of Transportation who said, “We are happy to look into this matter and provide assistance.”

Soon after, Becker received an email from Kelly.

“WOW Mr. Becker, your level of effectiveness is impressive! 24 hours later, a refund has been offered!! Thank you so very much.”

“It’s something everyone should be aware of so check your statements with SunPass,” said Kelly.

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