Toll Violations

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Aug 19, 2019
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#1
Hello, this issue is in regards to multiple toll violations that were issued against me while I had an active toll transponder in the vehicle.

I have a Sunpass (Florida Toll Program) transponder that has interstate operability in Georgia's Peachpass toll lanes.

I have previously used the Sunpass transponder in my vehicle for toll payments in Georgia's Peachpass toll lanes.

On August 2, 2019, I received a Notice of Assignment to Collection Agency from Professional Account Management LLC (PAM) that I have delinquent, unpaid toll violations. There were multiple "Toll Violations" dated from 4/24/19 - 6/11/2019.

The total amount was $462.45. The underlying creditor for this debt was PeachPass.

I immediately sent a written letter to the debt collection agency and separately to the creditor, PeachPass notifying them that I have disputed the alleged debt.

I provided supporting evidence:
1. Evidence that I had an active Sunpass account during this time
2. Provided the active transponder number that is associated with my Georgia vehicle's license plate and that it was present in the vehicle at the time of accessing toll lanes

I received a response back from PeachPass that since my Sunpass toll account was associated with a temporary negative balance from 4/24/19 - 6/11/19, the toll violation charges set by PeachPass are valid.

I contacted Sunpass and found the following information on their website:

"Can I still use toll facilities if my SunPass account balance is negative?
You are still able to use toll facilities and are responsible for any tolls incurred. Keep in mind that SunPass is a Prepaid Toll Program. In order to continue receiving the benefits of the prepaid SunPass Program – including discounted toll rates and access to express lanes – it is important that the account has a positive balance."

https://www.sunpass.com/en/support/faq.shtml

I provided this information to Peachpass and they refuse to honor this policy and argue that the toll violation charges are valid.

I had no intention of having a negative balance on my Sunpass account. In reality, I was never informed that my Sunpass account had a negative balance (the credit card on file must have expired).

Furthermore, I had no intention of evading valid toll charges and yet, I'm being charged and treated as such. by Peachpass. I have asked Peach Pass to charge the associated Sunpass account for the valid toll charges and waive the toll violation charges, but they have refused and asked me to settle the entire debt with their collection agency.

Sunpass has contacted Peach Pass directly to state that the toll violation charges are invalid, however, Peachpass states that since the account has been transferred over to a collections agency, there is nothing more that can be done.

I do not want to make payment on an invalid debt to debt collector. I was wondering if Mr. Elliott can help with this matter or provide further guidance. I have contacted both Sunpass and Peachpass without a satisfactory resolution. Sunpass agrees that this debt is not valid but Peachpass states that there is nothing more that can be done since the account was turned over to a collections agency.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,717
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113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
Did you Sunpass account have money in it or not?

I have a SunPass account and get a written statement when it’s used as well as an email notification every time money is moved to my SunPass account or a toll is charged . Didn’t you receive either saying your balance was negative?

I can’t see where it is Peachpasses problem that your Sunpass had a negative balance. Did you rack up tolls in Georgia that you didn’t have money for on the Sunpass?
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#3
Is the $462.45 late fees associated with the toll fees or just the toll fees?
Were you contacted by SunPass prior to being contacted by the collection agency?
When did you realize that the credit card had expired?
Have you been able to use the SunPass in Florida with the expired credit card?
Has the credit card been updated on your account?

It sounds like their terms of use expect a valid credit card on file at all times to insure the use of the pass. I would equate it to having a checking account with a negative (or no) balance. You are not allowed to write checks against the account until it has funds to cover them. I think that SunPass views it the same way.

Just FYI, the forum is here to help consumers like you advocate for yourself. We do not contact the company on behalf of you. Once you have exhausted all those steps and your claim is a strong one, only then will an advocate take over to assist you.
 
Likes: jsmithw
Jan 6, 2015
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#4
The negative balance period (4/24/19 - 6/11/19) for your Sunpass toll account matches the period during which the "Toll Violations" occurred (4/24/19 - 6/11/2019). Since Peachpass could not collect the tolls then, I believe the violations are not unreasonable.

I suggest that you ask the collection agency if there is a smaller amount they will accept.
 
May 30, 2019
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#5
The negative balance period (4/24/19 - 6/11/19) for your Sunpass toll account matches the period during which the "Toll Violations" occurred (4/24/19 - 6/11/2019). Since Peachpass could not collect the tolls then, I believe the violations are not unreasonable.

I suggest that you ask the collection agency if there is a smaller amount they will accept.
I think the Patina's question regarding how much of the $462.45 are actual tolls vs. late fees -- or collection fees -- would determine if & how much to ask in settlement.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,717
18,384
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
Sunpass emailed me statements once a week when I had tolls that were charged and when my credit card was charged to add money to the pass. It is pre-paid and you set up the amount that you want your credit card to be charged to replenish it. It states in the link the OP made that it is a pre-paid system:

Upon activation, a minimum replenishment is required. As the vehicle passes through SunPass equipped lanes, the toll charges are electronically deducted from your prepaid toll account. SunPass Portable and SunPass Mini Transponders can be purchased, online, by phone, in person or from retail locations.

I don't understand how this went on for two months without Sunpass notifying the OP. I get too many emails from them.

Has the OP changed his or her email address? Did you check your spam filters to ensure that the emails didn't go to the junk folder?
 
Aug 19, 2019
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#7
Did you Sunpass account have money in it or not?

I have a SunPass account and get a written statement when it’s used as well as an email notification every time money is moved to my SunPass account or a toll is charged . Didn’t you receive either saying your balance was negative?

I can’t see where it is Peachpasses problem that your Sunpass had a negative balance. Did you rack up tolls in Georgia that you didn’t have money for on the Sunpass?
Neil,

Thank you for the reply. I never received any notification from either Sunpass or PeachPass that the account was associated with a low account balance. The only notification I received was from PeachPass's collection agency that I had unpaid toll violations.

The problem here is that Sunpass clearly states that I can use Toll lanes without incurring violation fees despite a temporary negative balance . This can be found clearly in writing and was also confirmed via e-mail by Sunpass representative who I discussed this case with.

"Can I still use toll facilities if my SunPass account balance is negative?
You are still able to use toll facilities and are responsible for any tolls incurred. Keep in mind that SunPass is a Prepaid Toll Program. In order to continue receiving the benefits of the prepaid SunPass Program – including discounted toll rates and access to express lanes – it is important that the account has a positive balance."

https://www.sunpass.com/en/support/faq.shtml

There is no stipulation about the toll lanes being exclusive to Georgia or Florida where in Georgia Sunpass as interstate operability.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,717
18,384
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#8
So did you or did you not have money on your SUnpass account? Have you checked the email you have listed on the account to ensure it is current? I am surprised there was no notice unless you changed your email too as the emails from them drive me insane there are so many.

Do you deny that any of the charges are valid?
 
Likes: FrankL183
Aug 19, 2019
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#10
Patina,

Thank you for your response. Let me try and clarify all of your questions:

1. Is the $462.45 late fees associated with the toll fees or just the toll fees?
The total toll charges for this are roughly $20 and the remaining balance $442 is "toll violation charges" since I visited toll lanes approximately 15-20 times

2. Were you contacted by SunPass prior to being contacted by the collection agency?
I was never contacted by Sunpass or Peachpass regarding a low or negative account balance. I have not changed my e-mail address or mailing address. The one and only notification I received was directly from PeachPass's collection agency and that was 4 months after the alleged toll violations

3. When did you realize that the credit card had expired?
I realized that the credit card account had expired approximately in June 2019 when I randomly logged into the Sunpass and noted a negative balance with toll charges still coming through from PeachPass. I immediately updated the credit card in June 2019. The next communication was in September 2019 directly from a PeachPass collection agency for alleged toll violations

4. Have you been able to use the SunPass in Florida with the expired credit card?
I have not used the Sunpass in Florida but have used the Sunpass in Georgia despite a negative balance. The toll charges went through, as they are supposed to, even with a temporary negative balance. Note that I did not have any intention of using toll lanes while the account had a negative balance and this was only an incidental observation that the toll charges came through despite a negative account balance

5. Has the credit card been updated on your account?
Yes it was immediately and permanently updated with the correct expiration date (no change in card number) and also set to auto replenish

6. Just FYI, the forum is here to help consumers like you advocate for yourself. We do not contact the company on behalf of you. Once you have exhausted all those steps and your claim is a strong one, only then will an advocate take over to assist you.
I understand that the forum is help consumers - I believe I have exhausted all means of communication. I have called, e-mailed, and sent written letters to Peach Pass, Peach Pass's collection agency, and Sunpass. Sunpass agrees with me that the toll charges by Peachpass should have come through despite a negative account balance ( I have this e-mail in writing from a Sunpass employee), however, Peachpass states that since the account was handed off to a collection agency, there is nothing more they can do.
 
Aug 19, 2019
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#11
So did you or did you not have money on your SUnpass account? Have you checked the email you have listed on the account to ensure it is current? I am surprised there was no notice unless you changed your email too as the emails from them drive me insane there are so many.

Do you deny that any of the charges are valid?
Neil, the Sunpass account was temporarily associated with a negative account balance while I used PeachPass toll lanes. I have checked my spam and inbox and did not receive any negative balance notifications from Sunpass since the toll charges were with Peachpass. However, according to Sunpass (based on their terms and conditions and also per a written e-mail by a Sunpass representative that investigated this matter), the Peachpass toll charges should have still posted to the Sunpass account despite a negative account balance.
 
Aug 19, 2019
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#12
Here is the Peachpass information about toll violations:


Look specifically at the bottom section entitled: Summary of Civil/Criminal Penalties
Thank you. Yes, I have reviewed that and I have visited the PeachPass lanes for $0.25 to $1.00 tolls approximately 15-20 times. The total toll charges are no more than $25, but I was charged a $25 toll violation fee for each of the transactions which leads to the balance of $400+.
 
Likes: VoR61
Aug 19, 2019
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#13
I think the Patina's question regarding how much of the $462.45 are actual tolls vs. late fees -- or collection fees -- would determine if & how much to ask in settlement.
The actual toll charges are no more than $20 - $25 and the remaining amount are "administrative" charges for toll "violations"
 
Likes: VoR61
Aug 19, 2019
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#15
6. Just FYI, the forum is here to help consumers like you advocate for yourself. We do not contact the company on behalf of you. Once you have exhausted all those steps and your claim is a strong one, only then will an advocate take over to assist you.

I understand that the forum is help consumers - I believe I have exhausted all means of communication. I have called, e-mailed, and sent written letters to Peach Pass, Peach Pass's collection agency, and Sunpass. Sunpass agrees with me that the toll charges by Peachpass should have come through despite a negative account balance ( I have this e-mail in writing from a Sunpass employee), however, Peachpass states that since the account was handed off to a collection agency, there is nothing more they can do.
I have also contacted the Georgia BBB and Florida BBB and the conclusion is that while Sunpass agrees that the toll violation charges are not valid, Peachpass refuses to rescind the charges stating that the account is now sent to the collections agency and I must settle the debt with the collection agency. Peachpass states that if I had contacted them before the account was sent to collections, they would have rescinded the toll violation charges. The only problem is that the first and only notification about the toll violation charges was directly from their collections agency and not from Peach pass or Sunpass. I believe I have exhausted all options at this point. If you or any other member has any suggestions about how to continue this dispute, I'll be happy to try other methods.
Thank you for all your help!
 
Aug 19, 2019
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#16
If you only had a small amount of tolls it sounds like the penalties are excessive.

I suggest you use this form to see if anyone can find executives at Peachpass you can write to. Executives are usually the ones that can get something done.

https://www.elliott.org/research/
Neil,

Through my independent research I was able to get the contact information of an executive at customer service department. I have called and e-mailed them numerous times

Jerry Richardson
Customer Service Supervisor, State Road & Tollway Authority
245 Peachtree Center Avenue, Suite 2200, Atlanta, GA 30303
o: 404-893-2045 c: 404-387-7915 | [email protected]

However, they have not responded to my request. If you think this case is worthy of further research the Elliott team, I would sincerely appreciate the help. I can provide you with account numbers, the individual toll violations that I am being charged with, e-mails from Sunpass stating that the toll violations are not valid.

Thank you
 
Likes: Patina
Aug 19, 2019
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#18
Fill out the form.
Have you tried writing to the Georgia Attorney General?
I completed the form as you had requested.

Yes, I did contact Georgia Attorney General approximately 4 weeks ago and have not received a case number or a confirmation e-mail regarding a new case. I have also contacted Georgia BBB and Florida BBB.

My concern is the timeline between receiving the collection notice (2 months ago) to the time it takes for the collection agency to report the debt to the credit reporting agencies. I'm worried that this will significantly impact my excellent credit history (Current credit score of 835) as I'm also considering for applying for a new mortgage loan in the next month or two.

If I settle the debt with the collection agency, then according to federal law, I'm agreeing that the debt being paid is valid. The issue here is that both Sunpass and myself do not believe this debt to be valid.
 
Aug 9, 2017
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#19
Do you as the OP feel confident that when you were speaking to SunPass personal that they were actually taking into your account, or was it someone answering just in generalities?

Just an FYI, there is a notice about a solicitation warning on the Sunpass website. See https://www.sunpass.com/en/common/docs/Solicitation_Warning.pdf for the details. I take note that specifically it refers to a company or companies named Sun Pass Collections Inc,” or “Sun Pass Collections Inc Linebargar Goggen Blaiir, LLP.” Having said that, it seems as though Professional Account Management, LLC is a long way from providing good service with respect to collections involving toll tags. One could almost say they have their own scheme, not too unlike that of the perviously mentiond Sun Pass Collections. See the content at https://www.bbb.org/us/wi/milwaukee...count-management-llc-0694-27001868/complaints.
 
Likes: VoR61

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#20
FOR OUR OTHER READERS If you use any kind of service like a toll pass account, it's important that you verify the account on a monthly basis, and that you check the credit card supporting the account as well. As more and more of life's "Little Things" become totally computerized, a consumer has to protect herself and not assume that all is well.