From 2 Investigators
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Updated 08/29/12 – 8:21 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — You need to take a close look at your account, if you use a tollway I-PASS. Drivers with certain license plate numbers are finding they are being charged for other people’s tolls.
The Illinois Toll Highway Authority is apologizing for the problems, and working on a solution after some I-Pass users were charged for tolls they never incurred.
CBS 2′s Dave Savini spoke with a frustrated driver, Shana Terrell, who has been trying to get her money back.
“I was floored,” exclaimed Terrell, describing her reaction when she was charged more than $200 for tolls outside of Illinois.
She says she was told by the Illinois Toll Highway Authority that, last month, she violated tolls in Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, through the EZ Pass system.
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In fact, it was not Terrell’s vehicle going through the tolls; it was a truck with basically the same plate number. It was a mistake she has been fighting to clear up, so she can get her money refunded.
Meantime, to protect herself from getting wrongly charged again, Terrell got a temporary license plate. She is waiting for a new one to be issued.
When CBS 2 first spoke with Terrell, she said she was not sure when she would get back the money taken out of her account on file with the Illinois Toll Highway Authority. She says an official told her it would take weeks. However, after CBS 2 got involved, Terrell says she was told she would get repaid this week.
“I also heard it was happening to other people,” said Terrell.
The culprit for the mixup is the letter P on Terrell’s license plate. Illinois just started printing passenger plates beginning with P. Terrell just got her plate in January.
The problem is truck plates called apportioned plates also begin with P. Besides the letter P, Terrell’s license plate also has the same numbers as the truck plate. Some states cannot tell the difference between the truck plate and the passenger plate.
“I don’t want to have a license plate with the letter P if I am going to be affected again,” said Terrell.
The CBS 2 Investigators first alerted the Illinois Secretary of State’s office to Terrell’s problem earlier this week, and they are working on helping her, and others, get new license plates free of charge.
Tollway officials say 110 I-PASS customers have been impacted, and they are working on issuing refunds and finding a solution to this problem.