Don't you hate getting bills in the mail that you didn't expect?
Well, that's what happened to the Ramirez family of Pfluegerville. They've gotten a bill of nearly $10,000 from the Texas Department of Transportation for highway tolls and fines for late fees.
A report on their situation from KXAN-TV in Austin is today's featured video on the Texas Watchdog home page.
Like many of us -- including myself -- they have a credit card rigged up to their toll tag account. (My toll tag is for the Harris County Tollway Authority; theirs is for the "TxTag" program run by TXDOT, which takes care of tolls in the Austin area and elsewhere.) Back a few years ago, they lost that credit card and got their card company to send them a replacement, and they say they called TXDOT to switch out the cards on their toll tag account -- and told TXDOT to bill any outstanding balance to the new card.
Something went wrong somewhere. TXDOT started billing the new toll tag charges to the account, but the outstanding balance didn't get billed to the new account. It got lost in the shuffle, and wound up being turned over to a collection agency -- $300 in tolls plus more than $9,000 in administrative late fees.
TXDOT told KXAN that they're looking into the Ramirezes' complaint.
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Photo: Toll-accepting machine on the Sam Houston Tollway in Houston by flickr user billjacobus1, used under a Creative Commons license.