SunPass Nightmare: Miami Man Owes $700 For Toll Violations, Despite Owning a Transponder

Categories: Road Rage
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Pity Jorge Exposito. There, but for the grace of God, go you.

Exposito shared with us his tale of highway toll woe. He owns a SunPass transponder, which he thought was replenished. But in late April, he got a letter from a collection agency telling him he owed $691.80.

Before then, he had never received a notice from the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) or SunPass.

Through confusing conversations with MDX, he's pieced together that he was probably charged toll violations after he replaced the credit card connected to the transponder. For whatever reason, Sunpass and MDX did not have his current address to let him know. Late fees piled up.

If that's the case, it was technically Exposito's fault for not thinking of giving his new credit card information to SunPass. But still, talk about your cautionary tale. "I think I'll have to just pay it, or else risk getting my license suspended," he says. "If it happened to me, I bet it happened to a lot of people."

He's right on that. MDX spokesperson Cindy Polo said she couldn't comment on Exposito's individual predicament. But with minimal explanation from Riptide, she nailed what probably happened to him. In fact, she said even she once forgot to change her credit card connected to her SunPass account.

She maintains that users not knowing that they were racking up infractions before being contacted by a collections agency is rare. Her agency usually sends out three to four letters, and waits about eight months, before referring a debt to a collection agency. But because MDX uses address information on state records such as a driver's license, it's sometimes unable to send notices of infractions to users. "Collection agencies have much better ways of finding you than we do."

If you find out that you are being hit with infractions because of a cancelled credit card, call MDX. Usually within the first sixty to ninety days, Polo says, they can retroactively charge you for those tolls.

Floridians are freakin' confused, says local toll watchdog Carlos Garcia: "The lack of communication on MDX's part is something we've been hearing about." He adds that, with the SunPass-only roads in effect for just over a year now, users are getting some nasty surprises when they try to renew their plates-- only to find that they owe big money for toll infractions they didn't know about.

This reporter can relate. I received a past-due notice saying I owed around $170 for an unpaid toll violation I had never heard of before, even though I have a SunPass transponder. Being a lazy asshole an average American, I paid it. I remain filled with bitterness.

What about you, dear reader? Have you been stunned by a shitload of charges from Florida's asshole eyes in the sky?

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26 comments
kmjn123
kmjn123

the entire system is crying foul, its another attempt and a success for the GOV and big brother watching everything and everywhere we go. They pass it off as time saving for us, that BS, let us have the option of toll by plate, sunpass or CASH to remain free.

whitey420666
whitey420666

i get tickets  all the time from mdx its not my car not may tag . the  tag in the tickets is one letter off . ive called sent proof and still i get tickets ive neve been to miami . now they are trying to suspend my license and fine me $500 

Nomoretolls
Nomoretolls

I just received (March 2013)  an MDX invoice for $3 for violations the y claim occured in 2011.  I have a transponder. It is absolutly ABSURD.

niveaa45
niveaa45

I think this is a scam by Miami Dade County.  I received notices of fees when I have a sunpass.  I have called paid and for some reason now my license is suspended for unpaid tolls.  If your license s suspended for unpaid tolls, why do you need a collection agency.  Why not notify the person that they have upaid tolls to pay to get it straightened out.  I paid all my tolls and there is no tolls showing paid in traffic violations only upaid. I think we are being robbed

niveaa45
niveaa45

I think this is a scam by Miami Dade County.  I received notices of fees when I have a sunpass.  I have called paid and for some reason now my license is suspended for unpaid tolls.  If your license s suspended for unpaid tolls, why do you need a collection agency.  Why not notify the person that they have upaid tolls to pay to get it straightened out.  I paid all my tolls and there is no tolls showing paid in traffic violations only upaid. I think we are being robbed

theinnkeeper
theinnkeeper

If you your sunpass runs out of money, mdx uses its toll-by-plate, but somehow is not smart enough to link back to your sunpass account, so you manually have to call sunpass to pay MDX.

Its a PITA.

xeileen916x
xeileen916x

Lately I have been receiving bills (About $70 worth) for tolls from 2010!!!! I have a transponder. I pay the account, am told I am current, and then all of a sudden I have a new bill from MDX. Got one today for $1.65 from tolls I supposedly passed 8/27/2011 and 9/28/2011. When I call they said that they had incorrectly charged another car owner for those tolls, and now they are charging me "correctly" because the computer read the plate wrong! This is ridiculous  I would understand if it was a few months but THREE YEARS LATER. This is a crock of S***.

shawnhoffman5468
shawnhoffman5468

I paid a $57 dollar bill from sun-pass when my sticker transponder didn't work and they sent me $1300 dollars in citations. I went to court they told me I had to pay and I never paid them, Which was a lie on their part then I preceded to show them the account number, the confirmation number and the amount paid. They then inferred that I made it all up and was lying because they "extensively research and found no payments" with proof they are still making me pay. The whole system is a scam!!!!!

HadEnough
HadEnough

Not as bad as some of you, but I'm looking at $87 in fines for $2 in tolls...because I DON'T live in Miami anymore and did not have a transponder. Publix was out of them and the service plaza on 120th was closed when I got there. WTF??? I only drove down to that hell hole because of a family emergency and bought one when I found one. I'm writing because I'm reading here so many "somebody-ought-to-do-something" posts...and I'm GOING to do something. I'm taking mine to court. Not because of the amount...it's a matter of principle.

Car Rental
Car Rental

Same thing happened to me I received a collection Invoice for 695.80 when I have been a sunpass acount holder for years, account has never been suspended or at $0.00 and not once received an Invoice PRIOR TO THE COLLECTION Agency Letter THIS IS A TOTAL SCAM sunpass has even charged me for tolls that supposedly have my tag # but it's not the vehicle I drive. they assume that an O is a Q or vice versa they just want to bill anyone to get more money out of people. This is really unfair and they should do something about it !!! SUNPASS SUCKS !!!!!!!!

Reneemangold0217
Reneemangold0217

Yes. This happened to my son. He bought a sun pass and set up an automatic deposit from his bank if it went below 10.00. We received only ONE letter showing 166.00 In toll violations. Going to pay, but im not at all convinced that it isn't solely an error on their part. There isn't any way to prove that our son tried to work with the system in good faith.

Info RollBackTolls.com
Info RollBackTolls.com

Sun Pass should have your email and text mobile number so they can send notices. Time to get with the program people.

mr dui 305
mr dui 305

sounds like a PERSONAL PROBLEM.I had issues similar to him, but I RESOLVED IT.

Keep up with the TECHNOLOGY you old people!

Rayt1980
Rayt1980

What a SCAM.  Pretty much the same exact thing happened to my girlfriend and I as well, and we ended up paying about $500 each. This thing needs to be investigated because there's nothing anyone can do about it and you're gonna pay it, otherwise they'll suspend your license. Good to see it's finally getting some attention...

Bewildered
Bewildered

My experience with SunPass has been a little different than that of other posters, but I can well understand their frustration. In this instance, it was my wife who replaced her transponder (without cancelling the old one and thereby transferring the previous balance and the underlying address and license information) and later replaced her credit card. When she finally received a past due dunning notice, it took us a few minutes on the SunPass website to figure out what must have happened and, then, after just a few minutes on the phone with a SunPass call center employee to straighten it out. What at first seemed mind-boggling, was cleared up quickly without any apparent fines or penalties.

But we were convinced that problems must accumulate quickly within this system for folks who aren't fortunate enough to have figured out the specific problem and who aren't fortunate enough to reach a call center operator who understands the SunPass billing system.

Lowginjay
Lowginjay

every time i call them i feel like im dealing with an un-organized and un-professional company. I have miscommunication problems with them all the time.

Ajmartinez1989
Ajmartinez1989

you need to do an article that explains the difference between mdx tolls and other toll roads if u havent experienced this i got overages on tolls i didnt even know werent mdx roads but florida highway tolls i ended up having to pay like 170.00 in unpaid tolls

Neil's Ghost
Neil's Ghost

SunPass is a HUGE scam operation. They overcharge, or phantom charge for more axels. The transponders don't have toll windows anymore to keep tabs of charges and balances. They removed them on purpose so that more fines could be imposed. They don't want transponders to be portable from vehicle to vehicle. That generates more money in new purchases. There accounting absolutely sucks and they are swimming in cash. NewTimes, please do an in depth article on this quasi-governmental agency. They are ripping us off!

Gusi
Gusi

Something similar happened to me: My credit card expired and I racked up about $20 on unpaid tolls on my sunpass account. I received a letter from sunpass and paid in full, replenishing my sunpass account. BUT Sunpass never notified MDX that the tolls had been paid and I received around 15 toll violations from MDX which after late fees amounted to around $700.

I took it to a lawyer who was able to reduce everything to around $200 but still, Sunpass and MDX are running a very sketchy operation there

seep
seep

tolls = communism

frankm7
frankm7

@Nomoretolls Yes, the MDX system is a mess right now! I just did a routine license check on some of my clients and about half of them had new outstanding MDX tickets! Thing is, a $120+ traffic ticket can be issued for EVER SINGLE toll point passage!

asdfgh
asdfgh

I love a good conspiracy theory, but this one is too much. They’re not the criminals you make them out to be. There just a government run agency that has poor customer service… like the DVM for example. As of late, I’m very concerned that they don’t keep customer information (credit card information) secure. I’ve had the card I use with their auto pay system compromised 4 times in the last 6 months. The problem is, I can’t prove it’s them because I’ve got two other companies I use with an auto pay system with on that same card. But I’m slowly narrowing down the problem…

 

Sorry to post anonymously, but I didn’t what to create an account. I don’t need another thing I have to worry about managing.

tollwitch
tollwitch

@asdfgh 
We just got a notice for unpaid tolls.  We live in TN and haven't even visited Florida in years.  The tag or car shown do not belong to us and never have.  We've never had a SunPass.  Yet WE have to go to the trouble to argue our case.  Ridiculous.

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