Wrong again: RiverLink sends 8,000 drivers faulty toll bills
The November error comes a month after more than 5,000 drivers received invoices including late fees that weren't owed.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – For the second straight month, thousands of drivers who used Ohio River toll bridges received invoices that included late fees they didn’t owe.
A Texas-based customer service center sent about 8,000 bills in November that added a $5 late penalty to regular toll charges, even though those vehicle owners had not gotten an initial bill seeking payment, said Mindy Peterson, a spokesman for the RiverLink toll network. She blamed the glitch on a “brief computer issue.”
About 5,000 drivers were assessed erroneous late fees in October, as WDRB News first reported. In the recent case, Peterson said, officials identified the problem quickly, voided the $5 charges and mailed letters explaining the mistake.
“Unfortunately the contact information we have for these customers is an address,” she said. “We have to get a letter to them and explain, and before you have a chance to process that letter and get that to them, the vast majority of folks have picked up the phone and called – and they’ve had a frustrating experience.”
With no toll booths, RiverLink uses cameras and scanners to read license plates and identify pre-paid transponders. Drivers without registered accounts are billed by mail.
Municipal Services Bureau of Austin runs the customer service centers as a subcontractor to toll system operator Kapsch TrafficCom. Kentucky and Indiana state governments ultimately oversee the project.
Peterson said officials launched a comprehensive review after the second batch of erroneous bills.
“Everything is being reviewed,” Peterson said. “We’re taking a look at all quality control. Why did quality control not prevent this instance from happening? What can we do to ensure that this is not going to happen again?”
Tolls began late last year on three bridges connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana. It now costs $2 to $12 to cross the Interstate 65 Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy bridges and the upriver Lewis and Clark Bridge between eastern Jefferson and Clark counties.