June of 2008 I had to report our bankcard stolen. Our bankcard was linked to our I-Pass account. I contacted I-Pass over the phone to make sure our accounts were updated. The tollway advised us that everything was updated and thanked us for the call. A few days later we started to receive e-mails stating our account was low. We again contacted I-pass to inquire why the auto-replenish was not taking affect. They replied that we had sufficient funds, and that we should not be receiving anymore e-mails. This trend continued for a few weeks. I continued to contact I-pass, and they would give the same response. Soon a person at the Illinois Tollway advised us to disregard the e-mails.
A few months passed and we realized that the auto replenish was still not taking money out of our account. We were in the holiday season, and my downfall was waiting a little to long to contact the tollway again. When I contacted the tollway they gave me the same response that I received back in June. I argued with them that something had to be wrong. I advised them they need to look at both accounts in my name. Problem found. My account showed that I had not paid a toll since June when the bankcard was reported stolen. I inquired why I had not received any notice from the tollway. They stated that the address they had on file was from my townhouse 5 years prior. I gave them my information so that they could send me the violations. I was told I have 30 days to pay $421.30 to avoid any violations.
The Dollar amount didnt seem right to me. I researched the amount of times that I went through the tollbooths and found that the amount was doubled. I contacted the tollway again to ask why. I was told that since my I-Pass had insufficient funds that the toll would be $1.00 as if I was a cash payer. I pleaded my case that the I-Pass having insufficient funds was a result of the Illinois Tollway not updating my account properly.
If I wanted to present my reasoning to the tollway I had to request a hearing, which I did.
My hearing was dated after my first set of fines needed to be paid. At the hearing I was told that I should have received a notice months prior. I stated that the tollway had my address from 5 years prior. Attorney Shelly Webb Jr. who was overseeing the hearing for the Illinois Tollway told me that the tollway used the Illinois Secretary of State to update addresses for notification. My current drivers license was issued on 12/14/07 so I know they should have had my current information. I do register my vehicle every year so they had plenty of time to update their records. I stated at the hearing that the tolls were doubled because of a clerical error made in June. They said there was nothing they could do, and I should go talk to the cashier. I found that to be strange and so did the cashier. She was nice enough to direct me to a gentleman named Pete in the hallway. Pete was a supervisor and said the only course I had was to contact a supervisor via the Toll Ways 1-800 number. I called the 800 number when I returned home and was put on a call back list. 3 days later a received a call from the Illinois Tollway. I ask if I was speaking with a supervisor and they said no. A supervisor would not handle my request.
I was unsure how to go forward. I contacted the tollway again to offer the full payment of $421.30 and was told that since I waited so long there were fines and penalties. I originally received a notice stating that I needed to pay fines and tolls totaling $8,921.30. I reduced that amount to the $421.30. They told me that since I did not attend my hearing I needed to pay a $27,331.30 judgment that will be in collections. I did attend the hearing but they state they have no record of it. Even though I told them who was overseeing the hearing and the fact that Shelly Webb Jr. told us when the hearing started that we would be recorded. I was confused and stunned.
I contacted my attorney Patricia Kraft. She pleaded my case to Christine Ben at the Illinois Toll Way. We made an offer to the Toll way again in the amount of $421.30. In detail as I am now to you, we explained the communications as they occurred. The Illinois Toll Way declined our offer and insisted that we pay a settlement of $2,381.30. We would not be able to make payments, and if we declined the offer they would garnish our wages, suspend both our driver licenses, a judgment on our credit report and they would put a lien on our house.
We did not have $2300.00 and nor do I now have $27,331.00 but then again neither do most people here hat live in Illinois. I had property taxes coming up, and our second child on the way. My husband travel 35 miles one way to work, and I do not want to put my career at risk. I have been blessed to work for the same company for the past ten years. My family is barely squeaking by now, and we just do not know whom else to turn to. Is there anyone out there that is doing a class action lawsuit or if there is an attorney that can help it would be greatly appreciated. There are other people that are in the same predictment as usand we need to get our point across, and maybe someone will agree that just a clerical error can cost someone as much as $27,000 , losing their home, garnishing their wages and suspending their license come on this is ridiculous. I have been using the I-Pass since 2001. I have never had my account in bad standings. I have always used auto replenish and never had a problem. This one occurrence on one day in June has s****.!