I am writing this complaint in reference to many that I have read and due to my experience with the Illinois Tollway.
Recently, I received some violation notices in the mail stating that I owed the Tollway upwards of $7,000 due to unpaid tolls. After calling and speaking with a tollway collection representative that was, in two words; a joke, I was informed that I had violations dating back to February of 2012. I explained that this was impossible as I didn't use the tollway that frequently. I simply have a problem with paying to drive on a highway, because that what my state taxes should cover. Further, if the money that is collected all morning, all afternoon, all night , ALL DAY is supposed to be for our roads, then why are they so terrible, why is there only one pay booth open and why are drivers essentially forced to pay double if they do not have an I-Pass?
As you could probably imagine, I was shaking in my shoes thinking how am I going to be able to justifiably pay this, let alone, come up with that kind of money! While speaking with this collection representative, she offered me a "settlement" of $536.00 and told me that I had until a specific date (July??/2012)to pay the settlement. Well...I did because I was bent over a barrel and had no options to fight this through a court or any other avenue. After paying the money and of course having a tremendous amount of doubt, I decided to add money to my I-Pass ($40.00).
Two months later, I called the tollway to check my I-Pass balance ($5.35) and I was told that I had violations on my account dating back to 2009 and that to date (9/14/12) my fines, fees and penalties totals more than $4,000. Are you kidding me! I had just payed them $500 plus! The collection representative began to tell me (after I had already told him about my previous payment) that there were violations that the previous collection representative did no see and that my transponder is now (even though I still had a positive balance on it) suspended if I did not pay the settlement that he was going to offer me. Just doing the math, If I had a beginning balance of $40.00on my transponder unit, then how is it that I can have a balance of $5.35 in my account after over two months? Because I don't drive the tollway that often! Which lend to my questions/point of how could I have these extraordinary violation/fees? At the end of all of this, I had to pay an additional $472.00, not to mention an additional $40.00 to fill my I-Pass account. That's over $1,000.00 in just over two months! How many more people like me are they ripping off? And the bigger question is, why?
This organization is corrupt and is reeking havoc on everyday people who have NO DEFENSE. The Illinois Tollway is a money-making scam of an organization and needs to be stopped. For all of you that remember...the tollways were supposed to be a "temporary thing", but unfortunately greed has plagued this organization and our state and it is time that we put a stop to this.
This at the top would argue...the money is for road improvements, or that it creates jobs. Well, I can't count the times when I have passed by these so-called job sites only to see no one working. And to make matter worse, these "jobs" are simply band-aids to make those that are footing the bill feel better. I'm no civil engineer, but I certainly believe that these simple, patch work jobs couldn't last from April until the very last day that people can actually work outside (end of November). And, I can't believe that when these roads are torn up and re-worked every year that someone does ask the question...why don't we do it right the first time so that it will last. I've been to Europe and the highways there are nice, and they stay nice with harsh weather and truck traffic. Hmmm? Why is that? Because they do it right the first time! Yes it is more expensive, but it lasts because it is done right!
To our state leaders (Governor Pat Quin, Secretary of State Jessie White, etc...) how is it that you can sit back and just watch this happen? To all of the attorneys that I hope will read this complaint, can you all get on-board and assist the people of Illinois in fighting back with a gigantic class action lawsuit against the State, the Illinois Tollway and any others that are involved in the greed scam? It would be a great benefit to the people of this state and I believe in my heart that it would send a strong message to all of those that are behind this corrupt organization.