Gov. Scott says drivers who overdraft due to SunPass system failure will be reimbursed

(WSVN) - SunPass took a toll on thousands of drivers after a major system failure. Now, the state is ready to reimburse some drivers. 7’s Brian Entin investigates.

Brian Entin: “What do you say to the South Floridians who are overdrafting? We have talked to them almost every day. Their bank accounts are overdrafting because these SunPass charges keep coming.”

Gov. Rick Scott: “Well, there’s no penalties. There’s no late fees.”

Governor Scott dodged our question Wednesday.

But one day later: action.

The state announced they will reimburse SunPass customers’ bank overdraft fees after their toll system had a meltdown over the last couple of months.

A backlog of roughly 130 million transactions led to drivers getting charged over and over again. So many charges that some drivers like Federico Larrosa saw their bank accounts run into the red.

Federico Larrosa, upset with SunPass: “So they did it again, and at that point in time it caused an overdraft. Insufficient funds.”

Federico is one of the hundreds of drivers 7News heard from after our story aired Monday on what’s been nicknamed “Tollgate.”

Frustrated emails and comments poured in calling the toll meltdown “just ridiculous” and “totally not fair.”

Brian Entin: “Governor, what do you say to South Floridians who are struggling almost daily with SunPass charges from over a month ago because of the system meltdown?”

Gov. Rick Scott: “It’s frustrating. It’s unacceptable.”

Here’s what went wrong…

A $287 million upgrade to the toll system by contractor Conduent didn’t go as planned, and many customers were not billed for more than a month.

The system is now unexpectedly posting the old toll charges to drivers’ accounts.

Brian Entin: “Is it frustrating?”

Federico Larrosa: “Super. Beyond. Calling them is a nightmare. Your minimum wait time every time is 20 minutes.”

Johnny Farias, upset with SunPass: “Oh, it hurts because when you get charges that you are not expecting, and being this small, you depend on a weekly budget.”

But, now, at least some relief for drivers with the announcement the state will reimburse bank overdraft fees on a case by case basis.

The governor is also promising to penalize Conduent, the contractor behind the botched SunPass upgrade, but the state isn’t giving details about what that ultimately means.

Brian Entin: “As for toll customers who were overdrafted, you’ll want to call SunPass to get the process started on getting a refund. This is a problem that does not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. There are still more than 100 million toll transactions in the state’s backlog.”


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