E470 Refunds Penalty Charges After CALL7 Investigation

CALL7 Investigation Found Drivers Charged $25 Civil Penalty Without Getting Bill For Tolls

Tonya Fallows was paying hundreds of dollars in penalties on less than $150 in tolls when she saw the CALL7 Investigation into questionable billing practices at the E470 Public Highway Authority.

Fallows went on a payment plan paying more than $400 for the penalties when she saw the 7News story in October. The story questioned hundreds of dollars of civil penalties to drivers whose accounts were in arrears without sending them bills for the original tolls.

After the story ran, E470 changed its practices, agreeing to send out bills for all tolls and to tack on a one-time $25 civil penalty to each bill instead of each toll on the bill.

Fallows called and not only got a reduction of $270 of the $300 she still owed, but also a refund of nearly $350 she already paid.

"Had I not made that phone call that Friday morning after having seen your program on Thursday, I don't believe I would have gotten the refund," Fallows said. "I would have gotten the reduction in my outstanding (bill) that I hadn't paid yet but the amount that I had already overpaid I would not have gotten."

E470 is planning to send out 160,000 letters going out in the next month to drivers who received civil penalties without getting the initial bills. The letter will ask them to call the authority to get their bills reduced or get refunded on penalties they already paid.

Fallows is urging drivers who have large fines and fees to call.

"I believe it's just because I called and if you've already paid in more than you feel you owe, you absolutely need to make a phone call," she said.