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Denver man gets toll charges for broken down car

E-470 apologizes for "misread license plate"
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Posted at 7:00 PM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 21:00:18-05

DENVER — E-470 may be Colorado's most traveled toll road, but one driver knows he did not travel it. Jeff Mar said he is certain, because the car in question doesn't start.

"Absolutely nothing," he said, turning the key and listening to the silence. "Since December, it's had a bad battery. I'm unemployed right now, and I'll fix it when I can, but I don't drive it."

Even though he knew he hadn't been driving E-470, his efforts to dispute the toll were taking a toll.

"It's like running to a wall because you can't get any information," he said, after what he described as hours on hold. "You can't talk to anybody, you can't do anything."

Mar said he decided to just pay the bill, but then saw two more charges online from two more trips he did not take.

"I had seen Contact Denver7 has always been helpful, so I was hoping you could just kind of prod them," he said. "Hold on, I'm getting a call from them right now."

While E-470 would not provide a person to be interviewed, a representative apologized to Mar, offering a full refund and removing all mistaken charges.

In a statement to Contact Denver7, a spokeswoman says "Our accuracy on license plates reads is 98 percent." However, she write that this situation was "a misread license plate." From now on, the plate gets moved to a "sensitive plate queue" for review by a person.

However, E-470 refused Contact Denver7's Open Records Request for photographs of the misread plate, citing customer privacy.

An E-470 spokeswoman stated in an email that in February 2021, "our average call answer time was 33 seconds. Our longest hold time was just less than 20 minutes. While we make every effort to answer calls with as little hold time as possible, there are times when the call volume leads to an extended hold time while the customer waits in queue for the next available agent."

"I really don't think that I should have had to call Denver7, who has been remarkable and helping me with this, to get a response," Mar said. "No one should be on hold for 30 minutes without an option to leave a number and get a call back".

This is the third time since 2019 Contact Denver7 has stepped up to help people who claimed E-470 wrongfully charged them and would not listen.

Mar said other drivers need to double check their statements.

"I think they need to get their ducks in a row,to avoid any kind of foul language I want to use right now," he said.

Editor's note: Denver7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at contact7@thedenverchannel.com or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact Denver7 stories here.