SunPass collections on overdue balances expected to resume soon

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TAMPA Fla. (WFLA) – News Channel 8 viewer Kenneth emailed to ask why Florida’s Sunpass system isn’t compatible with all toll systems and when there will be a nationwide toll system.

The trade group that represents tolling agencies, the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, is working to speed up the process of interoperability, or the process of seamless coordination of toll systems throughout the country. But, they admit the project is moving slower than the Veterans Expressway at the peak of morning rush hour.

The IBTTA explains roadblocks clogging up the process including technology, testing and collection protocols. More importantly, agreements must be in place between states in order to satisfy legal issues that come with doing business across state lines. More information on interoperability is available at this link.

Currently, Sunpass is accepted in Florida as well as portions of Georgia (Peach Pass toll roads) and North Carolina (NC Quick Pass).

The largest toll system right now is the EZPass, which works in 17 states. In Florida, the EZPass is only accepted in the Orlando metropolitan area.

Meanwhile, Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise is encouraging customers with delinquent and overdrawn TOLL-BY-PLATE and SunPass accounts to bring their accounts current.

According to a customer service announcement, FTE “anticipates sending delinquent and overdrawn accounts to a collection agency in early 2020.” FTE said customers who switch a TOLL-BY-PLATE balance to a new SunPass account will receive a credit and be eligible to pay a reduced SunPass toll rate.

FTE also said that due to a delay in image reviews of license plates, attributed to “PRIDE Enterprises’ inability to process images will not cause any TOLL-BY-PLATE account to be sent to collections. Those accounts impacted by the delay will have the same amount of time to remit payment as normal.”

Collection activity had been suspended after a major revamp of the back-office system for SunPass in June 2018. The effort failed catastrophically, leaving motorists unable to access their accounts for weeks. The debacle worsened when the SunPass system resumed operations, automatically charging account holders their entire amounts due and in many cases exceeding banking account limits for many transponder users.

FTE said that “since that time, SunPass has achieved several benchmarks, including a dramatic decrease in wait times for customer calls – from 45 minutes to less than 40 seconds – and improved customer service scores.”

This video demonstrates how to switch from a TOLL-BY-PLATE account to a SunPass account.

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