Motorists to receive refunds after state Route 520 tolling glitch

January 31, 2012

By Staff

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NEW — 11:10 a.m. Jan. 31, 2012

The state Department of Transportation plans to refund motorists 25 cents for recent state Route 520 bridge tolls, as officials investigated a glitch responsible for motorists paying incorrect amounts to cross the span.

The refund applies if a motorist made the trip between Seattle and Medina from Jan. 17 to 25. Drivers should receive a refund, even if the state billed them correctly. The state charges a 25-cent transaction fee for motorists traveling the bridge infrequently and pay by license plate, rather than a tolling pass.

Toll system engineers corrected the problem Jan. 26. The issue did not affect drivers billed through a pay-by-mail system.

Engineers the equipment’s internal clock intermittently lost time and re-synched to the correct time.

“The issue was sporadic, so some customers may see a series of accurate transactions followed by incorrect charges, such as an additional 25-cent pay-by-plate fee,” Craig Stone, toll division director, said in a statement.

The agency said engineers continue to monitor the effectiveness of the fix.

“Our next step is to ensure customers will not be charged incorrectly and make necessary adjustments to their accounts,” Stone said. “We will not charge the Pay By Plate fee to SR 520 drivers during the week we had this billing issue. If a customer crossed the bridge between Tuesday, Jan. 17, and Wednesday, Jan. 25, we’ll either credit back their account or not charge the 25-cent fee.”

The agency is working to correct the billing errors on the accounts. Customers may notice a delay in billing as the agency performs quality checks and credits customer accounts. If a motorist crossed the state Route 520 bridge between Jan. 17-25, he or she should check his or her account and contact the customer service center with questions. Call 1-866-936-8246.

“We understand that a mischarge is frustrating even if it’s 25 cents,” Stone said. “We held back the transactions as soon as we realized there was a serious problem and are working to fix the accounts that already were billed. We ask for customers’ patience as we correct the billing issues.”

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