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TxTag system upgrade leading to customers being hit with large and late bills

In the middle of a job search, a Hutto woman was hit with over $550 in TxTag toll charges accumulated over months.

AUSTIN, Texas — A TxTag toll system upgrade meant to make it easier for users to keep up with their bill is doing the opposite – and some customers are upset. 

"I stay on top of all my bills," said Ellen Hill. "I mean, I feel like I pay things, you know, in good faith. I like to be a good customer." 

So when Hill was hit with a TxTag toll bill over $550, she was confused. 

"I saw that and I couldn't believe it," said Hill. "I cannot believe it." 

Hill said she didn't get any notifications or mail from TxTag in months. 

"I haven't gotten any notifications about being on a low balance on the account," said Hill. "It said that the last time I've actually really heard from them is in December."

Hill said she had a tough time getting TxTag on the phone. Two weeks and three inquiries later, we gave them a call together. 

After over a 40-minute wait, a representative said that since upgrading their system at the end of November, many customers did not receive statements for months, and they're in the process of correcting the issue. 

While they won't be charging any administrative fees or late fees for their system failure, Hill eventually has to pay up. 

"I just, I can't pay that," said Hill. "I've been on unemployment and I really just want to get that absolved and to start fresh on the account. So I just really feel like they have a responsibility to the customers to be more transparent about what's going on." 

Besides not billing people for months, the Texas Department of Transportation spokesperson said it refunded about $11.7 million in overcharges back to customers after the system upgrade. 

"I want to get on with my life," said Hill. "I don't want to have this thing hanging over my head and I'm looking for work."  

Hill said the drive from Hutto into Austin without the toll will make her job search difficult, but she can't risk racking up a larger bill. 

KVUE reached out to TXDOT about Hill's account, and we asked about tips for other people in her situation. A spokesperson said they would have answers Friday morning. 

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