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FROSTPROOF (CBSMiami) – A longtime Florida snowbird is in a billing battle with SunPass because the electronic toll collection system continues to bill him for a license plate that does not exist and a vehicle that he doesn’t own.

David Andes and his wife Sandy moved back to Ohio when Sandy was diagnosed with brain cancer two years ago.

After they registered their vehicle up north, they destroyed their Florida license plate and notified the state.

(WTSP)

However, as Sandy battled for her life, the SunPass bills started showing up.

“I didn’t think nothing of it,” David Andes said. “But then they kept doing it, kept doing it.”

Invoices from SunPass were forwarded to their Ohio address. The bills usually totaled no more than five dollars.

The only problem: The plate on the bill no longer existed, and the vehicle pictured was not even theirs.

(WTSP)

It was a white SUV and they drove a Gray Hyundai compact car.

Despite calls to complain, the bills kept coming.

The ongoing dispute was happening at a time when his wife’s health was only getting worse.

“As far as I was concerned my job was to make her day as good as can be,” he said.  We didn’t know if she was going to be there tomorrow or she was going to gone and to have to horse around with this while I was taking care of her. You don’t know the nights I woke up and would listen to her for breathing because I thought she was gone and these idiots keep chasing me.”

It has been a year since Sandy passed but the bills keep coming.

David is now living back in the Frostproof home the couple once shared in Central Florida.  He is no longer able to drive due to his deteriorating eyesight so he does not have a car.

However, those bogus bills, he says, keep piling up.

He has received about 10 bills in two years, totaling about $50.

Andes says it is not about the money.

“They should make sure when they read a plate that they’re reading it correctly,” he said. “How many people are being harassed like this?”

After initially saying the agency had no record of any complaints or issues associated with the Andes’ account, FDOT Communications Director Ann Howard told WTSP that Florida statute bars the agency from commenting on specific customers.

Comments
  1. Fred Williams II says:

    I’m thinking that Mr. Andes situation is becoming more and more typical when dealing with government entities in today’s online world. It would seem that in the FDOT computer system is showing his (no longer used) license plate is still active, and this is why Mr. Andes keeps receiving additional charge notices. To me, the FDOT computer is part of the “right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing” flaw, which is a part of a computer set of programs that operate on a set of information that is not “universally implemented” data set.

    This usually happens when, although Mr. Andes has followed all the proper rules concerning FDOT license plate rules, the computer systems involved do not operate from the same sets of information. This situation usually comes from human errors when updating (in this case) the entire state database.

    It is unfortunate that this kind of difficulty is apparent within a large computer system when the system administrators do not understand what the actual problem is, because the system administrators do not understand how one part of the data in the computer affects other parts of non-related system programs within the “toll charges” area.

    I wish Mr. Andes luck in resolving this difficulty.