HOUSTON — A San Antonio woman says she has been wrongly fined every month for the last six months by the Harris County Toll Road Authority.
Laura Smith says she got the first bill in April. The notification about the toll violation includes photo evidence.
However, the vehicle in the picture is not Smith’s car.
The license plate numbers are very similar. The only difference is the first letter.
“It’s a red pickup. Our vehicle is a silver little Chevy Cruze,” said Smith.
Laura says HCTRA has wiped the charges from her account every time she has reported the error.
“This has been going on since April. Look how much money they have lost by just clearing it off the computer and not going after the person who is actually doing the fines,” she said. “I just want to quit getting these bills. I’m a person who, if I owe something, I will pay it. But I don’t owe these and I’m not going to pay someone else’s bills.”
A spokesperson for HCTRA sent the following statement to KHOU 11 News acknowledging the mistake Monday:
“We thank you for bringing Ms. Smith’s concerns to our attention.
She received toll violation invoices in error, and unfortunately she received misinformation when she called in to address it. We do have a process in place for handling this situation, and we regret that process was not followed in Ms. Smith’s case.
HCTRA’s Assistant Director of Customer Service has personally reached out to Ms. Smith today, and will make the necessary corrections to remove the current toll violation invoices from Ms. Smith’s name and make sure it is fixed going forward.
We regret she had to reach out to our media partners for resolution and we will use this as an opportunity to retrain our staff.
If you believe you have wrongly received a toll violation from HCTRA, you can report the error by calling 281-875-3279 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.