Saturday, August 31, 2013
A Wichita woman is complaining about a Colorado highway after learning this week she owes late fees on a bill she claims she never received.
Melina Blackwell was told this week she owes nearly $60 for a trip she took through the Denver area almost a year ago. Her complaint is not the only one like it.
"This was the first time I had heard anything about it," Blackwell said of the toll bill.
Blackwell said she knew when she took E-470, a tollway around the outskirts of Denver, in November 2012 it was a toll road and that an automated camera snaps a picture of passing cars' license plates. The driver is then supposed to receive a bill in the mail for the toll.
However, she said she never received that bill and forgot all about it. That is until she received a phone call Wednesday from a Denver law firm informing her she owed $59.49 because her bill had been unpaid and was collecting penalties and late fees.
"They told me that the address they had for me was an address that I haven't lived at for two years," Blackwell said. "So how I was expected to receive bills from them is anyone's guess."
Blackwell is far from alone. The past couple of years have been filled with complaints by Colorado drivers about the tollway's billing practices. Many of the complaints are similar to Blackwell's. Some of the drivers who say they never received bills ended up owing thousands of dollars.
The Colorado government-owned company that operates the tollway said it is being taken advantage of by people who have no intention of paying the tolls. This week, the Colorado Department of Transportation sent letters to 279 vehicle owners in that state informing them they won't be able to renew their vehicle registrations unless they pay up.
Blackwell has advice for Kansas travelers.
"I would say just deal with that Denver traffic and take the state highways because it's not worth it," she said."