SunPass contractor fined an additional $3.7 million
June 13, 2019
The Florida Department of Transportation has once again levied a multimillion dollar fine against the contractor tasked with upgrading the state’s SunPass tolling system.
FDOT announced via a June 10 news release that Conduent, the contractor behind a massive disruption with SunPass transactions, has been fined another $3.7 million. That brings total fines against the company to $8.3 million.
The release states the fines were handed down for penalties for operational and performance deficiencies.
“We have imposed the maximum penalty allowable under the vendor contract,” FDOT Secretary Kevin J. Thibault said in a statement. “This is part of the Department’s ongoing commitment to hold Conduent accountable and ensure customers receive the level of service they deserve. Gov. Ron DeSantis directed me to address this issue as we ensure solid customer service for our citizens.”
Conduent’s contract requires FDOT to pay the company for monthly operations. However, if any performance issues arise, the contract allows FDOT to penalize Conduent a maximum of 25% on monthly payments. That maximum fine has been imposed on all monthly payments since June 2018.
Improvements have been made to Conduent’s customer service. FDOT claims that the average call wait time for customers has decreased from more than 20 minutes to less than five minutes. Nearly half of all calls are being answered in less than one minute.
Problems with SunPass transactions began last summer shortly after Conduent rolled out its new Combined Customer Service Center. Some customers were double-charged or charged for the wrong type of vehicle. Approximately 90 million transactions were left unprocessed.
The public outcry led to state lawmakers demanding action against Conduent. Two U.S. senators stepped in and called for an investigation into the SunPass vendor.
As a result of Conduent’s errors, the state suspended fees and penalties for toll customers. In March, Gov. DeSantis extended that suspension until June 1. Since June 1, administrative fees on Toll-by-Plate invoices and fees for customers who request mailed statements have been reinstated for all transactions that occurred from June 1 onward.