Thursday, July 19, 2018
Business

SunPass contractor promises to fix backlog but gives no timeline

The contractor for Florida’s troubled SunPass electronic tolling system promised to make sure all SunPass customers are billed correctly, in a letter sent to the Florida Department of Transportation.

But in the letter sent Tuesday, David Amoriell, the president of the contractor, Conduent State & Local Solutions, Inc., did not set a timeline for when the SunPass problems that have persisted since June 1 would be fixed.

FDOT secretary Mike Dew in a June 28 letter had given Conduent until today to address its inability to process SunPass charges and correct problems with customer service technology.

RELATED COVERAGE: FDOT gives SunPass contractor 10 days to account for toll problems

Amoriell said in his letter that Conduent is communicating daily with FDOT and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, which oversees SunPass, and promised weekly updates on the project.

Kim Poulton, spokeswoman for the turnpike agency, said in an email on Tuesday that Florida will continue to hold Conduent accountable for the delays it has caused.

"(FDOT) will be enforcing all penalty clauses of the contract to the maximum extent possible," Poulton said.

On Monday, July 9, the Tampa Bay Times filed a public records request to obtain a copy of the original contract between Conduent (formerly part of Xerox Corp.) and FDOT from 2015 and view the penalty clauses. FDOT Communications Director Ed Seifert sent the 1,575-page contract to the Times Thursday afternoon, after this initial story was published.

Seifert said the state wouldn’t decide how to deal with Conduent’s responsibility for the SunPass troubles until after the Thursday deadline.

"After that point, we’ll have a better idea of how to move forward," Seifert said.

Conduent has started chipping away at the backlog of at least 100 million charges, processing the older charges at a faster rate than SunPass customers pass through the toll booths every day. According to an FTE news release, the contractor had processed more than 28 million of the pending charges as of Wednesday and will continue to process at least 8 million charges each day.

"We will commit that customers will not be overcharged," Amoriell said in the letter.

Amoriell said Conduent has already made "substantial improvements" to fix the month-long issues. Its customer service website has been updated and Conduent has sent letters to customers notifying them of multiple charges that were inaccurately posted to their accounts. SunPass’ problems also prevented customers from being able to pay for parking at Tampa International Airport, but Amoriell said that has been fixed.

Conduent said it has also hired 40 new staff members to process the remaining unprocessed charges and has upgraded customer service training and technology to handle increased calls.

Contact Hannah Denham at [email protected] Follow @hannah_denham1.

MORE: Go here for more Business News

 
Comments
Get this: Bank of the Ozarks is the country’s largest construction lender

Get this: Bank of the Ozarks is the country’s largest construction lender

This surprised me: Little ole Bank of the Ozarks is the country’s largest construction lender, loaning out more to the industry than financial heavyweight Wells Fargo and Bank of America.Those factoids were part of a lengthy profile of the bank pub...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay and Florida businesses expect tariffs to drive prices up

Tampa Bay and Florida businesses expect tariffs to drive prices up

TAMPA — Tariffs imposed by the Trump administration and other countries are beginning to push up prices and depress demand in spots around the Tampa Bay area and Florida, business executives say."We’ve definitely seen that the tariffs have increased ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
When suicide threats come calling: ‘I try to make a connection.’

When suicide threats come calling: ‘I try to make a connection.’

TAMPA — At first glance, it’s a typical office with more than a dozen cubicles under florescent lights. The operators wear headsets and stare into computer screens, some tinkering with handheld toys, others browsing Facebook or chatting with colleagu...
Updated: 3 hours ago
St. Pete residents storm City Council with allegations against Kevin King

St. Pete residents storm City Council with allegations against Kevin King

ST. PETERSBURG — At Thursday’s City Council meeting, seven residents called for the resignation of Mayor Rick Kriseman and Kevin King — one of his closest confidants — over allegations that King "preys" on homeless black men.Jesse Nevel, the vice pre...
Updated: 10 hours ago
OSHA has open inspection into Clearwater company MagneGas

OSHA has open inspection into Clearwater company MagneGas

CLEARWATER — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has an open inspection into a safety-related incident involving Clearwater-based MagneGas Corp. A federal investigator opened the inquiry into the publicly-traded alternative fuel...
Published: 07/19/18
Winn-Dixie remodeled in Tampa opens as sixth made-over store this year

Winn-Dixie remodeled in Tampa opens as sixth made-over store this year

TAMPA — Winn-Dixie unveiled another remodeled store, the sixth in the area, after promising to remodel much of its chain following its emergence from bankruptcy this year.The made-over store at 805 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. has a host of ne...
Published: 07/19/18
Starbucks to open its first U.S. sign language store

Starbucks to open its first U.S. sign language store

WASHINGTON — Starbucks has more than 8,000 stores nationwide. One of them will soon be run entirely in American Sign Language.Starbucks’ first signing store in the United States will hire 20 to 25 deaf, hard of hearing and hearing partners with the r...
Published: 07/19/18
State Rep. Janet Cruz calls to cut off state ties with SunPass contractor, waive toll fees

State Rep. Janet Cruz calls to cut off state ties with SunPass contractor, waive toll fees

TAMPA - State Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, says she’s fed up with Florida’s problems with the SunPass tolling system that have persisted since early June.She’s asking the state to address what she referred to as the "gigantic racket" with the following ...
Published: 07/19/18
St. Petersburg beef company recalls more than 6,000 pounds of meat

St. Petersburg beef company recalls more than 6,000 pounds of meat

ST. PETERSBURG — A St. Petersburg wholesale meat retailer is recalling more than 6,000 pounds of fresh and frozen beef because of possible E. coli contamination, the USDA said Thursday.Five products produced by the St. Petersburg-based Ottomanelli Wh...
Published: 07/19/18
This week in savings: Best Tampa Bay grocery deals for July 18 - 25

This week in savings: Best Tampa Bay grocery deals for July 18 - 25

It’s a regular occurrence for me: Once a week, I’ll take out all the ads that have been mailed to my house and spread them across my tiny glass table.I grab my scissors for any coupons. Pull up any apps for stores whose ads I didn’t get and laugh at ...
Published: 07/19/18