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September 19, 2013

New parking system overcharges some North Texas toll tag users

A thirty-minute pick-up at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport turned into a $100 headache for some North Texas toll tag users.

The new automated parking system at the airport, which was launched on September 4, has been overcharging some drivers with toll tags, the airport said on Thursday. And some drivers weren’t being charge at all.

“We’ve had some issues that are partly human error and partly a system reader error,” said airport spokesman David Magaña, adding that less than 1 percent of the customers going through the airport’s parking system have been affected. “In some cases people were overcharged or undercharged and in some instances they were charged the incorrect parking rate.”

With the new parking system, the toll tag reader takes longer to scan the tag as the vehicle enters the airport. Some drivers, who are used the old system that was a few seconds faster, have backed out of a lane or moved their car to try to get the system the work, causing the reader to incorrectly scan the tag.

The readers were also sometimes not properly scanning tags as the vehicle exited the airport, causing the parking system to think the vehicle was at the airport. When the driver returned on a different visit, the system charged them as if they had been parked at the airport the entire time.

Magaña said that issue has been fixed as the system is now programmed to zero out any toll tag user who is entering the airport that the system believes is already parked.

The airport has received about 300 to 400 reports a day for the past few days from toll tag customers who believe they have been incorrectly charged. Magaña said those numbers are going down as some of the issues have been addressed. Approximately 40,000 vehicles enter and exit the airport every day.

Customers who believe they have been overcharged can call the airport at 972-973-4840 and the airport will issue a refund by check or to their credit card, Magaña said.

-Andrea Ahles

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