PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Toll Patrol is helping a Portsmouth woman who can’t afford the tolls across the tunnels and now has a big fat bill.
Rosalyn Mills has nearly a $3,000 bill from Elizabeth River Crossings, and she contacted 10 On Your Side. Half of that bill was service charges and fees.
The first thing you need to know about Portsmouth resident Rosalyn Mills is that she has an E-ZPass, but avoids the tunnels.
“I go around 38 miles each way across the High Rise Bridge to avoid the tunnels,” Mills said.
Mills is dealing with health issues, has 34 pages of late payment fees, and reversals of violations, coming to $1,373, according to the ERC bill.That was confirmed to her by ERC costumer service.
But when she was transferred to pay, she claims the amount she owed got jacked up by $1,400.
“I was told $1,373, and when I tried to pay, I was told the amount is $2,700.”
She also got a letter from DMV saying she couldn’t renew her tags unless she pays the tolls.
She felt alone. “I don’t have anyone to have my back.”
Not long after 10 On Your Side called ERC, Mills’ bill changed.
“A good portion of the debt is fees, but we reduced it down,” says ERC’s Director of Customer Care Rich Gabris. “We are here to help and obviously, we want them to pay their tolls and clear the bill, but we want to make if helpful and practical,” Gabris said.
“I looked at the costumer’s account, saw the the costumer had a full balance of $1,300, we reduced it to $1,100 dollars.”
10 On Your Side connected her with Gabris by phone for the good news, “I first want to apologize for putting you in that position … the $2,300 balance is incorrect … understanding what you are saying and going through we are able to reduce the balance to $1,167.26,” Gabris said.
On the other end you could hear Mills: “I appreciate that, I really really appreciate that. It was really stressing me out.”
Gabris responded, “We want you to afford it, and not to put you in a stressful environment, and once it is made we can release any holds on your registration.”
It shows the continuing new tone at ERC: “If it becomes a hardship we are here to listen. Give us a call. We will work with them to make an affordable relationship,” Gabris said.
Late this afternoon, Mills confirmed she paid the reduced $1,167.26 bill, and ERC confirms the registration block has been sent up to DMV for removal.