AUSTIN (KXAN) — Upgrades to the state’s toll collector aren’t going as hoped, and TxTag is asking its customers to remain patient.
“Since the transition is still in progress, not all features are available at this time,” said a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Transportation.
TxTag closed its online customer service center from Nov. 18 to Dec. 11 for the upgrades, which the agency expects will make it easier for drivers to manage their TxTag accounts, pay bills and get customer support. For years, we’ve been reporting on issues with TxTag’s billing and customer service.
“We are still migrating to our new operating system and transitions of this size take time,” said the TxDOT spokesperson.
She added: “We are communicating with our customers via phone and website and will also communicate with them via statements.”
Since the upgrades went live, we have heard from drivers who say they’re not able to make billing changes, see transactions, and some say they are locked out of their accounts entirely.
“I can get all the way to adding funds to my account but cannot choose a payment method,” one driver told us.
Said another: “The new TxTag system has completely wiped out our account. It does not recognize the email or account number we have been using for several years.”
John Romero says he worries about surprise toll bills. Back in May, he was in a hospital ICU bed because of a lung injury. He has battled health issues and like many is one unexpected expense away from being in the red.
“I’ve been out of work. My bank account doesn’t have a lot of money,” he said. “So it doesn’t take much to overdraft my account.”
To avoid that, Romero uses autopay. It’s supposed to transfer just enough money from his bank account to his TxTag account, so he can pay his toll bills on time. But recently, after the upgrades, he says he started seeing larger, unexplained withdrawals.
“My prepaid balance was over $100.00,” he said. “And that’s not something it should be.”
Romero says TxTag customer service couldn’t explain the withdrawals either. He added the money was more than he usually spends on tolls.
“I already knew there was some kind of glitch,” said Romero.
The TxDOT spokesperson did not answer questions about the cause of the latest issues or a timeline for when they’d be solved. She said TxTag would not assessing late fees or penalties at this time, as it didn’t when the customer service center was closed.
Romero himself said he didn’t know about the planned upgrades. He said he’d like to see TxTag communicate better with its drivers.
“I think transparency is very important,” he said. “I think as a customer, they should be able to say we’re sorry for this, and this is happening to other customers.”