More fines to hit Xerox over TxTag billing problems

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Xerox will likely see more fines from the state associated with the company’s troubled management of TxTag operations, according to House testimony Thursday.

The technology company has already been fined $177,000 for billing issues, said James Bass, Chief Financial Officer of the Texas Department of Transportation, at a House Transportation Committee meeting.

“We expect to deduct at least another $177,000 and expect it will be higher than that,” Bass said, regarding the fines.

The fines are a fraction of the approximately $5 million that Xerox stands to earn each year of its five-year contract with the state.

Since Xerox took control of TxTag operations last summer, customers have complained to state officials and KXAN about poor customer service, a malfunctioning website and toll bills arriving months late. TxDOT officials have said the problems are the result of Xerox’s merging of several systems into a single unified system, when it took control of the toll billing process.

Bass said Xerox has increased the number of customer service representatives to 130. The increased staff has reduced the phone wait time for customer service representatives from an average of about 13 minutes in December to about three minutes in February.

Committee chairman State Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, tested the wait time during the Thursday meeting. Pickett put his cell phone on speaker, held it to the microphone, dialed TxTag customer service and the 30 people in attendance listened as he waited for a customer service representative to answer. It took about three minutes to get a person on the line.

In addition to improving customer service and billing, TxDOT will be waiving late fees and offering refunds on incorrect bills sent between June 2012 and July 2014.

“If we mess up…we should be fair,” Picket said. “If you’ve gone through a toll and you don’t’ get a bill in a reasonable amount of time, then shame on us.”

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