Jordan Bridge toll bills confuse motorists

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side has learned of at least five drivers in the last week who have complained about billing for tolls on the Jordan Bridge.

We’ve received complaints through WAVY.com and other complaints are popping up on the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge’s Facebook page. The complainants report double-billing and billing cycles that can vary from about a week to two months. One of those drivers shared her story with 10 On Your Side.

Bonnie McCabe of Suffolk commutes to Norfolk via the SNJB and is trying to make sense of her bills. She was charged twice for trips in January and February — one bill from E-ZPass and another from the SNJB’s own toll company.

“I crossed twelve times in two months and was charged $83.50, and that was just on the Jordan side, not to mention what the transponder was charging at the time,” McCabe said.

Looking back, McCabe says she wasn’t having billing problems prior to E-ZPass, but that started changing in November and December. In addition,  she says the SNJB bill is hard to follow because her statements have very different billing periods.

“The billing periods on the statements will range anywhere from 10 days, and some are 61 days,” she said. “They just bounce back and forth so you don’t have a stable billing period.”

Wednesday afternoon, WAVY.com talked with Kevin Crum, spokesman for the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge company. He said billing periods vary on individual usage. He also said SNJB billing always itemizes individual trips, so whenever there’s a bill with a lump sum with no description, it generally involves a balance forward.

As for the on-ramp to the bridge’s online payment system, McCabe says she’s finding roadblocks: “Sometimes you’ll get on it, and sometimes it’s just completely down.” Crum said downtime on the online portal does happen, but is very infrequent.

Because of all the complications, McCabe says lately she’s skipping the Jordan, but the alternatives are turning her commute into a long haul.

“I’ve tried the Gilmerton — it’s packed. I’ve tried 664, now it’s backed up three or four more exits than before,” she said.

He said the company is reaching out to McCabe and other drivers who have contacted 10 On Your Side with complaints, to sort out their billing concerns.

If someone’s E-ZPass account goes to zero, they will start getting charged the higher “pay-by-plate” rate. But Crum says once the account has been restored to good standing, SNJB will make up the difference in the rates retroactively.

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