|Crater Lake - Oregon|
Oh, lordy, lordy, lordy . . . . where to begin? ? ? I suppose I should start with a warning that this will most likely end up as another long-winded rant . . .
|Teton Range - Reflections at Schwabachers by Smaldone|
|Arrowleaf Balsamroot Flowers Grand Tetons - by David Smaldone|
|Glacier National Park - Alice Lake Sawtooth|
|Grand Tetons - Jackson Lake by Kimberly Finch|
|Glacier National Park - Reflection on Lake McDonald by David Restivo|
. . . . I'll keep you posted . . . .
* * * * * * * * * * UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! * * * * * * * * * *
I received a letter from Gina Talmadge's office today. She informed me that CDOT "does not have jurisdiction on the toll roads" (again, I was only on 1 road - they are the ones that allow two different agencies to operate different sections of it). She also said that they "are separate public highway authorities enabled by law to build and operate their own toll roads. They are not part of the State-owned highway system."
She apologized that I had been misinformed by the governor's office that I should contact the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT - her office) and she has notified them about that.
She also said she had forwarded my letter and check to Northwest Parkway and that she had called and spoke to a supervisor there who told her that once they received my letter and check (I had already copied them in and had noted that at the bottom of the letter I sent to Ms. Talmadge, but I guess they didn't notice that), they will close out my account. No mention was made about whether they will repair any damage they may have already done to my credit.
Also she mentioned that "CDOT had no influence on the decision to settle the dispute; rather it was Northwest Parkway who decided to make a very rare decision in your favor to settle the matter after it had already gone to collections."
I don't want to seem ungrateful that this nightmare appears to be coming to a close for me. I will believe it is over when I don't receive any further threats from their collection agency and I can see they have not destroyed my credit, but based on how things have gone . . . I am not going to hold my breath and will now also have to run checks on my credit in a few months to be sure they haven't destroyed it over this stupid $3.95 toll. But, for now anyway, they seem to have come to their senses. However, all correspondence I have received has been rather . . . lacking in my opinion. Every letter has basically claimed no one is responsible for or has any control over some aspect of this process and has contained some element of treating me like a criminal. It is extremely annoying and frustrating.
If I had been able to pay when I was on the road, NONE of this would be happening now. I was not trying to get out of paying. I thought I had paid. I kept sending copies of the cancelled check. I wasn't going to keep paying the same bill over and over. If, in the first place, they had simply noted on the bills that a person could receive multiple bills and why, I could and would have been able to take care of them before they escalated them. As billed, though, again . . . I thought I had paid it and they were having billing problems. Even the toll road operator said their processes were confusing. Again, if they know their processes are confusing, they have a duty to make them less so.
This took a HUGE amount of time and effort to try to get resolved. It should have been resolved a very long time ago when they were receiving the first letters I had sent them. I copied in EVERYONE! Postage and copies alone totaled well over $20-$30, I didn't think to keep track of it all when this started. And time . . . OMG . . . lots of long letters took a long time to compose.
Then there was all the time and effort in writing these long posts . . . hoping to help others who might be unfortunate enough to end up in a similar nightmare. And, if you are seeing this BEFORE a trip to Colorado . . . please consider yourself forewarned . . . and if you are going to be renting a car there as well . . . well . . . don't go ANYWHERE near those toll roads unless you have hundreds to spare to donate to the toll authorities!
So, bottom line is, it would appear no one has any jurisdiction or control over what these toll road operators choose to do to the unwary travelers who end up on their roads. They are apparently free to make things as confusing as they possibly can to run the fees and penalties up at an astonishing rate with impunity! None of the offices seem to care what they are doing to the tourists who visit and who are unfamiliar with their practices.
So, I say: TRAVELERS BEWARE! ! ! !
. . . I truly hope this will be the end of this story . . . but, we'll see what happens . . . as before . . . I'll keep you posted!