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SunPass saga, day 69: Conduent says everything is under control

More and more customer complaints indicate the company's SunPass customer service issues have some ways to go before being completely solved.
Credit: Conduent
Conduent logo.

TAMPA, Fla. -- The CEO for Conduent, the politically-connected company behind the SunPass mess, told investors Wednesday the now 69-day tolling disruption was under control.

TIMELINE: How 10Investigates uncovered the SunPass mess

"We have the capability to resolve these issues," CEO Ashok Vemuri said on Conduent's quarterly conference call. "We are an industry leader in the automotive tolling space and we are confident in our ability."

However, a growing number of customer complaints indicate Conduent's SunPass customer service issues are far from being solved.

Vemuri said little else about SunPass on Wednesday's investor call, citing contract confidentiality issues. He announced $1.4B in Q2 revenues, down 7 percent from Q2 last year.

"We don’t anticipate (SunPass problems) having an impact on our ability to meet our guidance," Conduent CFO Brian Webb-Walsh said regarding the company's future earnings.

Conduent has had tolling problems in at least six other states; when 10Investigates exposed how severe the seventh, Florida, had become, two U.S. Senators called on the FTC to investigate the company for unfair and deceptive trade practices.

Since 10Investigates began uncovering the depth of the SunPass problems, the state has announced all driver late fees and penalties will be waived, and bank overdraft fees related to the disruptions will be reimbursed.

But the state has been slow to launch an investigation into what went wrong or to issue any financial penalties to Conduent for its role in the failures.

Other 10Investigates findings involving Conduent:

July 25, 2018: 10Investigates reveals Gov. Scott was fundraising with the founder of Conduent in the weeks leading up to SunPass' failed launch. And his friend and lobbyist Brian Ballard, who represents Conduent, was raising hundreds of thousands for the governor's Senate campaign.

July 17, 2018: 10Investigates reveals FDOT didn't cease all payments to Conduent; it has continued to pay the company hundreds of thousands of dollars from other contracts, even as it was flirting with default on its SunPass contract. 10Investigates also estimates the toll backlog has hovered near 140 million - without significant reduction - for about a week.

July 12, 2018: Conduent's president claims the company has fixed website problems and SunPass Plus problems at airport parking lots, but 10News viewers continue to report issues. The state claims 32.5 million tolls have been processed; it still won't provide numbers on the backlog.

July 5, 2018: Documents obtained by 10Investigates reveal the state of Florida continued to award contractor Conduent more money while problems with the new system's expected launch mounted, growing a $287 million contract to more than $343 million. A state audit also cited FDOT for not putting proper financial penalties in-place in case Conduent failed to fulfill its contractual duties. The documents were obtained by 10Investigates through the state CFO's office when public records requests to FTE/FDOT went unanswered. 10Investigates also documented how Conduent's top lobbyist is a close friend of Governor Rick Scott.

Send your stories and complaints confidentially to 10Investigates' Noah Pransky on Facebook or email him at npransky@wtsp.com.

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