Hundreds of Airport Visitors Charged Incorrect Parking Rates | NECN

Hundreds of Airport Visitors Charged Incorrect Parking Rates

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Friday, May 26, 2017)

    Hundreds of customers were overcharged or undercharged while parking at Bradley International Airport.

    On Friday, the company that operates parking, SP Plus, sent notification emails to the 856 impacted customers.

    All of them are members of the airport’s Frequent Parker Program. Brian Garrity from Manchester considers himself a regular at Bradley.

    "I'm typically here about once a week for work,” Garrity said.

    He usually parks in Lot 1, where the rate is $12 a day plus Connecticut sales tax. That’s been the case as long as Garrity has been parking there.

    But at the end of March, he said his expense report was flagged because his parking bill was higher than usual. It was a small difference, less than two dollars. Garrity said he called the airport, which put him in touch with SP Plus.

    "And when I contacted them, they said thanks for letting us know and they would reimburse me the difference between what it should be and what they charged me," Garrity said.

    Garrity said he was overcharged about six times. He reported each instance to the parking operator, SP Plus, and each time he was reimbursed.

    But neither the airport nor SP Plus notified customers about the discrepancy, and that didn’t sit well with Garrity.

    “I wanted to let them know that it was still happening. And they should probably let their customers know," he said.

    When no notice went out, Garrity contacted NBC Connecticut Responds.

    "I felt bad for probably a lot of folks that do this and don't notice that they're being overcharged," he said.

    A look at Garrity’s statements showed us something unusual: he was only overcharged when he parked for three days at a time.

    The correct amount, including tax, should be $38.29. But Garrity’s bill consistently read $39.90.

    Responds reached out to Bradley International Airport and SP Plus for answers on May 11. Both said they would look into it.

    On May 23, SP Plus told us in an email that the glitch happened during a software upgrade, resulting in “sporadic undercharges and overcharges” to members of the airport’s Frequent Parker Program. SP Plus said the average amounts were less than two dollars. The company confirmed the mistake only happened to customers who parked for a “specific duration.”

    SP Plus added its equipment provider worked on the issue for several weeks and indicated the problem is fixed.

    When asked why customers weren’t notified sooner, a representative for SP Plus said. “With the amount of transactions handled each day (averaging over 1400 per day), it took time to identify the problem and the specific transactions.”

    Kevin Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority, told NBC Connecticut in a written statement, "We were notified by SP Plus of the erroneous undercharges and overcharges that have taken place and we immediately asked them to take the appropriate steps to resolve the issue."

    “We're pleased that they are in the process of reimbursing individuals who have been overcharged," Dillon said.

    SP Plus said it is working quickly to refund anyone who was overcharged. Customers who were undercharged will not have to pay the difference. Each of the impacted customers will also get bonus points added to their accounts, which can be put toward free parking in the future.

    SP Plus said it will continue to monitor transactions to make sure everything is working properly.