M50 commuters were slapped with a fine for failing to pay a toll last weekend – even though they had established a tagging account.
Hundreds of Tolltag customers who travelled on the motorway last Saturday evening and early Sunday morning received penalty notices for non-payment.
The letters say individuals owe €3.10 for using the road and another €3 for non-payment. The commuters are warned that a fine of €41 is also due if they fail to pay by April 6.
However it has emerged that the problem surfaced after a systems failure by Tolltag.
The group is one of several companies which offers customers discounted rates on M50 tolls if they sign up for a billing account.
The issue has been rectified and Tolltag advised Eflow of the problem so that customers will not be required to pay the fines.
Tolltag chief executive Paul Fitzgerald explained that a problem with the system meant that the wrong date was sent to EFlow.
This resulted in customers not being listed as having a tagging account to qualify for automatic payment of bills.
Although he said that it is too soon to discover exactly how many customers had wrongly received penalty notices, Mr Fizgerald said it was "likely to be a couple of hundred."
"Even if people are away on holidays as may be the case for some of those using the M50 at the time concerned, and do not see these letters for a few weeks, they will not be liable for any fines as a result of this," he said.
Mr Fitzgerald added that most customers would not even have received the penalty notices as Eflow was advised of the problem early enough to prevent most letters being issued.
Tolltag has around 40,000 tolling customers, but the numbers who travelled on the M50 in the short period was a smaller number as the technical problem lasted a short period.
Tolltag is part of the ParkMagic Company which also operates a parking payments system for on-street and off-street parking in many cities.
While the normal toll on the M50 is €3.10, customers who use the Tolltag system pay €2.10 or €2.31 per trip depending on their account type.