Sydney businessman cops $57,000 toll charge

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Transport for NSW has apologised for a toll charge mistake that overcharged thousands of motorists — and left one small business owner $57,000 out of pocket. 

Sydney transport company owner Jason Clenton faced the astronomic charged after he was slugged with $1,000 per toll across multiple trucks, 7News reported.

Clenton’s currently operates a fleet of eight trucks between Port Botany and across Greater Sydney.

45,000 Sydney E-Toll users were incorrectly overcharged by Transport for NSW last Thursday due to a billing mistake that the state government blamed on a technical error. 

But for Clenton, the bungle quickly snowballed into much more than a minor administrative headache.

Clenton deactivated his account, but a further $17,000 was direct-debited over the weekend, bringing his toll loss to $57,000.

E-Toll told customers they “do not need to do anything to receive their refund”, with a spokesperson saying the company would be investigating the issue.

“We’re absolutely disgusted with E-Toll and Transport for NSW, Clenton told 7NEWS on Tuesday.

The E-Toll spokesperson said it would be conducting a thorough investigation to find the root cause of the issue to ensure it does not happen again.”

Clenton on Tuesday said he still hadn’t heard from E-Toll about the incorrect charges.

Transport for NSW said refunds are being processed and impacted E-Toll customers should begin to see the money return to their bank account by Friday.

Exploding petrol prices are already slamming small businesses, which have risen as high as $2 a litre in metro markets.

This week’s budget announcement the fuel excise on petrol and diesel will halve for six months from 44.2 cents per litre to 22.1 cents per litre is likely to cut some costs.

But industry leaders have warned this alone will do little to lessen inflationary pressures on businesses. 

Labor’s Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers on Sunday said cost-of-living pressures go far beyond the pump.

“Petrol is a big part of the story, as everybody knows, but it’s not the only part of the story,” he told Insiders.

NSW opposition leader Chris Minns said small businesses “are already on their knees and it’s made more difficult by toll companies.”

“It’s toll-mania on steroids in Sydney at the moment.”

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