Over60

Legal

Mum who took on road tolls in court loses “faith in the justice system”

Mum who took on road tolls in court loses “faith in the justice system”

Heidi Jackel says she has lost “faith in the justice system” after being hit with a massive bill for unpaid road tolls that could force her to sell her home.

The mother of two has taken on the might of toll road giant Transurban and lost.

"I've always believed there is some justice in the justice system," she says.

Ms Jackel maintains she honestly thought she paid $14,500 in administration fees that were sprung on her after she did not pay tolls.

"I would not wish this on my worst enemy," she said back in August to A Current Affair.

"No one should have to go through this... no one."

Ms Jackel had been hit with a $22,000 bill for unpaid tolls which includes over $14,700 in administration fees.

Ms Jackel was unaware her etag had stopped working but accepted that it had and paid the $7000 in unpaid tolls.

But she thought the $10 and $20 administration fees were exorbitant, so she took it to court.

"It was so hard," Ms Jackel said.

"I'm really sorry."

Westlink M7 told Ms Jackel the administration fees were charged by Roads and Maritime Services, which she disputed.

"They (Westlink M7) know as well as I do that... that charge is, is… it's a rort… it's ripping people off," she said.

Unfortunately, a court has backed the road toll company and ordered Ms Jackel to pay the admin fees.   

"It's very disappointing," she admitted outside of court.

"Because it means that anyone can charge an admin fee and not prove that that's the actual, real admin cost.

“The rich people and the big companies, they just get away with doing whatever they like.

Ms Jackel has revealed she is scared for what her future holds.

"I don't know... will I lose my house? I don't know, I have no idea," she said.

"I don't have $15,000. I don't even have $5000... all I have is the house."

She says she has found “the silver lining in this dark, dark cloud,” which is that she will not have to pay Westlink M7's legal costs.