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    Always Right, Even From Beyond The Grave

    | United Kingdom |

    Me: *on the phone* “Hello, welcome to [magazine company]. How can I help?”

    Caller: “I want to cancel my husband’s subscription.”

    Me: “Okay. Could I speak to your husband, as he is the account holder?”

    Caller: “I’m sorry, he passed away last week. That’s why I’m calling. I won’t have to pay what he owes, will I?”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that madam. I’ll cancel that and you are correct; you won’t be charged.”

    (I took the details. At the end, I said she could receive one more copy free.)

    Caller: “I’m sorry, I’m not following. I’ve had a lot to deal with since my husband died. We only buried him yesterday.”

    Me: *feeling dreadful for her* “Of course. I’ll go through it again.”

    (I ran through it, stopping at intervals to check she understood. She said she did.)

    Me: “Would you like the free copy? This month you get money off vouchers for books.”

    (15 seconds of silence.)

    Me: “Madam, are you there?”

    Caller: “I still don’t understand, dear. I’m not good with this stuff. Let me get my husband; he usually deals with this.”

    Me: “Madam, you told me your husband died.”

    Caller: *flustered* “I didn’t.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but you did. You told me your husband died, his funeral was yesterday, and you asked me to cancel his contract and not charge you.”

    Caller: *now getting agitated* “I didn’t. You misunderstood.”

    Me: “Madam, we record calls. I can arrange for you to speak to a manager once the called has been reviewed, if you wish.”

    (Another 15 seconds of silence.)

    Me: “Madam, are you still there?”

    Caller: *click*