Dying To Cancel

| Working | November 26, 2013

(My father recently passed away, and my three brothers and I are tying up loose ends: bills, service contracts, insurance, etc. It’s an emotionally draining task not only because we have to repeatedly explain that our father is dead, but we’ve also had to argue with quite a few reps about having services canceled and fees waived. I call my father’s cell phone carrier to close the account.)

Representative: “You’ve reached [Carrier]. This is [Name]. How may I help you today?”

Me: “Hi, I’d like to close an account. The number is [number] and the name is [Father’s name].”

Representative: “And you’d like to terminate your contract?”

Me: “It’s not my contract; it’s my father’s. He passed away a few weeks ago.”

Representative: “Alright. Well, the termination fee is $350.”

(We cannot afford that fee, nor can we afford to continue paying for the service.)

Me: “Ma’am, my father is dead. I believe it’s stated in your policy that all fees will be waived in the case of death.”

Representative: “There’s still 23 months left on this contract. The termination fee is $350.”

Me: “I can’t afford to pay that fee. Can’t you waive it? The user is deceased. Isn’t there an exception?”

Representative: “Sir, that scam isn’t going to work on me.”

Me: “I’m not trying to scam you!”

Representative: “Prove it.”

Me: “I have his death certificate right here. I can fax it to you.”

Representative: “Yeah, right. You can buy phonies anywhere.”

Me: “It’s not a fake!”

(At this point, I am frustrated, distressed, and near tears. My brother, who has been listening to my end of the conversation, reaches over and takes the phone.)

Brother: “Just waive the fee. My dad is dead, and it says in your policy that the charge won’t be applied if the customer is deceased.”

Representative: “No, the fee is $350. You should be ashamed of yourselves, claiming that your father is dead just to save money.”

Brother: “Look, lady! My dad just f****** died! He doesn’t need his g**-d*** cell phone anymore, and we can’t afford to keep it! Waive the f****** fee, or so help me I will take this to corporate and tell them all about your snide attitude!”

Representative: “You won’t have any proof.”

Brother: “I know that they record these calls, you f****** idiot. Put me through to your boss.”

(In the end, we had to write directly to corporate and practically beg them to waive the fee. They didn’t even do it until we had paid almost as much in cell phone bills.)

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