Monday, November 17, 2014
For all of you with recently bereaved family members, please be aware that they may need a really stubborn advocate when cancelling their loved one's cell phone bill, or even any other recurring bills they may have.
My husband's grandpa passed away and his uncle went into the Verizon store to change grandma's plan into his name. Uncle pays grandma's bills and because she is encountering memory loss, it's very important that he have full access to all of her accounts in order to better advocate for her. Verizon said they could add him to the plan, but told him that their plan was outdated and could not be continued.
The monthly bill PER PHONE skyrocketed from $16 to $60 per month. They then told him that they could not remove grandpa's phone because it wasn't due to expire until next year, and that there would be a cancellation fee, should he wish to remove the phone earlier. He didn't do anything further. After all, he was in the midst of grieving his own father's passing.
I happened to be at grandma's house so my little girls could enjoy her "how to draw" books, and saw Uncle poring over the Verizon bill, trying to figure out a way out. We decided that all three of us would call Verizon on speaker phone.
After 40 minutes, and much questioning as to whether people really do pay the cell phone bill for a deceased person, Verizon finally waived the cancellation fee. They took grandpa's phone off and gave Uncle and grandma back their old plan rate. Of course not before asking if there was any way they could get them to keep grandpa's phone active. Uncle didn't miss a beat and said: "Not unless you have a direct line to heaven!"
Bad form Verizon Wireless. Bad form.
So please be sure, especially if you're a little on the outskirts of the grieving, to check in with family members and see if they need help with any of their bills and loose ends. You just might help them avoid a first hand experience as to why some businesses just shouldn't get so big. The customer should ALWAYS be regarded as a human: a real human with pain and grief and family members who pass away and therefore cannot pay their bills.