This is a story about a good friend of mine. A few months ago, tragically, his wife died. Anything you can possibly think of concerning people who die much too young is applicable in her death¹.
When someone dies, the surviving spouse begins to go through the process of letting the world know what’s happened. You would think, and my friend confirms, most people are understanding. It’s an awkward situation and people walk on egg shells trying to be accommodating and respectful.
That’s what makes what’s happened with his wife’s cell phone account so puzzling and troubling. They had an account with Verizon Wireless. Without going into all the details, my friend can’t seem to get things straightened out with his wife’s part of the account.
He was first told they didn’t need a copy of her death certificate, then they did. He faxed the death certificate and spoke to the person who received it. Later, another person said they had not received it! Yet another customer service operator said they’d only waive the early termination fee if it was the primary holder (it’s under his name) who had died.
As of earlier today, his wife’s cell account was closed, but the early termination fee was outstanding – around $150. A concerned Verizon employee at one of their phone stores has taken up his cause, but so far, nothing’s changed.
I told my friend the easiest way to fix this is to go to a local TV station or newspaper and have them tell his story. It wouldn’t take long for the cell company to see the cost of bad publicity and retreat.
Why, after everything else he’s gone through, should he be subjected to this?
¹ – She was very private and asked that her death not be mentioned in any public forums, which is why I am not using his or her names.