One widow is learning that death is apparently not a finality in some places after the passing of her 81-year-old husband. As she was making phone calls and canceling plans, doing all the awful paperwork that comes with death, she ran into a problem at the cell phone company, with them refusing to cancel the account.
She did not name the cell-phone provider they were using, but says they keep giving her the run around and billing her for her deceased husband’s phone. Apparently, they require a password in order to be able to cancel the account. A password, she says, she doesn’t have. Her husband likely wouldn’t have remembered it either.
“I can’t override the password with his account’s security question ― the first name of his first childhood friend. Vic was 81 when he died ― I feel safe suspecting that he probably wouldn’t have remembered this name either,” she wrote.
She says the only other option the company gave her was to drive down to a store and bring a slew of paperwork, including IDs and his death certificate.
Brenoff says that a customer service representative offered a solution to her issue, which was much more complicated than she anticipated.
“Recently, a customer service rep offered me this option: Drive to a company store to ‘authenticate’ my husband’s account, bring his driver’s license, Social Security number, death certificate and our marriage license. For real,” Brenoff wrote. “Oh, and then call him back because I clearly must have plenty of time on my hands. Mind you, they are still billing my credit card while giving me the run-around.”
The widow offered advice to anyone who may have to deal with a similar situation – make several copies of the death certificate if your loved one passes away. She wrote about death certificates, “You can do nothing without one.”
She described her frustrations with attempting to get copies of her husband’s death certificate made.
“Getting a death certificate, at least in Los Angeles, is best accomplished by rising before dawn, taking a day off work and going in person with plenty of quarters for the parking meter. And don’t forget to bring your own pen; things are a little tight at our government offices these days,” she wrote.
Brenoff says that she shared her story in order to help others prevent the same problems she ran into following her husband’s death.