Dead man billed by Verizon, death certificate not enough proof says the carrier

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Dead man billed by Verizon, death certificate not enough proof says the carrier
Most companies realize that once you have passed away, you no longer will be using their service and the account is closed. The nation's largest cell carrier, Verizon Wireless, thinks differently. If Verizon's action in regard to Bill Young is any indication of how the company works, Big Red must be offering some type of service between Heaven and Earth. Mr. Young of  Calvin, West Virginia passed away in June, but was still getting billed monthly. His daughter, Cynthia Lacy called a Verizon customer representative who said that without her dad's PIN number, there was nothing she could do. The rep laughed and hung up the phone. And this happened even though Lacy had mailed a copy of the death certificate to Verizon. It wasn't until the daughter contacted several members of the media that the cellular operator finally closed out the account in February, 8 months after Mr. Young had died. Bob Elek, a spokesman for Verizon, said that the customer representative handled the call poorly and has been reprimanded. The account has been backdated to September 1st and the money that was paid every month since September for a dead man's cellphone account will be refunded. That sounds like Verizon made an effort and did the right thing, right? Well, our question is, why did Verizon keep the charges for the June-August period when Mr. Young had already passed away back in June?

source: St.PetersburgTimes

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33 Comments

1. underoath427

Posts: 9; Member since: Apr 09, 2008

I'm tired of hearing this story, I work for Verizon Wireless and I assure you, the employee she dealt with was an idiot. We have NO policy saying you need to know the PIN to cancel an account due to someone passing. Actually, you don't even need a Death Certificate. You walk into a store, state someone passed away, and we are supposed to cancel it.

2. SamTime

Posts: 253; Member since: Nov 07, 2009

How about the fact that they kept the charges from June-august? Care to explain that sir? Stop getting all sensitive and defensive. No one is attacking you personally. If this offends you, get a life

3. rjt185

Posts: 257; Member since: Jun 11, 2009

...you outta lighten up there bud, I'm sure it was a mistake instead of policy to have it happen this way.

4. underoath427

Posts: 9; Member since: Apr 09, 2008

Ummm, get a life? I'm pretty sure you just commented on the same story I did. And you get a billed a month in advance, no matter what. So yeah, he passed away in June, could have been June 31st.

5. earle.evans

Posts: 27; Member since: Mar 07, 2010

June 31st? Must have been a freakish leap year...

26. zyoose

Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Dude, your billing dept sucks. I have dropped verizon all together b/c of the billing. Don't even get me started.

30. sleepyjohnny

Posts: 151; Member since: Dec 16, 2009

billing dept. is amazing. and if you dont like the first employee dial again and complain about the former.

6. ILOVEtechnology unregistered

why did verizon cancel the service? maybe he is getting 3g in heaven. They might have a map for that!

7. idiotwind13

Posts: 80; Member since: Dec 29, 2008

It actually is true that Verizon does not require a death certificate anymore for a cancellation for this reason. I looked to see if it was April Fool's Day when I saw this post, there is just no way.

8. DrNick81

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 07, 2010

Did anyone stop to think that maybe somebody else kept using phone after the guy died?

32. Cali_E

Posts: 196; Member since: Sep 24, 2008

u seem to be the only person with common sense here. thats probably why. you would be suprised at how many people will continue to use a phone from a family member that passed away. its really messed up

9. mh30165

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 07, 2010

Actually, my dad passed away in October of 08. I went to the store and cancelled the account they did not ask for a death certificate or billed me. They sent me a letter in the mail that states his account was closed, so i agree it must of been just that employee, but who do we blame her or the one that trained her?

10. boriqua2000

Posts: 260; Member since: Mar 11, 2009

the real question is,way the hell did she keep paying his phone bill if he was dead? was she afraid his credit score would drop or what?

13. Kappy

Posts: 108; Member since: Dec 14, 2009

+1 billion

21. allboutverizon

Posts: 66; Member since: May 20, 2009

I'm kinda with you there, why did she keep paying the bill. I would have stopped paying the bill when he died.

29. rickwhoo

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 05, 2009

auto pay

11. robp3

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 07, 2010

First, let me say I have been a Verizon customer for 8+ years and have seen them screw up too many times, but like most stay with them because of their coverage. However, my father passed away this past June and in trying to help out my Mom I made numerous calls to financial institutions, government agencies, etc., and none were as pleasant and easy to deal with as Verizon Wireless. The rep was quite kind, efficient and professional. This poor woman had rotten service and I hope Verizon makes good amends. Yet I do not think it is idicative of their customer service or approach to matters such as these.

12. spk

Posts: 36; Member since: Feb 03, 2010

The title of this article is very misleading. Never did VZW state that a death certificate was not enough proof! This is just an article about an idiot call center rep.

14. rjt185

Posts: 257; Member since: Jun 11, 2009

typical journalistic sense by phonearena and their sources, about par for the course.

15. Russki

Posts: 45; Member since: Dec 26, 2009

I work for Verizon retail. Its amazing the kind of idiotic people the company hires to handle customer service. I was helping a customer and had to call customer service where a rep was convinced that all activation fees (primary line or not) were 35$... They really need to have like secrect shopper (callers) keep these guys accountable for their misinformation. It tarnishes the reputability of Verizon.

19. stix26

Posts: 21; Member since: Feb 03, 2010

Talk about tarnishing a reputation. how about not throwing your fellow employees under the bus and just do your job. Also your stores should stop sending customers away and tell them to call customer service when your to lazy to do anything to help them.

20. gba2000

Posts: 49; Member since: Dec 28, 2008

There are many things that we can not do in store, so it must be completed by customer service. Customer service constantly gives misinformation and send them to the store, so the customer feel upset once they walk in and find out that the phone rep was able to help but did not want to. Maybe you should actually pay attention and you may have noticed.

22. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Idiotic people? You two @$#&*^% need to do what stix26 stated earlier, not throw your fellow employees under the bus just and do your jobs! No one in the call centers nor the stores are perfect. I've spend countless hours over the years apologizing and fixing mistakes made by someone other than myself, but I send you an email on the correct info. I never see CS or TS reps jumping on PA and telling our current and potential new customers that store agents are all Idiotic or lazy! And did you every think there may be a reason we ask a cust to go into a store? For example; "no power" issues have to be tested with a different battery and a different charger. If the customer doesn't have an extra battery laying around, we unfortunately have to send them to you. Can't send out a replacement phone if the battery is the issue, right? So we depend on our CO-WORKERS in the store to help accurately diagnose and resolve the customers issue. Believe me, if I could prevent any customers from seeing you two, I would do my very best not too. We all do our best, so for you to categorize us all as "idiotic people" or "lazy", just because you had a bad experience with one rep or had to do a little extra work, is more indicative of your own lack of patients, laziness and ignorance.

25. ProVZW1015

Posts: 5; Member since: Mar 08, 2010

I agree 110% stix26! I couldn't have said it better myself!

31. jundibasam

Posts: 119; Member since: Aug 05, 2009

I am a longtime and loyal Verizon customer, but I do have to say that just about all of the stores I have ever had to deal with, except for one in NC, was an awful experience. It took calls to Customer Service or Technical Support to resolve it and keep me as a customer. My experiences with Verizon stores have been so bad I will never go back to their store if I can avoid it. All my upgrades come from online and if I have to go to a store for a purchase, I go to Best Buy. I know the regular phone reps are knew, but their Technical Staff always seems very knowledgable, educated, and polite. It seems Verizon hires high school kids or college dropouts to work at their stores. One time I had an issue so bad, it had to go to their Executive Team and they admitted to me in a written apology that the store reps aren't trained on any customer service issues or how to do real troubleshooting because their sales people first. Needless to say, I got three free phones and two months of free service without a new contract from the Executive team for my inconvenience with dealing with the stores. And none of you store reps can tell me it was just my store. I have lived in Washington, DC/Northern VA, Southeastern NC and coastal SC in the 7 years I have been with Verizon and every store except one store in Wilmington, NC has always been a terrible experience.

16. bagsofcole

Posts: 30; Member since: May 19, 2009

Helps my Vz stock.... I like it!

17. cellgeek82

Posts: 518; Member since: Dec 20, 2009

Friggin Phonescoop hate articles. I bet if this was about an iPhone or AT&T there wouldn't be anything negative posted. Lets all hate Verizon because their #1. Geez!

23. jil77

Posts: 24; Member since: Feb 18, 2010

Phonescoop?

28. cellgeek82

Posts: 518; Member since: Dec 20, 2009

I meant Phonearena...sorry that's the other site I go to

18. Iphoneluv

Posts: 59; Member since: Nov 13, 2009

F Verizon!!!!

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