Verizon Customer Reps Charges Daughter for Father's Service After He Died
"Melissa" wasn't even aware of the bill until Verizon sent her a collection notice for $362.80. She had been knee deep in sorting out her father's estate, after he passed away in January, following a long, painful, expensive bout with cancer. Her father was unmarried at the time of his death, and Melissa was his only child. She had a lot on her plate.
So when Melissa was surprised by a collection notice from Verizon several months later, she offered to pay for service through January, explaining that that was when her father passed, and she told Verizon she would be happy to fax them a copy of the death certificate as proof. His other creditors had been amenable to similar solutions.
Four different Verizon customer service reps told Melissa she would be responsible for all charges up to the time she finally contacted them, and that it was her fault for not canceling her father's service immediately after he died. They also refused to let her speak to a manager.
In a letter to Verizon, published on Consumerist.com, Melissa wrote, "I am appalled with the way I was treated by Verizon Wireless -- by the lack of heart, compassion, and willingness to help. Other companies have been very understanding and have gone above and beyond in their efforts to help."
Legally, her father's estate is responsible for the debt, not Melissa. But it would also be legal, and ethical, for Verizon to forgive the debt. You'd think the four customer service reps who dealt with Melissa might have kicked the issue upstairs to someone with the authority to do just that.
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