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Dealing with companies

(61 Posts)
Cabbie21 Wed 24-May-23 16:01:54

I have found banks extremely helpful as they have bereavement teams, staffed with kind people.
But trying to sort out subscriptions is difficult. Most are online and it is so hard to speak to a human being if there is a query or a problem,
Eg Amazon, Ancestry.
I eventually got through to someone at Amazon who said there was no account, even though the credit card bank had told me to contact them to cancel it. Ancestry refused a refund even though DH had died two months into a year’s subscription.

Some companies I have just given up on. They won’t get paid of course as the bank accounts are frozen.
Any good or bad experiences with companies on bereavement?

Grandmabatty Wed 24-May-23 16:39:29

My friend's partner is having to deal with this at the moment. He said Hello Fresh were awful and lacking in any kind of empathy.

DiamondLily Wed 24-May-23 18:54:56

EDF cannot seem to manage to change the name, despite 4 attempts. Premium Bonds are, apparently, running 5 weeks behind with bereavement claims.

I haven't even tried with Sky or the banks yet. The accounts are joint and can wait.

The system can be brutal at the worst time of your life.

It's exhausting.🙁

LtEve Wed 24-May-23 19:12:42

I found one of the pet insurers awful. My fil’s dog died a week before he did and when we cancelled the insurance as it was no longer needed they threatened to send a £6 debt to debt collectors. By the time I’d finished with them they were stammering apologies.

Cabbie21 Thu 25-May-23 06:45:52

Yesterday I received information about payments made from DH’s credit card and tried to follow up those which the bank suggested might be subscriptions. It took ages searching online, as they are obscure. Two companies had a chat line which I could use and one got back to me with the promise of a refund- to the credit card! I replied that it is now frozen. They replied that I should speak to the bank. Talk about going round in circles!

ParlorGames Thu 25-May-23 07:12:52

The "Tell Us Once" scheme that the Registrar recommended when we registered my Mums death was a total joke. Supposedly, once submitted, the DWP, DVLA, Passport Office, and several other establishments were informed of the death.................No, there weren't! And the DWP had the nerve to accuse us of fraud because Mums pension was paid after her death. Not what people need when they're grieving is it?

I don't know whether the scheme still operates now though as it has been over ten years.

Ashcombe Thu 25-May-23 07:36:06

Back in 2009, when my Mum died, I immediately cancelled her telephone account with the Post Office. She had had her own phone in her room at a care home. They immediately acted on my instructions and the line was cut off.

About a week later, a letter arrived asking why she had terminated her contract with them. When I phoned, they were left in no doubt as to the reason. Apparently, the letter had been generated “by the computer”. My reply was that it was a pity it couldn’t be programmed to generate a letter of condolence!

Similarly, I also cancelled a medical procedure that Mum had been due to have. On the day of her funeral, the hospital rang to ask why she had failed to turn up. Luckily, my DH took the call….!

Whiff Thu 25-May-23 07:37:18

Cabbie I had to go through this in 2004 and can honestly say had no problems with any of my husband's affairs but in those days everything was by phone and letter.

But 8 months someone used my husband's credit card number after he died. But the bank and credit card company were brilliant. I had naturally thought his card would be frozen along with his bank account. So I made sure it was stopped . I got the money back only had to send a copy of his death certificate.

Things for me where easier than for you because I got to speak to real people not much was online.

Companies who only operate online don't realise or care how hard it is to deal with then after someone dies. My friend who's husband died in November is still having problems with some companies because she can't talk to a person. She has had to resort to writing to the head offices but they take ages for them to reply.

Hope you can get things sorted soon. As I know it's not been long since your husband died. I won't ask how you feel as I know how you feel. I just hope you are well in yourself and looking after yourself. It's all to easy to forget to eat and drink whilst grieving. But you need to keep yourself as healthy as possible.

I hope this gives you a smile my husband had a free monthly magazine called Wet News it was about the water treatment works but it took me 2 years after repeatly asking then to stop sending it. No idea what the postman thought as it came in a large white envelope with Wet News in large letters on the from.

Take care of yourself Cabbie .🌹

Cabbie21 Thu 25-May-23 13:11:57

WET news indeed!
When I sit down for a few minutes I go through the stack of e-mails and snail mail: newsletters, brochures, journals etc to see if I have unsubscribed on his behalf. I know it takes a while to take effect.

notoveryet Thu 25-May-23 13:33:23

I found the bank the least helpful of everyone. Having been informed I had to visit a branch in person to inform them my dh had died I attempted to phone them to arrange a time. The phone was just never answered so I drove the half hour to visit in person. I was told in no uncertain tones they were too busy to answer phones and I should make an appointment to return another day. I was raw with grief and eventually they agreed to find someone to help me. A complete contrast to all other organisations I dealt with.

marionk Sun 28-May-23 11:38:50

Not really had any problems, Tell Us Once service was brilliant, Lloyds bank were extremely compassionate and helpful as were Nationwide, probate didn’t take too long either. The only slight issue was dealing with the Virgin call centre and trying to make sense of people for whom English isn’t their first language but my son and his partner did as much of that as they could. I made a mistake with the premium bond forms but a phone call sorted all that out very quickly and the money was released almost immediately afterwards. Just wish I could make sense of the number of different tax code documents I’ve received but maths is not my strong point!

Thisismyname1953 Sun 28-May-23 11:47:42

My DH died 16 years ago and at the time our bank were dreadful . I went in with his death certificate and the manager was very abrupt and unhelpful . I just wanted his name taken off our joint account. A few days later I tried to withdraw funds and wasn’t able to . Apparently the account was on hold until I opened a sole account. I was fuming that she hadn’t explained any of this so I wrote to head office . Within days I was given a personal manager who was very efficient and helped me deal with all insurance policies which were due .
The best company we’re O2 , when I phoned to cancel his mobile phone they put me through to their dedicated bereavement team who dealt with me in a kindly manner and cancelled his account with no further charges .
Also very kind were Everton Football Club who gave me a full refund on his season ticket .

grandMattie Sun 28-May-23 11:54:18

I found “Tell us once” extremely helpful. The two worst were National Savings and edf . The matter left me in tears, so obstructive. The chap at BT was absolutely lovely , I could have hugged him!
On the whole, a mixed bag. - DH had left everything in very good order, but not everyone was of the same standard, regarding help.

Janburry Sun 28-May-23 12:20:33

On the whole my experience was positive except for BT l rang to cancel my husband's phone, as he had a phone as well as a contract the person l spoke to said l had to keep paying it until the end of the contract, my daughter suggested selling the phone and using the money to pay off the contract, when l rang again l spoke to another person ans explained l would like to pay off the contract he was disgusted what l had been told and cancelled the contract there and then. The other call handler also talked me into amalgamating the products l had with them to save money which added another 12 months to my contract, my daughter was disgusted that he did this when l had just lost my husband, she is in the process of fighting my case

CV2020 Sun 28-May-23 12:24:33

My husband died 16 years ago and British Gas were still sending correspondence to him for approximately 7 years. In the end I just cancelled heating contract with them and went elsewhere. I gave up trying to get them to change to my name.
I would suggest cancelling all D/Ds and S/Os at bank together with all debit and credit cards. This should stop any future subscriptions being paid. Particularly recurring transactions on any card. Especially if you’re not getting anywhere with individual companies. I was a Bank Manager before I retired. Please take care and maybe tackle one thing a day as there is so much to do. Sorry for your loss.

Cornishgreenhouse Sun 28-May-23 12:33:28

My brother in law died 7 years ago. When my husband rang to close his contract they were so kind on the phone and even waived the £70 outstanding on his bill. Those little things mean so much at that time.

GANNET Sun 28-May-23 12:42:10

Swinton Insurance appalling- South West Water were so compassionate and helpful. It definitely varies..

Gaynor1600 Sun 28-May-23 12:52:51

Saga (car and house) insurance were dreadful last year - I must have had to speak to them at least 4 times, each time there was a problem on their system so they couldn’t action things straightaway, and when I called back had to go through everything again, then the prices went up. It was awful, although most of people were lovely.

Castafiore Sun 28-May-23 13:11:19

When my father died in 1991, I looked at my parents' pension book to see if there were any instructions about what to do in the event of the death of one partner (this was pre-internet). Nothing. So I walked over to the post office, thinking there would be form to fill in. I found none. So I queued up, and when I got to the counter I said 'My father's just died, and ...'. Before I could finish the sentence, the main said 'Well you can't collect his pension then'. I was taken aback (if I'd wanted to defraud the Post Office by collecting the pension, I probably wouldn't have mentioned that my father had died ...), but in an odd way found this response rather bracing. Other people's kindness (including that of a young man who cleaned my mother's windows for nothing, 'in memory of your dad') had made me burst into tears, and this just had me hovering between amazement and laughter.

inishowen Sun 28-May-23 13:13:44

Mum died a long time ago but I'll never forget the way the bank and library treated me. I went into the bank and explained mum had died and I didn't know what to do with her cheque book. He tore it up in front on me and said "done". Then I returned some late books to the library telling them she had died. The librarian said there was a 10p fine on each of them. I was so shocked but paid up without a word.

Notagranyet1234 Sun 28-May-23 13:27:46

Another one that found tell us once less than brilliant and NitWits 'lost' the withdrawal of funds paperwork 3 times. Mum died 16 months ago and it's only just settled. Nationwide were amazing with me. Outfox Energy rang yesterday to book an appointment to fit a smart meter, wouldn't take no for an answer 😡 Eventually put #1 ds on who baffled them with science and they hung up

Iam64 Sun 28-May-23 14:24:23

Cabbie, my experience of Sadmin was grim. Tell me once worked with some, not with others. Lloyds bank arranged my appointment with the branch manager. I arrived to be told I was to be seen by an assistant who was ‘doing the bereavement training’. She was hopeless as well as insensitive.
I still had to spend hours going through direct debits and standing orders, it’s not always easy to find out what they’re for. I found cancelling effective, people soon responded to that.
DWP - beyond awful.
Amazon prime, excellent.
Virgin media mobile - the bereavement team said it was resolved account closed. Then I had letters and phone calls from debt collectors.
Best of luck - limit how much time you give it x

Romola Sun 28-May-23 14:49:29

Without telling the long and tedious tale, BT were appalling. I spent many hours on the phone that I won't get back.
And RBS, which handles our life savings, hasn't shone. Their probate team, no email address is provided, they don't answer the telephone, you have to request a callback (when? at a time convenient to whom?). Eventually I wrote a letter which produced an email correspondence and I am finally getting some answers. Not good enough.

WoodLane7 Sun 28-May-23 15:07:20

Damart - awful! Chasing my deceased mother 3 years after her death for a payment she had already made!

Juicylucy Sun 28-May-23 17:26:14

I would just stop all direct debits I’ve found they soon manage to contact you once they realise you’ve stopped paying.