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Dealing with companies

(62 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?

4allweknow Sun 28-May-23 19:39:38

01Cabbie21 I know just how you feel. Gone through similar sibce last year when DH died. Amazon the wirst even though they have a bereavement service. Very difficult to get them to change anything. When asked to delete DHs name from photos you'd have thought I'd asked them to stop breathing. All diwn to data protection apparently. The simple solution was to just change DHs email on account to mine, that way I'm notified fir payments, changes but DHs is really still tge a/c holder. Most online companies are a nightmare, I gave up eventually with tge view if they want money they will send a letter. Banks were definitely the best to deal with. Energy okay and of course anything to do with income tax, well they are in touch before you can wink!

yellowcanary Sun 28-May-23 21:24:03

After my husband passed away 26 years I went into the bank (Barclays) to take his name off the joint account 1st thing they said was they would cancel the mortgage - I told them no that was also in joint names so automatically went to me.

My father, and a friend of mine passed away within 6 months of each other in 2017 - Dad's HSBC bank were a total pain, my friend's Lloyds bank were the complete opposite and excellent - I was executor for both. Welsh Water was a real hassle, even though I sent in the death certificate they didn't want to send the balance owing (he had a pre-payment meter and had paid more than what he needed) - in the end I had to get a solicitor's letter to them.

knspol Sun 28-May-23 21:44:05

In the last 12 mths since losing DH it has been a constant battle for me trying to sort out financial matters with various banks and institutions to the extent that unless 2 different people tell me the same thing I no longer have any confidence in what I've been told. I have had so many different things said to me by people who sound as if they know what they're talking about only to later discover they have been talking absolute rubbish. There have been less that a handful of people who have leaned over backwards to be of assistance and sort out the mess their colleagues have made of things and I have been eternally grateful to them. 2 banks only got off their backsides and sorted things out once I had sent a letter to their CEO's complete with an account of all the different excuses and conflicting tales I had been told by various of their officers.

Saggi Mon 29-May-23 07:26:12

My husband is in home with Alzheimer’s….. trying to change names in ‘stuff’ is enough to make you want to shoot your self in the head …..SO I just don’t do it ! All is joint names apart from EDF and nice lady there said “ don’t bother” …nobody cares until you stop l
paying them!!! The worst is Virgin …OMG…trying to get them to stop my husbands football and films subscription was a 3 hour online ‘brow-beating ‘ session….until I ‘threw in the towel’ and settled for a reduction in cost which is now creeping back up again! My son just said “ stop the D/D mum”…but that includes broadband and I can’t be without that!

MaggsMcG Mon 29-May-23 08:12:24

I found most companies helpful in February 2021. The worst for me was a very small savings ISA with Nationwide. He had closed his current account with them but still had the ISA. Also the shares were a bit of a nightmare. We had to get probate so once I had told everyone he was deceased they were just waiting for that. Took about six months as there was a Trust in place. Sky was happy to change things to my name, it helped that I knew his password. All in all I was pleasantly surprised that it was fairly smooth. Its strange how some people have had different experiences with the same organisations.

nandad Mon 29-May-23 08:34:02

When mil died two years ago we phoned a national charity to cancel her monthly direct debit donation, they asked for a copy of her death certificate and proof that she hadn’t included them in her will! I told them I would let them have the paperwork once I had posted on SM and contacted the press. They cancelled the dd without proof.

Greyduster Mon 29-May-23 08:59:03

When DH died last year, we found “Tell us once” worked well for us, and the other agencies’ bereavement services very helpful. The only company we found to be a complete nightmare was Prudential who administered one of his occupational pensions. We sent them all the paperwork they asked for, including an original of his death certificate, by registered post and then they said we hadn’t sent it. It turns out they did get it - then they lost it before it could be logged into their system and they lied consistently to me about it. I wrote a detailed letter to their Chief Executive in the end and received a very apologetic letter from his office - and compensation, which I hadn’t expected.

SueEH Mon 29-May-23 09:06:30


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.

It does still operate. My mum died in November 2021 and everything had to be done on the phone/online because of Covid. The Tell Us Once system was very efficient and the registrar of deaths told me on the phone that they all wanted to whole system to stay online/phone as it was working much better than when people actually had to go and physically register a death.

Primrose53 Mon 29-May-23 10:32:22

Tell Us Once was excellent. Premium Bonds no problem. Care Home took a little bit of reminding that we had overpaid but soon sorted. Life Insurance was really good.

Solicitors were hopeless and I complained about their poor service and they then did not charge me for one job which would have been about £300.

Barclays Bank also messed us about a lot and there was a lot of unnecessary travel involved for me. I complained and got £25 from them.

The death of a loved one is bad enough without incompetent and insensitive people on your case.

Keffie12 Mon 29-May-23 12:19:05

When my husband passed unexpectedly in 2018 I didn't gave any issues. Tell Us Once went smoothly as did all other services.

When my mom passed in 2010, that was a different story. I put in a formal upheld complaint against the DWP. The way the man spoke to me was unbelievable. I ended up hanging up and throwing the phone down I was so upset.

Then I had companies coming after me cos of unpaid bills. I'm like you have been told my mom has passed and the bills have been settled.

I had to send in proof again of her death as they hadn't closed down accounts. The worst was the council tax

Notthecatsmother Mon 29-May-23 15:37:36

When my sister died I informed Virgin media and arranged to send equipment back to them. I later got a letter to " The late Miss J" asking about why the direct debit had been stopped!

Iam64 Mon 29-May-23 19:03:22

I’made a formal complaint to my husband’s pension provider in February. The organisation acknowledged receipt of my complaint in April, after I nudged it. They said ‘we aware very busy”

LucyW Mon 29-May-23 19:59:33

Scottish Power were beyond awful. Put on hold several times, transferred finally to bereavement team but they had gone home for the day. Was promised they would call back at 8am the following day. They called at 9.15. Thought it was sorted out but then I got a letter from them addressed to my late husband offering condolences on the loss of his wife! The saga continued. I then started getting unsolicited calls from various companies asking to speak to Anne.... Not my name but my husband's initial was A. One day when I had finally had enough Scottish Power called asking to speak to Anne... I explained it wasn't my name but the initial letter was the same as my late husband's. I was very polite and even apologised for complaining. The chap on the phone was verbally abusive and snarled "my name is Lewis but I don't mind if I get called Louis by mistake. Goodbye to you, Lucydog, or should I say Anne". I was in floors of tears when I came off the phone having recently lost my husband suddenly when he was only in his early fifties. My next door neighbours also had endless trouble with Scottish Power. On the other hand, Three and out other energy provider, we're outstanding.

Elusivebutterfly Mon 29-May-23 20:24:32

When did banks introduce a bereavement team? My DH died in 2009 and neither of the two banks I dealt with had a bereavement team, or at least I was never informed of it.
Barclays was very unhelpful and inefficient and it tooks several months to sort out the insurance to payoff the mortgage.
My DH's employer was the slowest and it took over six months to get the money I was due - it is a household name!
Sorting out finances certainly kept me busy in bereavement.

melp1 Tue 30-May-23 21:40:29

Tell Us Once, DWP, Equiniti all awful when dealing with my mothers estate last year as joint executor with my sister.
Banks and Post Office were really good,

Cabbie21 Wed 31-May-23 06:07:40

Yesterday I discovered another bank account, which was with Britannia but a letter informed me it had moved to the Co-op. I rang and they could not have been more helpful. A kind young man talked me through doing things by post but was even more encouraging when I asked if I could upload my documents.
An occupational pension is taking a bit longer to please. They ask for things by stages. Yesterday they agreed they had all they needed and just want my bank details, including a branch! I don’t have a branch! More hoops to jump through.

DiamondLily Tue 06-Jun-23 10:36:49

EDF are still driving me crazy. Despite 4 attempts, by phone, Mail and letter, the account is still in DH's name.

I phoned again yesterday, via their Bereavement option, and the bright spark there told me she'd need DH's permission to speak to me.,.,aaargh!

I told her to find a bleeding medium then and hung up.

I'll make a formal complaint I think.

Grammaretto Tue 06-Jun-23 11:15:45

Agh! Sorry to hear this DiamondLily
Reminds me of the awfulness I faced when DH died over 2 yes ago.

EE were good. A lovely Frenchman gently told me there would be nothing to pay. He would stop the contract and he did.
But others no good at all.
He had a credit card which I tried to pay off and cancel. I was told they must speak to him!
As for your experience innishowen beggar's belief.

Cabbie I also got nowhere with Ancestry and have cancelled both our subscriptions now.

Cabbie21 Thu 08-Jun-23 08:05:51

One company has asked to see DH ‘s will, the original or a certified copy. I am not risking sending the original. Who can certify a copy? A solicitor, but at what cost? Who might be cheaper? Or free?

Iam64 Thu 08-Jun-23 08:39:57

Cabbie, there’s information on line about who can certify a copy of the will. I’m sorry I can’t remember but I think it’s like passports for example, retired teachers, vicars so no need to pay a solicitor.
I’d to send the original to Probate. 7 months later, I’ve just had a certificate from them concluding probate. Copies go to the , bank, the company where our savings are, hmrc . Probate kept the original will because ‘it is now public property’

You’d think we were wealthy industrialists rather than very ordinary people. I feel cheated because the original has my husband’s signature. He updated it as soon as he was given a devastating diagnosis. He tried to ‘put my affairs in order’ to make things easier for me.
The sadmin ariund the loss of your life partner is awful, as so many of us are finding

Cabbie21 Thu 08-Jun-23 19:33:38

Thanks Iam64, but it is different from passports. I popped into the Town Council office today for another purpose and asked. They said it is not the same as a passport and it needs to be a solicitor. I am doing further checks.

Luckygirl3 Thu 08-Jun-23 21:11:40

Tell us Once worked really well for me - and Lloyds bank were great too, even though they make no money out of me as I pay my credit card off in full every month.

VB000 Fri 09-Jun-23 11:14:34


My husband is in home with Alzheimer’s….. trying to change names in ‘stuff’ is enough to make you want to shoot your self in the head …..SO I just don’t do it ! All is joint names apart from EDF and nice lady there said “ don’t bother” …nobody cares until you stop l
paying them!!! The worst is Virgin …OMG…trying to get them to stop my husbands football and films subscription was a 3 hour online ‘brow-beating ‘ session….until I ‘threw in the towel’ and settled for a reduction in cost which is now creeping back up again! My son just said “ stop the D/D mum”…but that includes broadband and I can’t be without that!

Saggi - if possible, it's best to just set up a new account for broadband elsewhere and let them sort out the Virgin account.

My dad died in early 2021 and I did a lot of the paperwork, as my mum doesn't have internet access.

Tell Us Once service was really good, though best if you have all the relevant reference numbers etc handy first.

The small amounts of shares he had were probably the trickiest thing to sort out, paperwork wise.

karmalady Fri 09-Jun-23 11:23:30

I cancelled direct debits. Send letters to each company, registered post and keep copies and date of delivery. Those companies haven`t a leg to stand on after that.

biglouis Fri 09-Jun-23 11:31:37

Try this company. Very useful at solving consumer disputes:-