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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?

knspol Fri 09-Jun-23 13:24:18

I'm still waiting for HMRC to return a form to me that I need to send to a pension company abroad. The form was sent in 11 months ago. I was told originally it would take at least 6 months which I found totally incredible. Phone calls to chase form mean hanging on for upwards of 45 mins before even getting through to anybody and then their only 'assistance is to send an email to the people who deal with such things. What is going on with them???

Luckygirl3 Sat 10-Jun-23 22:50:20

That sounds very frustrating.

The biggest problem I had was that the NHS pension fund refused to tell me whether I was named as the recipient of a widow's pension from them. Apparently, even though I was his wife, he could have named someone else and it took them about 6 weeks to let me know that I was entitled to the pension. In the meantime I was left unsure about what my financial situation might be.

In the end all was well - in fact even better than well, as the first statement of entitlement they sent me was superseded by another much higher one - they said the first one was a mistake. I asked for a breakdown of the figures and sought reassurance that the amount was correct. They say it is and have been paying it ever since.

Cabbie21 Sat 10-Jun-23 22:57:57

I had a pleasant surprise to discover how much my state pension is increased. The teachers’ pension service is taking a long time to tell me how much I am getting from DH’s pension.
I have had problems this week uploading some requested documents eg death certificate, only to be told that the file is too big. I don’t think so!

Iam64 Sun 11-Jun-23 08:04:29

I waited 5 months for the first payment from my husband’s local authority pension, I made a formal complaint in February about the delay and the way assistants had responded to my numerous phone calls. I had an email acknowledgement of the complaint. In April, I wrote asking what was happening with my complaint. Their response simply told me how busy they are.

Cabbie21 Sun 11-Jun-23 08:18:16

It really is not good enough. What if you hsd no other resources?

Oldnproud Sun 11-Jun-23 08:54:40

I dealt with a lot of these things on my mum's behalf following my dad's death.

The only one that I remember as being a complete headache was the transferring of the energy bill into my mum's name.

It started out well enough, when I rang the company while my mum was present, and she gave her authorization for me to act for her both then and in the future.
I spoke to a very helpful and friendly person and it was all going to be so easy, with everything in the hands of their dedicated bereavement team.
That was until I realized some weeks later that that the operative hadn't taken down my email address correctly, so I wasn't receiving any of their communications regarding sending death certificate etc
Should have been simple to rectify, right?
But no. My emails to the bereavement department asking them to check the email address they were using went unanswered.
I tried phoning but the person at the other end refused point blank to put me through to the bereavement department, or anyone else, because I wasn't the account holder. Er no, that would have been difficult as he was dead! But there was no reasoning with this person, who said there was no record of my authorization to deal with the account.

It went on like that for many weeks, and to be honest I can no longer remember how I finally sorted it. It was probably when one of my increasingly angry emails direct to the bereavement department (who did have me down as authorised,) was finally read and responded to.

Thank goodness it was only one of the utilities, and we at least knew that the gas and elctricity would continue to flow as long as my mum kept paying the bills!

Iam64 Sun 11-Jun-23 09:48:07

Cabbie that’s the point I made yo them. I’d the expense of a week in the hospital end of life care. The funeral which was very well attended, then Christmas

Luckygirl3 Sun 11-Jun-23 13:00:58

5 months waiting Iam64 is wholly unacceptable. If I had not had savings to cover the funeral and living expenses while waiting for the pension to come through I would have had to try and get a loan from somewhere.

They were very "jobs worth" about it and just kept saying that this is how long it takes. At the time my future was very insecure as my house was on the market to cover my OH's nursing home fees and I was looking for a smaller cheaper property - not knowing what my income might be was very worrying and made planning very hard.

Iam64 Mon 12-Jun-23 08:09:57

I made a call in mid January, 3 months after my husband’s death. I was told it would be ‘expedited’. I was left expecting the first payment to arrive on 30 January, the date they pay pensions. It didn’t arrive, I took a breathe and phoned again in early February. The assistant told me my call on 17 January ‘came too late for it to be expedited and paid that month’. The suggestion was it was my fault for not phoning earlier. I pointed to the dates of several phone calls and emails.
If I hadn’t had my own work pension and savings, I’d have needed a loan to pay monthly bills, never mind the funeral and other expenses.
I received the first payment end February. I’ve had no response to my complaint

Cabbie21 Wed 28-Jun-23 05:47:35

Top marks to Lloyds bank. Their bereavement team have been very good, apart from one occasion when the call was taken by someone totally incompetent who told me she was ill and not up to it. I had to abandon my call but the next time I rang they could not have been more helpful.
DWP, TPS and Council Tax sorted. Still getting messages from some companies even though they know the score. Probably a few more to come out of the woodwork which are internet only. Once DH ‘s mobile contract ends they will have to write if there is a bill to settle. I feel I am getting there now. My sympathies to anyone else in the same boat.

Hetty58 Wed 28-Jun-23 06:59:29

Halifax were good and cancelled direct debits and standing orders. The local authority, though, were just awful, seemed incapable of sorting anything out, were blunt and insensitive. It was as if nobody had ever died before - so they didn't know what to do.

These days, generally, I simply won't deal with anything by phone. No, I won't be left hanging in a queue, I can't stand the waiting or the music. I won't wait around for a call back either - and certainly won't fund the cost of the call.

It's easy to opt out if you just tell them you are hard of hearing, so can't use the phone. They can email, text or write to you instead. I register on any 'priority services' schemes, often just as elderly, then state my preferred communication methods. No more getting hopping mad on the phone!