Monday, January 18, 2016

How AT&T Reached Out And Put The Touch On My Late Father

As the gentle reader might remember, my father passed away nine months ago.

Since his passing, it's been a long haul cleaning the house, getting it repaired and up to code and settling his estate.

One of the last things we did was close his account with AT&T.  We held off doing that because we had decided to keep my dad's phone number when we moved into the house.  When it came time to make the transition, the AT&T representative was very helpful, informative and the process went very smoothly.  We couldn't have been happier with how it happened.

Until last week.

Last week, AT&T sent a refund check worth a whopping $5.62.  Not a lot but still better than a sharp stick in the eye.

The problem was that the check was made out to my late father.  Because of actions I took last year in settling his estate, I could not cash or deposit the check.  I needed the check to be made out either to myself or to the estate of my father.

This is not the first time something like that happened and so I knew what needed to be done.  At worst, I needed to send the check back to the company, along with a copy of my dad's death certificate and a letter explaining that I needed to have the check reissued.  At best, they company could just transfer the amount of the refund to our account and be done with it.

But not with AT&T.

On Saturday, I spent more than three hours on the phone with AT&T.  I got disconnected several times and when I was able to talk to a real person, I would get transferred around.  More often than not, I ended up either getting transferred to another person who couldn't help, getting transferred to a number that didn't work or disconnected.

Finally, I got transferred to a person who was able to understand the issue, only to be told that it was the company policy not to reissue checks.  In other words, they refused to make the money accessible to me, the only heir and the executor of the estate.

Now, like I said, it's only five bucks and won't make or break us.  But to me, it's the principle of thing.  And I'm sure that I'm not the only one that has had this problem.  It's bad enough that they charge an arm and a leg for their services, but then to rip off dead people is just bad form.


  1. Settling estates is not fun, even if the deceased had all their affairs in order and spelled out. When my grandmother passed away three years ago, my mom ended up having to call companies and claim she was my grandmother in order to get some to settle accounts. Apparently, some of the people who work in the call centers can't grasp the concept that a dead person can't call to verify information themselves.

  2. I understand your frustration. Having to deal with medical stuff, I have learned to value my time. $5 is not worth my time. Neither was a $35 bill. It is all what you can handle.

  3. AT&T owes the money; they basically refuse to pay it out. Even for 5 bucks & change, that's theft.

  4. I'd bet capper did this on county time. He's been known to steal from the taxpayer before.
    Dice, were you outraged at capper's thievery?