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Jewish World Review
June 27, 2008
/ 24 Sivan 5768
Things come to a dead end with customer service reps
I have come to the conclusion that a funeral is like a wedding in reverse. With a wedding, you tend to a thousand details for months in advance and then have the big event. With a funeral, you have the big event and then tend to a thousand details in the months following.
It is amazing how many loose ends linger behind us after we depart. Some are funny, some are frustrating, and sometimes they are both it all depends on your mental health.
After my mother died, I called AOL to cancel her Internet service, a task that I thought would take all of five minutes.
The customer service representative said I couldn't cancel the service because, and I quote, "Only the person who initiated the service can cancel the service."
I explained that the person who initiated the service was my mother and that she had died of a brain aneurysm.
To which the customer service representative replied that he was sorry, but the only way he could cancel service was if he received a letter requesting cancellation written by the person who had initiated the service.
"I told you she's deceased!" I snapped. "The woman is not going to be writing any letters! She's not going to be writing letters to me, and she's certainly not going to be writing letters to you!
What part of deceased don't you understand?"
Apparently, he didn't understand any part of it, as he apologized for not being able to help me and hung up the phone.
Right, have a nice day.
It took several more exasperating phone calls, a letter from me, a form to sign and date from AOL, and two months before the Internet connection finally faded into cyberspace.
When my dad died, my brother called Sprint to cancel his cell phone.
The customer service rep explained that they didn't really like to cancel a cell phone contract (yes, well, and we really don't like it when a loved one dies either) and suggested that someone in the family might enjoy the cell phone.
No, my brother said, just cancel the phone.
Then perhaps someone outside the family might enjoy the cell phone, the service rep said, continuing to push.
No, my brother said, just cancel the phone.
The customer rep said to do that he would need to see a death certificate.
My brother strongly disagreed and stated that the rep didn't need a death certificate, to just cancel the phone. The rep insisted that he did need a death certificate, or Sprint would continue to bill for service.
"Tell you what," my brother said. "I'm not going to send you a death certificate, but what I will do is watch you try to get money from this guy."
It was a pretty good, "Can you hear me now?" moment.
All of which proves, there is no such thing as an easy exit. Not even when you die. You may think it's over, but it's not.
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JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of , most recently, "Pass the Faith, Please" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) and I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.
© 2008, Lori Borgman
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