Phone provider keeps asking for information, but never responds
My mum passed away in November 2012 and, despite a telephone call and several letters, TalkTalk continues to send her bills. She now owes in excess of £200. A month before her death she moved closer to me. We informed TalkTalk of her new address, but they wrote back to say they couldn’t process her request and mum would need to contact them herself. She was in no condition to do this, and died shortly afterwards.
I wrote to TalkTalk in December to inform them of mum’s death. No response. I called and the operator promised to transfer me to their bereavement service – but hung up on me. I wrote again with a copy of mum’s death certificate. No response.
Earlier this year we received a letter from the TalkTalk bereavement service requesting information about the deceased. We duly obliged and included copies of previous correspondence. No response. Although annoyed that I had not received an apology for the messy way in which TalkTalk had dealt with the matter, I decided to leave things there.
However, I have been informed by the new occupiers of mum’s old house that TalkTalk have sent a final demand. I am absolutely staggered by this and frankly do not know what we can do to stop the madness.
LB, Faversham, Kent
In my experience, TalkTalk is not alone in seeing no reason why death should deprive it of a good customer. It would seem that because the company never logged your mother’s change of address it ignored your notifications of her death, because the address details did not tally with its records. This, says a spokesman, is because it takes customer security very seriously. Quite why it didn’t immediately request more information to satisfy such security concerns baffles even TalkTalk.
“We are sorry we were not able to close [the customer's] account as soon as her son told us she had died,” the spokesman says. “We should have written to ask for more information. We have apologised, waived all charges and closed the account. We are determined to learn from instances like this where we could have served customers better.” Whether such regret would have been felt had you not invoked media assistance is another matter.
If you need help, email Anna Tims at [email protected] or write to Your Problems, The Observer, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Include an address and phone number. Please note, Anna cannot respond individually to letters.
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