A woman mourning the loss of her husband ran into surprising issues while trying to cancel her husband's accounts.
According to Newsiosity, Ann Brenoff wrote a detailed account of her experience trying to cancel her husband's account with his cell phone carrier after he passed away at the age of 81.
"Until I became widowed two months ago, I thought death was a finality," Brenoff wrote in a piece for the Huffington Post. "After it happened, I would have the time and space to mourn. I’ve since learned that death is actually followed by a long web of subscriptions, billing services and other minutia -- along with a series of arguments with customer service professionals reading from scripts."
Brenoff wrote that she struggled with canceling some of her husband's accounts because he did not keep his passwords in his "important papers file." She wrote that "as a result, my access to his personal accounts is limited, and depending on the company with which I'm dealing, the malarky of what passes for customer service is off the charts."
The widow did not name her husband's cell phone carrier, but said that the company continues to bill her for her husband's service because she is unable to access his account. The account is protected by a security question to which she does not know the answer.
"I can’t override the password with his account’s security question -- the first name of his first childhood friend. Vic was 81 when he died -- I feel safe suspecting that he probably wouldn’t have remembered this name either," she wrote.
Brenoff says that a customer service representative offered a solution to her issue, which was much more complicated than she anticipated.
"Recently, a customer service rep offered me this option: Drive to a company store to 'authenticate' my husband’s account, bring his driver’s license, Social Security number, death certificate and our marriage license. For real," Brenoff wrote. "Oh, and then call him back because I clearly must have plenty of time on my hands. Mind you, they are still billing my credit card while giving me the run-around."
The widow offered advice to anyone who may have to deal with a similar situation -- make several copies of the death certificate if your loved one passes away: "You can do nothing without one," she noted.
Unfortunately, Brenoff also experienced difficulty even getting that far: "Getting a death certificate, at least in Los Angeles, is best accomplished by rising before dawn, taking a day off work and going in person with plenty of quarters for the parking meter. And don’t forget to bring your own pen; things are a little tight at our government offices these days," she wrote.
Brenoff says that she shared her story in hopes of helping others avoid the same problems she ran into following her husband's death.