Friday, November 13, 2009

warning: banks late fees still apply, even if you're deceased

Young & Rubicam puts out a (handheld!) newsletter twice a year for its "alumnai/ae", some of whom remember Y&R from the Mad Men era. A contribution by Dick Lord in the most recent issue highlights the importance of cancelling credit cards before you, um, go.

"A woman died last January and her bank billed her annual credit card service charges for February and March. They also added late fees and interest on the charges. The balance had been $0 when she died, but now it was growing. A family member called the bank to complain.
Family Member: I am calling to tell you she died back in January.
Bank: The account was never closed and late fees and charges still apply.
FM: Maybe you should turn it over to collections.
Bank: It's two months past due, so it's already in collections.
FM: What will they do when they find out she's dead?
Bank: Report her to the frauds division or to the credit bureau, maybe both.
FM: Did you just get what I was telling you--the part about her being dead?
Bank: Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor
Supervisor gets on the phone.
FM: I'm calling to tell you she died back in January with a $0 balance.
Bank: The account was never closed and late fees and charges still apply.
FM: You mean you want to collect from her estate?
Bank (stammer): Are you her lawyer?
FM: No, her nephew. (Lawyer info is given.)
Bank: Could you fax us a certificate of her death?
FM: Sure. (Faxes certificate)
Bank: Sorry, our system isn't set up for death. I don't know what more I can do to help you.
FM: Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, just keep billing her. She won't care.
Bank: Well, late fees and charges will still apply. (What is wrong with these people?)
FM: Would you like her new billing address?
Bank: That might help.
FM: Odessa Memorial Cemetery, Highway 129, Plot 69.
Bank: But sir, that's a cemetery.
FM: And what do you do with dead people on your planet?"
tip of gray flannel fedora to GardenBroad


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Anonymous said...

God bless Ad Broad and God bless the US of A. Wonderful story. Funny because (as they say) it's true!

Unknown said...

"just keep billing her, she won't care."

That is chock-full of awesome! Thanks for the early-morning laugh, ad broad.

California Girl said...

That is so true. We're going through something similar now. Apparently "banker" is now as dirty a word as "lawyer". Maybe worse!