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TCLynx
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Contributor

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13 Messages

Thu, Jul 29, 2021 11:08 PM

Mom Died, I've been trying to cancel her cell phone account for Months now.

My Mom Died back in Feb.  I've been trying to cancel the Phone account since April.  Apparently there is no way to actually tell At&t online or by phone that she is gone.  When the account that was paying for the phone bill was closed I figured that might do it, but no, now they are sending Past Due Bills to her old address.

I have Tried to go to the AT&T store with the death certificate and estate paperwork, only to be told that the store is not a corporate store.

I tried to search online to find a corporate store but the Locate store info on the web site DOES NOT EXPLICITLY STATE WHICH STORES ARE CORPORATE LOCATIONS!

SO, I CALLED to ask which stores are corporate locations so that I can try to find one close to me to go to.  I was given a location that Corporate told me was a Corporate Location where I would be able to tell At&t that the account holder had passed away.

I drove to the store when I managed to get some time when I had access to a vehicle and Could do so, only to be told that they were no longer a corporate location and had not been one for 7 months.

So, How am I supposed to deal with this?!?!?! 

I'm really not wanting to have to drive an hour each way only to find that the next store on the list isn't a corporate store.

Accepted Solution

TCLynx

Contributor

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13 Messages

1 y ago

So I started another thread specifically about the topic of locating a corporate store since I thought it would be helpful when people are searching for this information.  However that thread has been closed even though the answer doesn't really work anymore.

I'm sorry but there seem to have been some changes to the way the store locator shows things and the instructions to look for the "Authorized Retailer" and NOT go there, doesn't really work anymore.  Besides being rather a backward way of searching.

When you search in the store locator, please tell me exactly WHERE in the pages it indicates Authorized Retailer It certainly does not do so on the List or the Map.

And when I click the store info button to look up detailed information about the store, only about 50% of the time does it indicate "Authorized Retailer" in the image  for the stores I've already learned are NOT Corporate stores.

Ok, so you have to click twice or scroll all the way down the page in order to find the designation of an Authorized Retailer.

This is getting tedious.  So to find a corporate location, I need to:

1, search for a location near me.

2, click on store info from the list

3, wait for page to load

4, click on About to see if it says Authorized Retailer

5, if it says Authorized Retailer, go back to list

6, click on next store etc

7, If/when I find one that DOES NOT say Authorized Retailer, scroll back to top

8, Get Phone number and call store during business hours to ask them if they are indeed a corporate store.  (This I'm able to do as my phone is working but if this were a situation of a phone not working it could be challenging.)

9, IF and only IF they are a corporate store go there.

Please AT&T, make the list filterable for Corporate locations, and keep it up to date.

AT&T really needs to make the location List Filterable by Corporate Locations.  AND they need to update their database, since apparently there are locations that Used to be Corporate but now are only Authorized Retailers and that information has not been updated this calendar year (at least for the Corporate Location that the Phone Call to AT&T sent me to.)

So now I have been calling the stores to ask them directly if they are a corporate location to figure out where to go. 

Constructive

Employee

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27.9K Messages

1 y ago

Just let it not be paid. It’s not like it willl affect her credit   Sorry for your loss 

TCLynx

Contributor

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13 Messages

1 y ago

They are sending bills to family members who used to be on a shared plan with her (that was changed a couple years ago but they are sending them big past due bills now) and I'm handling the estate (not that there is much to it) but the bill shouldn't be allowed to keep just growing just because they make it impossible to cancel an account.

ACE - Expert

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22.5K Messages

1 y ago

At the bottom of this page there is a Store Locator link.  When you locate a store, go to About and it will tell you if it's an Authorized Retailer.   Those are NOT Corporate stores.   Corporate stores have no such designation.  You might want to call before you go.

Alternatively.....

MAIL a copy of the DC to Corporate (Google for address) certified mail, return receipt requested.  Include a letter with detailed information.

At least, that's what I'd do.

(edited)

ACE - Sage

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97.5K Messages

1 y ago

@skeeterintexas  the locator changed months ago, it does not indicate if a store is authorized or corporate anymore.   Been this way for months.  

Unless there is a recent photo online, there is no way to tell without speaking to the store.   So on this, the OP is right to be frustrated. 

@TCLynx  there is no one else on your mother's bills other than her and her social security number. There is absolutely no legal responsibility of anyone else who has not been  account owner at the time of default and whose social security number is not on the account. I have no idea why collection letters would be sent to someone who has no legal responsibility, who's credit cannot be affected because there's because their social security number was not on the account.

Bills should not continue to be sent, and increase each month since February.   AT&T puts up with 60 days in default after which they send everything to collection and close the account. That wouldn't keep a collection agency from adding fees. 

I would say it's time to stop fooling around with AT&T force them to come to you. File and FCC or Better Business Bureau complaint. Either one will have the same result in AT&T calling you rather than you having to chase them.   

The family members who are receiving her bills, in her name I assume, are probably getting it because their address was somehow associated with the account in the past. If that is not the case and these collection notices are addressed to those family members oh, they need to send a cease-and-desist letter to the collection agency because they are in no way responsible for a debt that has no connection to their credit.   

ACE - Expert

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22.5K Messages

1 y ago

So whether there is an Authorized Retailer tag or not (on the Locator page) has no relevance?

Good to know.

ACE - Sage

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97.5K Messages

1 y ago

@skeeterintexas  the problem is they are often not tagged anymore.   The one near me is.  But I've noticed many are not.  

TCLynx

Contributor

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13 Messages

1 y ago

@lizdance40 

The only worry is that the other Family Members getting the Bill Used to be on a Family Plan with my Mom and shared an address with her for half of the year (She was a snow bird,) They now have a separate plan but they still have plans with AT&T and don't want their phone service getting shut down because of this.

ACE - Sage

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97.5K Messages

1 y ago

@TCLynx

Unless their social security number and name is on the account they bear no responsibility. AT&T would be in a very untenable position to try to hold someone else responsible for a bill that they have no legal responsibility for.

If there is a collection agency involved, I would not put it past them to try to collect from family members even if they have no legal responsibility. This is why I recommend cease-and-desist letters sent to anyone who is trying to collect on a bill that is not theirs.

The law is on their side.

ATTHelp

Community Support

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192K Messages

1 y ago

Hello @TCLynx ! Allow for us to guide you in the right direction for gaining assistance with the closing of an account.

 

As we take the time to send you our deepest condolences, if you wish to close the account, you would need to visit an AT&T store with the Death Certificate present, to process it. If you are having trouble locating one, we recommend accessing the link provided. As well as, checking to see if you would like to schedule an appointment to be helped by one of our associates. If you have any AT&T related questions, we will be more than happy to assist.

 

 

Ty, AT&T Community Specialist

TCLynx

Contributor

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13 Messages

1 y ago

@ATTHelp 

if you wish to close the account, you would need to visit an AT&T store with the Death Certificate present, to process it.

Yes, I understand this.

My Problem/complaint is that simply Locating an AT&T store according to that link and going there doesn't work since many of the stores on that list are not Corporate Locations.  Apparently ONLY Corporate Locations are able to process closing an account due to the death of the account holder.  THERE NEEDS TO BE AN EASIER WAY to locate ONLY corporate Locations.  OR you need to create an easier way for family to submit a death certificate.

Now I have finally Managed to find a corporate store and deal with informing AT&T that she has passed away.  They have put the note on the account with her date of death etc.

Unfortunately, the account was already closed and sent to collections.  So now there is apparently a collections company out there trying to collect over $700  on a bill that was normally only around $70 something a month.  And I will have to deal with them with the estate for something that I attempted to close in April after her bank account was shut down.

ACE - Sage

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97.5K Messages

1 y ago

@TCLynx

That's ridiculous. 😦   Can't get blood from a stone. 

Tell the collection agency they had at most 2 months of bills sold to them, not 10.   Make them prove them amount of the debt, or dispute it.  Just pure extortion 

TCLynx

Contributor

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13 Messages

1 y ago

@lizdance40 

I have been told that I just need to contact them and let them know to go back and check the account with AT&T now, since she passed away they normally wipe out any back fees and late payment penalties etc.

It is just the hassle of having to deal with all this in the first place.  And this isn't the only company that makes things difficult this way.

They have tried to make everything so automated that it is nearly impossible to actually reach a person who has the authority to do anything that is not strictly on "script" and they have not bothered to write a script to deal with anything other than selling you stuff and taking payments.  When it comes time to cancel or stop taking payments, it's like you need a court order and legal representation.

 Can't get blood from a stone. 

Aye, but it appears they are willing to try using the stone to get blood from something!

(edited)

ACE - Expert

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22.5K Messages

1 y ago

As someone who has had to deal with this with my mom, my sister and more recently, my husband, I can sympathize. 

I would tell any one, it can take up to a year to get all of the business taken care of....even if there is a will.

ACE - Sage

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97.5K Messages

1 y ago

This is why my mom is on my plan.  

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