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danielafitz's profile

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Friday, December 23rd, 2022 7:33 PM

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Refund Adjustment for Passed Account Holder

I have been calling into AT&T support to get my elderly Mother's account modified for hours. Her phone plan has been under her husband's account and her husband has been the account holder however he passed away 14 months ago. Clearly, in this situation going to AT&T is not on the high list of priorities. His phone has been off and has not been touched since his passing. I have been calling AT&T switch the account ownership to her name and removing his phone number from the plan. I was initially told that I would have to go to a AT&T corporate office and present a death certificate in order to do both tasks. Given the state of affairs, that is not happening as she is not healthy enough to do so and when she is healthy to do an errand - going to AT&T for a task that should be able to complete online is not one of them. After two hours the agent said he could deprecate her husband's phone plan but it would not take effect until after the next billing cycle. For switching account ownership since going to the store is not an option the agent had to create an account for me for my Mother's phone plan to now live under (I don't even have a AT&T phone number). This was able to be somewhat resolved - the issue is with the phone payments that have not been used for 14 months. I asked AT&T if there was anyway we could get this refunded given the circumstances and was immediately refused. I explained that I can see in the account how zero data has been used on the phone for months, it has been off, therefore paying for service was a mistake and you can clearly see zero calls or messages have been made from the number. The agent explained if it was less 30 days maybe they could have refunded payment but the issue will not be looked at any further. Both of my parents have owned a good chunk of AT&T stock over the years and have had wireless plans for decades with this company and no one can make an exception on refunding $1200 of unused services for a phone that has not been used? I have contacts at other phone companies and know that they would provide a refund. I even offered sharing the obituary with the agent and they said the only option to maybe get less than a month refunded would be to go to a ATT corporate office (I don't even think one exists in our state) and present a death certificate. This has involved numerous hoops and the company is not making a difficult situation easy in the slightest. 

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Official Solution

ACE - Sage

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118.3K Messages

1 year ago

Very sorry for the loss of your father and being in a similar situation I understand it's difficult to care for your mother in his Stead. 

However, It's not going to happen. The only way to terminate your father's line was to bring a death certificate to a corporate store and have service transferred into someone else's name.

If you delayed doing that for 14 months, AT&T does not have to back date cancellation just because service was not used.

The only back dating AT&T will do is if you bring in documentation to terminate service and change ownership in January and they don't get it done till february, they are going to backdate to when documents are provided.

Pretty much everything that you wrote is in line with AT&T policy and is correct.

I know that's not what you want to hear, but it's not like it's new information you've already been told the same thing. 

These policies are pretty much universal. AT&T isn't doing anything that other service providers aren't going to hold customers to as well. That's why it's important not to delay for months if there's a problem or a cancellation is needed. And it's also important to read bills on a regular basis so that you know what you are paying for

ACE - Expert

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14.4K Messages

1 year ago

Absolutely cruel, but correct answer: You (or whoever the executor of his estate is) made the decision to keep the account under a deceased person’s name and social security number for over a year. That was a poor, and costly, decision. This could have been taken care of easily online and over the phone if you knew the passcode for the account. It’s not easy to talk about, but part of planning for the future is making sure more then one person knows that information. It’s actually a great thing that your mother’s phone is in your name. That way, when the inevitable happens, you won’t have to go through the process of dealing with someone else’s account like you did with your father. 

More hopeful answer: file a BBB complaint. Those get routed to the office of the president. That department will have lot more leeway in making exceptions and offering credit outside of policy. I would not be surprised if they gave you a credit for at least some of what you paid. 

ACE - Sage

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118.3K Messages

1 year ago

@MicCheck

It’s actually a great thing that your mother’s phone is in your name. That way, when the inevitable happens, you won’t have to go through the process of dealing with someone else’s account like you did with your father.

Exactly why my 85 year old mom is on my account.  My dad was on my sister's. 

Much easier when dad passed

1 Message

5 months ago

Sorry for your loss, and unfortunately I've experienced the same thing recently. It got worse, the representative I spoke with kept asking non-related questions such as the discount I might have through employer, or an upgrade I might want to use, or getting bigger screen (iPad) instead of cancelling the line. I'm ok if it's not refundable or back track to the day of the death, but, is it really acceptable trying to promote other services/products when I called to cancel a line due to a disease of a friend? I'm very angry after hanging up the phone. 

ACE - Expert

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32.5K Messages

5 months ago

@fischcheng 

If the account is in your name, and it is just the line canceling out, then agent is required to make a valid save offer. It should be in reason, but as a cancellation/retention agents it would be expected their stats are affected by how many lines they disconnect, so some of them may go overboard. As an emergency phone or transferring the number to another friend or family member does mean there are appropriate options, but the agent needs to tread carefully in those situations.

Call AT&T back and when you get the voice system say "cancel". With the next agent be polite and firm about the cancellation. If they keep pushing after you've declined their "save" attempt, request a supervisor.

If you have further questions or need of guidance, please start a fresh thread as this one is from back in 2022.

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