(After receiving the communications from AT&T referenced below, I decided to post an open letter to AT&T as if it were from my mother who died in December, 2013. Everything in this post really happened, except for my mom writing the letter, of course. Oh, and I will pay the final bill.)
Dear AT&T Credit & Collections:
Thank you for your recent communications regarding my address change and the final billing on my account.
I really appreciate the postcard AT&T sent to me at my old address to verify that I had actually changed my address. “Dear Customer who Died: We have completed your request to change your mailing address. This letter is being sent to the previous address on file to ensure the change to your new address is valid. Thank you for using AT&T for your communication needs.” However, the address you show as the new address belongs to my daughter. It is not my new address.
It is my understanding that my daughter called you to cancel my land line, release the phone number my husband and I (and then just “I”) had for almost 45 years, and ask you to send the final billing to her at her address. I believe this was very difficult for her because this number was imbedded in her mind and heart as her parents’ phone number. The postcard you sent—addressed to me—was very hurtful for her to receive once it was forwarded to her address.
I do appreciate that AT&T sent the final billing to my daughter’s address as she requested. However, again, it was very hurtful for her to see that you had addressed the final billing to me instead of to her.
Then, you sent me a collection letter at my daughter’s address only four days after you sent the final billing. “Dear Customer who Died: We are writing concerning the final bill. We have not yet received payment. We realize that there is occasionally a delay in settling an estate; however, we would appreciate you letting us know when we may expect payment. Please call AT&T today at 1-800-288-2020 to discuss the disposition of this account.” This I do not understand and do not appreciate. There is no way payment could have been sent to AT&T between the final bill and the collection letter since only four days had transpired between the date you mailed the final bill and the date you mailed the collection letter. And the collection letter was addressed, once again, to me instead of to my daughter. Do you really expect me to pay the final bill or call you about payment?
I am not sure when you will receive payment for the final bill. I’m afraid your thoughtless correspondence received by my daughter has caused additional anguish to her to the point that she is now incapable of handling this situation.
I, on the other hand, can try to handle this situation; however, I am confused as to how I can handle it from my new residence. You see, I don’t have access to a post office here to send payment. And I don’t have access to a phone in order to call you to “discuss the disposition of this account.” I’m afraid AT&T and the Postal Service do not operate in this land where I now reside.
I apologize for any inconvenience my inability to mail payment or discuss this with you may cause. I hope you understand how your incompetence and uncaring attitude as a “communication” company in communicating appropriately has created such anguish for my daughter and rendered her incapable of handling the situation herself. I, also, hope you understand my inability to comply with your requests from my new residence.
Customer who Died