Courtesy of HuffPost|By Ann Brenoff | Originally Posted 03.14.2017 | Published 10.07.2017
Make a record of your passwords, folks.
Until I became widowed two months ago, I thought death was a finality. 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.
Unraveling my husband’s life has been a complicated problem, primarily for one reason: His passwords were not in his “important papers” file.
Take for example his cell phone carrier, a global company with 40,000 employees, none of whom apparently work on weekends. They won’t stop billing me for his phone service because I can’t get into his account to cancel it. I don’t know his password.
And 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.
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. 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.
Death certificates are the key to the universe.
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.
Customer service is a contradiction of terms.