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Closing Dead Father's Account is No Easy Task for Grieving Son

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Many of us have been there before. A loved one passes away and we're left to sort out their remaining bills and accounts. But a Pomona man says Verizon Wireless isn't making it any easier for his family. When he couldn't get his father's account closed, he turned to the I-Team. Randy Mac reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. (Published Monday, Nov. 7, 2016)

    What should you do if a loved one dies, you keep getting bills and you can't get into their account?

    You'd expect a lot of bigger companies to know how to handle this kind of situation. But months after his father's death, one man says Verizon just isn't on the same page.

    After seven years battling cancer, Florentino Elicegui's father died in November. Elicegui started making calls to close his father's accounts. But he says Verizon didn't make it easy. Verizon asked for his father's security code in order to close the account.

    "I'm like, 'I don't know it, he's dead,'" Elicegui recalls.

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    Then they asked for the answer to his father's security question, to which Elicegui replied, "I don't know it, he's dead. I can't ask him."

    Then again, he says Verizon asked for the answer to another of his father's security questions. He was unable to close the account without that answer.

    "You know, if he was alive or he was in the hospital I could ask him, but he's dead," Elicegui said.

    Elicegui offered to send documentation of his father's death, but he says Verizon wouldn't budge.

    "I just felt for a family that's still dealing with the grief, it shouldn't be so difficult," Elicegui said.

    Rigo Reyes of the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs says most companies have simple processes when a customer dies. He says some ask for documentation to ensure someone else isn't tampering with the account.

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    "It seems to me that maybe the right person wasn't on the phone," Reyes said. "Canceling the account and making sure that they don't charge us an early termination, which would happen with a general account in this type of situation."

    Verizon would not comment on this account. But after the I-Team got involved, they reached out to quickly close it.

    "It was a trying time for us," Elicegui said. "I just wish they had showed some kind of compassion."

    Here are a few things that will help you close an account if a loved one passes away:

    Always make sure to have certificate of death. That is usually enough for the company to close the account.

    You'll also want to have a Social Security number and a copy of the last bill ready, just in case additional confirmation is needed.

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