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Verizon Bills Dead Customer, Requires PIN to Cancel Account

How far will a cell phone service provider go to get your money? Apparently, all the way to the grave. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Verizon wouldn't cancel Cynthia Lacy's father's contract after he died last year, even after she showed the company his death certificate.

Lacy didn't know her father's personal identification number (PIN), which promoted a Verizon customer service employee to tell her they couldn't shut down the account. Lacy explained the situation, including how she'd sent a copy of the death certificate. But the employee said there was nothing he or she could do without the PIN, and then had the poor taste to laugh before hanging up. What's worse, Lacy and her family couldn't settle her father's estate until this problem was resolved.

So Lacy contacted the Consumer's Edge column at the St. Petersburg Times about the situation. Soon after, the negative publicity had Verizon singing a different tune. The company recently admitted its mistake, canceled the account and refunded Lacy for the months in which the account was wrongly charged. Here's the lesson to be learned: keep all your PINs, passwords and account numbers in a safe place accessible to your family in case of emergency. Otherwise, you (and your loved ones) could be stuck in cell phone purgatory. [From:, via The Consumerist]

Tags: cellphone, customer service, death, money, pin numbers, top, verizon