Cost of dying – your experiences
Last week we launched our campaign calling on companies to improve their processes and training to give a better service to bereaved customers. Over the past few days, many bereaved people have shared their frustrating and sometimes costly experiences with us.
At Cruse we’ve heard far too many stories of grieving people struggling with “death admin” – the struggle of dealing with banks, utilities companies and others to close accounts and tidy up their loved ones’ financial affairs. This added stress of trying to tackle the death admin process can take a huge toll on those who are already struggling with their grief.
That’s why last week we put out a call for companies to start putting their bereaved customers first. Thank you to all of you who have shared your experiences with us so far. You can read a selection of these below. Please do keep up the pressure and if you would like to share your experiences, good or bad, please email email@example.com, reply to our posts on Facebook, twitter, instagram or linkedin and use the hashtag #CostOfDying.
We’re following up with some of the companies mentioned and offering them help and training for their staff. Please share the campaign with anyone who might be able to help us get our message out.
“I have had a nightmare experience over the last 6 months dealing with my dad’s affairs. Firstly companies don’t seem to process the notification of death when you follow the agreed process providing a certificate etc and then you end up in a loop of talking to call centres with whom you cannot discuss the case as you can’t get past the security questions. I have never been asked such insensitive and downright silly questions such as “can you tell me how much the last payment was made on the account, when and how”… well no I can’t. Furthermore I used the tell us once government facility and had nothing back from it.m still have no idea what to do with his identity docs etc… its a stress you don’t need.”
I’ve found it very traumatic and stressful. A year on I still have one company that won’t send me any confirmation that the account is closed and their complaints and legal team won’t return my calls.
“People dealing with the admin / legal side of death show no compassion or even “pretend” to have any compassion. It’s horrendous, whilst they have a job to do and boxes to tick, a slightly empathic person on the other end would be helpful and certainly this is something which needs addressing.”
A photocopy of the original death certificate should be the only proof required by companies. Paying for additional certificates should not be necessary. Change needs to happen immediately, it should be simple.
“I found this process really tough when my daughter passed away a few years ago. The worse part was speaking to customer teams who clearly were not listening and having to repeat over and over again (to the same person at times) that my daughter had died which was why I was calling. I think anything that can be done to minimise the trauma of this will be a massive help to those already in an emotional state.”
Admin has been a nightmare since my father died - my mother is dealing with most of it but the continuous errors and complications have made what is already an incredibly difficult time so much worse. This will help.
“In many cases the service providers I liaised with were brilliant. There are several companies who made the administrative process an absolute ordeal. I want them to be held to account for the way in which I was treated, but I don’t have the energy left to go through a complaints process. Simple changes to processes can make a huge difference for someone who is grieving.”
I’ve experienced this. It’s horrendous and so unnecessary. Let’s hope for change. Thank you for raising awareness.