April 20th, 2015

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Decade-ago Decedent Phone Madness

The phone number my parents used from the time I was 15 until my father passed away was in my mother's name.She passed away in 2005. My father never changed the account information, but just paid the bills. My father passed away in late 2013.
My goal tonight was to get the account closed, and port the phone number so that it stays in the family (with my sister). This was more than the usual "I'm the executor" drill because the account was in the name of a long-deceased person.

There's a long story here, but the short story is too long. I was in the A T & T store with an appointment at 6 p.m. But I had to do most of my business on a cell phone to A T & T sorting out a billing issue. After 107 minutes on the phone, I finally got to an unsatisfactory provisional solution (though I will revisit it) better than when I started. I disliked that I got passed to 4 different people during that 107 minutes, each of whom said something materially different. One said "the phone was disconnected in March". One said "The phone needs repair". One said "the phone is still active". One said she had no authority to discuss the bill, though her number was listed as the person to call to discuss the bill.The billing issue was that the phone service had not been in place when it was supposed to be in place.

Finally, though, I was through the phone gauntlet, and a nice man named Jonathan
helped me port the family phone number onto a cheap phone (for holding purposes for my sister to port from). Jonathan was, by chance, the man who helped me make my reservation. He made the end of my experience easy and constructive, just as making my reservation had been.

I was pleased tonight that though I was not happy with the way I was being treated or the resolution, I kept my cool, by and large. Even when I expressed my dissatisfaction, I went out of my way to say it was not personally the fault of the person to whom I was speaking. I had not been looking forward to this process, because I had feared it would be a hassle. You know, the appointment at 6 p.m., leave at 8:45 p.m. sort of hassle.

But now it's done.